Twelve members of SaddleBrooke Hiking Club hiked the Miner’s Needle Loop, otherwise known as the Lost Dutchman/Bluff Springs Loop, along the southern slopes of the Superstition Mountains on a beautiful day in early December 2017. The Superstition Mountains are a very special mountain range to our north, and the legendary location of the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is the dominant range next to Apache Junction, east of Mesa, Arizona. The Superstition Mountains are a favorite hike destination for our SaddleBrooke Hiking Club due to their great scenic beauty, grand vistas and many unusual rock formations. This range is located in the lower Sonoran Desert and is best visited in the winter or early spring months before the weather becomes too warm for hiking. It is particularly beautiful in the spring when water is running in the washes and the desert flowers are in bloom.
The Miner’s Needle Loop hike is nine miles in length with accumulated elevation gain of 1697 feet (classified as “B” level hike in our club database), beginning and ending at the Peralta Trailhead. The hikers took the Lost Dutchman Trail heading east through Barkley Basin, turned north around a prominent rock feature and peak called Miner’s Needle (the eye of the needle is a small arch in the rock as shown in the photo). The trail then followed a series of switchbacks over a ridge and descended into another canyon and wash. This canyon has several springs, often dry in the winter, and a lovely shaded area to have lunch and rest. The hike returns back to the west along the wash and south, over a ridge along the Bluff Springs Trail with grand views south as shown in the photo. The hike finishes with a rocky descent back to the trailhead.
The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club is one of the largest clubs in SaddleBrooke and offers a number of different hikes each week that appeal to hikers of all abilities. Please check out the club website at http://saddlebrookehikingclub.com.