Friday, March 2, 2018

Hieroglyphic Trail in Gold Canyon

Friday, March 2, 2018 – Location:  Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction, Arizona

Last night just before going to bed, we started hearing coyotes howling, barking and yipping in the ravine right in front of the MH.  Yuma climbed into the driver’s seat and started barking at them and I went outside to see what was going on.  I guess they were barking at the full moon.  This went on for a good five minutes before they moved on and all went silent again.

Slept good and woke around 7:30. Yuma was in his normal feisty spirit on our morning walk.  A little show-off!

IMG_2032   IMG_2031

After breakfast around 10 o’clock, Deb and Riley stopped by to let me know they were ready for our hike today.  Last evening we decided to take a hike in Gold Canyon of the Superstition Mountains.  It is rated “Easy” at 2.9 miles there and back. 

The canyon is located on the south side of the mountains and is less than a half hour drive to get to the trailhead.  We had a stop to make in town and we arrived at the trailhead at 11 o’clock ready to hike.  The weather was perfect.  Blue skies and the temperature was quickly moving towards the 70 degree mark.  It wasn’t long before we were shedding our long sleeve shirts as the exercise heated us up and the sun heated everything. 

As we walked in the open sun for awhile, we were beginning to think some 20 year olds came up with the “easy”  designation.  As it got hot, Riley began to feel the affects and decided to return to the truck and Deb went with her.  I stayed on course thinking it would be “easy” and I would be back within an hour. 

Not so!.  It was closer to two miles to the falls at the top than it was to one and a half.   Their are several trails that split off from this trailhead.


This stone was at the beginning of the trailhead so I’m not sure of its authenticity.


Soon, we saw a sign leading us in the correct direction.


This Saguaro also pointed us towards the trail.


We’re heading to that big boulder below the peak in the center of the photo.  The one between the two large saguaros.  Just a dark spot right now.


Looking off to the right.



Here come Deb and Riley.  No shade and getting hot.


Heading for the little canyon in the center.  Hard to see the break in the dark rocks  going down the right side in the middle.


Looking back.


It’s just Yuma and I now and I can see the trail is not getting any easier.



Shoed horses have passed through here.  Imprints in the dried mud.


As we get to the falls we see grinding holes in this boulder called morteros.  Yuma is drinking water out of one of them.



Yuma is checking for a way I can climb these boulders to our destination. 


Close to the bottom of the falls.  A butterfly is sipping water out of the damp ground..


The Indian petroglyphs are carved into the boulders around the waterfall.  No water falling but there is quite a bit of water in pools.




Looking back towards the entrance to Gold Canyon from the waterfalls.




Looking up towards the top of the mountain.  Long way up there and it almost killed me to get to the falls.  This is as far up as I go.  My body is telling me this is the end. 


Yuma spots a cave near the falls.  We just have to investigate.



We need to get back down to the Dogsled where Deb and Riley are waiting.   Yuma says it’s time to get going!


It was past two o’clock by the time we got to the bottom and my Fitbit said we walked five miles today.  That is my limit.  By the time I got to the truck, my feet were killing me.  If “easy” is like this, I wonder what “moderate” is like! 

Stay tuned!

I forgot Gold Rush is on so got to go.

See you later.


  1. There are a lot of neat petroglyphs in that area. It was worth the climb to see them. Beautiful butterfly! Too bad there was no water coming over the falls, but th pools were cool. Now that you've tackled the easy trail, you're ready for the moxerate one tomorrow! πŸ˜€ Have a good night. ❤

    1. I think you're dreaming if I try a moderate hikeπŸ˜‚. That butterfly flew up and it landed just as I got to the water.

      Worth the hike, just wish it was easier for me😣.

  2. Great picture of Yuma up on the colorful boulder you all hiked up to yesterday.
    The shot you took of the moon over Superstition mountain that you are using as your header is really perfect.

    Beautiful pictures of your hike today. The one of the butterfly is gorgeous. How great is that to find a saguaro willing to give you directions?
    Yuma always looks like he is full of energy and ready to go.

    1. Thanks Deb. We had a great time walking up to the falls and seeing the petroglyphs. Yuma had the energy, me not so much. There's lots to do in this area and a lot more hiking trails. I'm looking forward to hiking a few more.

  3. I think it is always great whenever one comes across water on hikes like that and wouldn't it be great to be there when water is rushing down through the rocks on it's way to wherever. Didn't recognize anything in the photos so it must have been a different trail we did when there.

    1. There are many many trails around the mountains. I'm sure they are all beautiful.

      We had a little rain over the weekend so there were pools which was great. It would be nice to hike it after a big rainfall.

  4. That was a scary story about the coyotes and Yuma barking at them from the driver's seat. Ohhh 😱 - gave me the creeps ! What a tiring hike - glad Riley listened to her body and turned back. You got a little shade and a great photo from inside the cave looking out at the mountains and view. Nice to see a few extra pics of Yuma - always the icing on the cake. πŸŒ·πŸ•πŸŽ‚πŸŒΈ

    1. Thanks Moonfly. I was glad to see Yuma barking at the coyotes. In the past he would hide and shake when he heard them.

      Great hike with lots of scenery. Unfortunately most of the hikes are quite long so I may not be able to complete them. But just going part way I'm sure will be beautiful.

  5. The 'glyphs are on our list as an option for a hike next week along with some ballgames. Maybe not ... looks like a difficult 'easy' hike and still enjoy a game afterwards.
    Thanks for leading the way!

    1. I think it won't be a problem for you. Nice hike with lots of interesting things to see.

  6. Wow, great pictures. Looks like a good place to sit and think for a bit. What a view!!!!! That Yuma is always ready to go. He's such a character.

    Glad you made it safely, although I'm sorry to have missed it, I wasn't prepared to let Riley go back on her own. The petroglyphs looked similar to other ones at Saddle Mountain, just lots more of them.

    Glad you at least know your limits. It will help in the future planning of hikes. Plus you don't always have to go to the end of the hike, you can turn around any time you like.

    Great day!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Deb. The hike was worth it and as you say we now know none of them are going to be easy. There were certainly a lot of petroglyphs. Didn't find them all but enough.

      I agree. The goal from here on is to get out and hike, but not necessarily to complete the hike. Sure there are lots of great views along the trails.

  7. I'd sure like to know who rated that trail?! That's quite a hike you took. You have a lot of energy to do that! What a beautiful area though! Cute picture of you and Yuma! The water is pretty cool looking..who would think there would be water there!

    1. Thanks Shirley. I think it's me and not the ratingπŸ˜‚. Yuma had a great time and the falls and rock formations were pretty. Petroglyphs a bonus.

  8. Awesome pictures Doug sure looks like a pretty good hike and the fews wonderful, Glad you made it !

    1. Thanks George. It was beautiful up there but a four Mile hike up and down is my limit.