Superstition Mountains Backpacking Trip

From $695 See Rates

ArizonaSonoran Desert
Tour Length
3 days, 2 nights
Backcountry Camping
Guide Type

Only one hour away from bustling Phoenix, the sixth largest city in the United States, you’ll find miles and miles of incredible hiking trails that locals consider some of the best in the Sonoran Desert on our Superstition Mountains Wilderness Backpacking trip. The Superstition Mountains Wilderness offers towering Saguaro cactus, boulder-filled canyons and soaring, jagged peaks. Combine some of the best hikes in Arizona and the legend of the Superstition Mountains, and you have the perfect recipe for a winter backpacking adventure.

Between AOA and our guide every detail was planned, all our gear was top notch and we always felt like we were in good hands.Past Guest

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip ground transportation from Scottsdale, AZ
  • Meals starting lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 3
  • Water and snacks
  • Kitchen and group gear (cooking utensils, stove, fuel, water filter, food storage where needed, dish washing necessities)
  • Personal mess kit (bowl, mug, fork, spoon)
  • Professional Wilderness First Responder Certified Guide

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Tonto National Forest commercial use fees

Not Included ​​​​​​​

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging
  • Breakfast Day 1, dinner Day 3
  • Airport transfers
  • Air transportation
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent from AOA)
  • Sleeping pad (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking tent (available to rent from AOA)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

Upgrades + Additions

Gear Rental

  • 1-person backpacking tent ($25 per)
  • 2-person backpacking tent ($35 per)
  • 55 to 65 liter backpack with removable daypack option fitted to individual ($30 per)
  • Sleeping bag ($25 per)
  • Inflatable sleeping pad ($25 per, sleeping pads add insulation and are required on AOA trips)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)

Other Additions

  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).


2019 Rates

  • TOUR PRICE $ 695 pp 695 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 21 pp* 21 pp

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

Do you have five minutes to save $25? Learn about our 25for5 promotion on our Promos & Discounts page! (Seasonal discounts may apply)



Select Month

October 25-October 27
November 8-November 10
November 29-December 1
December 13-December 15
December 28-December 30
Hiker rests feet against campfire on Superstition Mountains trip

Meet your guide in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express in Old Town Scottsdale at 7:00am. Here your guide will do an orientation and distribute gear. Once your backpacks are all squared away, you’ll depart for a short drive to the Peralta Trailhead at the base of the Superstition Mountains where some of the best desert backpacking opportunities exist. Just an hour from the heart of Phoenix, this popular trailhead quickly transitions us from rush hour to the quiet solitude of the Sonoran Desert. Hiking past towering saguaro cactus, we’ll follow a ridgeline before dropping down into a basin where we set up camp. Tonight we enjoy a campfire (USFS restrictions permitting) and a delicious guide-prepared dinner beneath the stars.


6-7 miles (see the route)


Breakfast on your own, lunch and dinner included


Camping in remote backcountry area

Hiker rests feet against campfire on Superstition Mountains trip
Close up of hiker on Superstition Mountains backpacking trip

After coffee and breakfast in the morning, we’ll break camp and begin to stretch our legs on the rocky Red Tanks Trail. Now deep in a remote region of the Superstition Wilderness Area, we’re likely to see some wildlife on our trek today; black-tailed jackrabbit, whiptail lizards, red-tailed hawk, and many others call this place home. We’ll do lunch on the trail to fuel us for a steep climb to a stunning vista where we can take in the whimsical desert terrain around us. Surprisingly lush, the Sonoran Desert has more species of plants and animals than any other desert in the world, including many native plants used by Native Americans as food and medicinal sources as they traveled this same route. Tonight we enjoy our final night of solitude while listening to the great-horned owl announce sunset. Dinner has a celebratory feel as we share stories of the trail with our new friends and adventure companions.


5-7 miles


All meals included


Camping in remote backcountry area

Close up of hiker on Superstition Mountains backpacking trip
Tour group hikes Superstition Mountains wilderness

Our campsite affords us a perfect view of sunrise over the saguaros! Having settled into a backcountry pace dictated by nature’s own timeline, we enjoy breakfast before donning our packs for our final day on the trail. Today’s route completes our loop via the Whiskey Springs Trail. From here we can see Miner’s Needle, a monumental rock spire left over from when this region was just a massive chain of volcanoes and cinder cones. By midday we drop back onto the Dutchman Trail and retrace our first day’s steps to find trail’s end at the Peralta Trailhead. We transfer back to our host hotel, arriving between 5:00 and 7:00pm. Although we’ve left the wilderness behind, we take with us a feeling of accomplishment and memories of our adventure together.


6-8 miles


Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own


On your own

Tour group hikes Superstition Mountains wilderness

Nitty Gritty

AOA’s adventures might challenge you, but we don’t want them to surprise you, these Nitty Gritty details can help you decide if this the right trip for you.

Comforts of Home

Cell service: While backpacking in the Superstitions, you will not have cell phone service, you should expect to be unreachable by phone. There is no electricity available. Bring a portable battery to charge your phone for photos.

Bathrooms/Showers: During this trip we will not have access to showers or bathrooms. We will use a WAG Bag system to pack out our waste and ensure we Leave No Trace.

Access to water: Water is a precious resource in the desert. We will filter our drinking water from reliable springs and must carry large quantities with us at all times due to scarcity.

Minimum Age: 14
Max Group Size: 12

Hiking & Terrain

This backpacking trip requires that you carry all you need and a portion of the group gear on your back. Expect to carry about 35-50lbs in your backpack. The second day of this trip is long and challenging. The Superstition Mountains are rugged, we will be hiking over exposed and unmaintained trails through thickets of cactus and other plants. Gaiters are highly recommended.

Trip Ratings

Challenge 3.5 | Comfort 1 | Solitude 5 | Participation 5