Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Upper Fish Creek Canyon Day Hike
when November 11, 2017
  Trip Report : October 26, 2013
  Trip Report : March 26, 2011
  Trip Report : March 21, 2009
  Trip Report : March 10, 2007
where Superstition Wilderness
the hike     Fish Creek Canyon would be world-famous if it were anywhere but Arizona! You’ll find spectacular rock formations, sycamores, cottonwoods, rock-hopping, bushwhacking, and desert mountain scenery that will curl your camera.
    We’ll start from Tortilla Trailhead, swing by Tortilla Ranch, and then hike the canyon off trail from Lost Dutch Spring to the one-lane bridge where early travelers encountered the notorious highway bandit, Hacksaw Tom. An exhibit of artifacts found in a cave, including Tom’s sawed-off shotgun, is currently on display at the Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction.
    This hike is described on pages 222-225 of Hiker’s Guide to the Superstition Wilderness by Jack Carlson and Elizabeth Stewart, but we’ll go the opposite direction and continue on down the road to the picnic area.
    Fish Creek Canyon is for fast, strong, and experienced hikers only.
If you’re too trepidatious to ever tiptoe off trail, hold off for an easier hike. But if you’ve been hankering for a real rip-snortin’ rootin’-tootin’ Arizona adventure in Hacksaw Tom’s historic hideaway, this is it! Look at previous trip reports and see the fun that we had with the boulders before signing up.
•  Bring plenty of water, at least 3 liters.
•  Flashlight. We start the hike in the dark.
•  Good shoes, with plenty of traction.
    Due to the canyon hiking, if it is raining this trip will be canceled because of possible flash flooding.
distance 9.3 miles
time 9-10 hours
EC +700-1500' elevation change
elevations 3279' (Wilderness Boundary) to 2149' (Picnic Area)
type one way
starting at
Tortilla Trailhead 33° 31.561' N,  111° 19.106' W  [NAD27]
ending at
Picnic Area 33° 32.045' N,  111° 18.207' W  [NAD27]
on trail 50% — FR 213; Apache Trail Highway (AZ 88)
rating "B+" [tough!] (the last 3 miles are over and around house-sized boulders)
Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs? no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Apache Junction
meet  5:00 AM  at Home Depot in Mesa on the southeast corner of Power and US 60.
from Phoenix
Go east on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to Superstition Springs Blvd., exit 187. Take that exit, turn right and go a half mile east, across Power Road. Then turn left, toward Home Depot, at the second driveway. Park in the southwest corner of the Home Depot lot, behind Burger King.
•  Take the Superstition Freeway, US 60, east to Idaho Road, exit 196.
Turn left and go north on the Apache Trail Highway (Arizona 88) past Tortilla Flat to Tortilla Trailhead, just after the pavement ends.

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updated November 21, 2017 © Copyright 2017, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.