Hackberry Spring in Superstition Wilderness Area

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It takes some work to hike through the scoured volcanic back country of the Superstition Wilderness to get to Hackberry Spring. The spring that feeds First Water Creek fosters a tiny tree-cluttered oasis.

Getting There: From Phoenix, take U.S. 60 east to the State Route 88 (Idaho Road) exit. Go left and continue on SR 88 (follow the signs leading to Lost Dutchman State Park) to just past the park entrance (between mileposts 201 and 202) and turn right onto First Water Road (Forest Road 78). Follow FR 78 for just over 2 miles to the horse parking lot (NOT the First Water trailhead) on the left and ark there. From the lot, hike up FR 78 for 01 mile to an unmarked dirt road on the left where there’s a closed gate.

Hike Directions: From the FR 78 gate (which is sometimes locked but the area is still open to hikers). Continue down into First Water Canon and the corral area. From the corral, hike east (straight ahead) along the informal paths that lead to First Water Creek. Form the point where the path intersects a bare-rock slot canyon, head north (left) and hike in the creek bed through the canyon. Hackberry Spring is located roughly 1.1 mile from the gate. Return the way you came.

Length: 3 miles round trip

Rating: moderate, some route-finding skills required

Kid Friendly: NO

Pet Friendly: YES

Elevation: 1,900-2,450 feet

Best Season: October-April

Facilities: restroom, horse staging area


Photo credit Mare Czinar/PHOENIX


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