Hike of the Week: Lower First Water Creek in the Superstition Wilderness Area

Mare CzinarDecember 6, 2023
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Lower First Water Creek, Superstition Wilderness Area 

The raw, craggy waterway of Lower First Water Creek doesn’t spill its wonders easily. It takes work to get into the heart of the remote, obstacle-ridden north end of the creek that flows between Canyon Lake and the Garden Valley area in the Superstition Wilderness near Apache Junction.  But once inside, the journey serves as a gateway adventure.  A rough, 400-foot  down climb lands hikers at the creek bed where the canyon may be explored in both directions. 

  • LENGTH:  3 miles roundtrip as described here or 6 miles one way to the First Water horse lot.
  • RATING: difficult
  • ELEVATION: 1,983 – 1,582 feet as described here or 2,300 to the horse lot.
  • BEST SEASON: October – April
  • FACILITIES: none 

GETTING THERE 

North end, Canyon Overlook Trailhead as described here: 

  • From Phoenix, go east on U.S. 60 to the Idaho Road exit 196.
  • Turn left at the bottom of the off ramp and go 12 miles on State Route 88 (Apache Trail) to the Canyon Overlook trailhead at milepost 208.
  • There are no signs or facilities at the trailhead. 
  • Roads are 100% paved.