We wanted a quiet hike with a change of scenery. We are on the opposite side of the Superstition Mountain than usual. The Lost Goldmine Trail takes you across the base of the mountain to the Hieroglyphic Trail if you opt for the entire 8-mile hike. It is a one way trail, so you had better prepare in advance to have a vehicle waiting at the end, or reverse course. We had plans for the afternoon, so opted to hike a mile and half in, then return along the same course.
Everywhere were signs of the impending spring bloom. The winter rains saturated the dry desert ground, and the lush greenery still holds the moisture. Desert Poppies are beginning to pop up (no pun) throughout the desert. The Brittlebush has been speckling the desert floor with bright yellow splotches for weeks, and soon will dominate the landscape. The pinkish Fairy Dusters just began blossoming this week, and the honeybees have been fully active harvesting nectar and cross-pollinating. I saw a lone purple Lupine standing ground too far off the trail to get a decent photograph. That will not be an issue in the upcoming weeks.
The Lost Gold Mine Trail is an ideal hike for the non-hiker. The views of the mountains are unequaled, and it is a perfect trail for flowers – there are vast expanses with few obstacles. The trail has some loose stones, but requires very little climbing, and is relatively well-marked with cairns. The change in elevation is around 200-feet.
You are hiking through ranch land until you reach the cattle gate into the National Forest, so you might stumble across a lone cow. The Peralta Trail is a popular location, so I was truly amazed that our hike was as quiet as it was, very few hikers.
According to an older book of hiking trails, there is a possibly obsolete trail that takes you to an abandoned mine shaft – we were in search of that trailhead. I feel that we might have to park a mile up the road and take one of the lesser known trails to find that one.
And one final note before I leave. If you look closely at the base of this Saguaro, you will see me standing. If you have never seen one of these majestic trees in person, it is difficult to get a sense of scale, so here you are.