Wendy (below) and Jenny (above) climb up
The Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstitions is an easy hike, about three miles
round trip with less than 600' elevation gain.
I have hiked this trail dozens of times and never tire of it.
Although short, the trail is rocky and sturdy hiking boots are recommended.
for a closer look at the pictorial etchings
We enjoyed a short break in the canyon.
It took us about 45 minutes to make the gradual climb up to the Hieroglyphic
Along the way, the trail is dotted with plenty of saguaro, cholla, ocotillo,
palo verde and other desert plants.
We were fortunate to have a bit of cloud cover to ensure that the day did not
heat up too quickly.
As the trail ends, we scrambled over some large boulders and found a
nice resting spot with magnificent views of the ancient writings.
Webster’s dictionary defines hieroglyphic as
“...belonging to a system of writing mainly in pictorial
Petroglyph is defined as “a carving or inscription on
a rock.” This explains why there is much debate about whether the ancient
etchings on the rocks seen at the end of this hike are actually hieroglyphs or
It depends on what you are reading.
To me, it seems they must be both.
After the hike, we stopped at Olive Garden and replenished all of the calories
we had just expended (and then some).