Arizona, Heiroglyphic Trails

h2>Hieroglyphic Trail

State: Arizona
Tonto National Forest
Length, Round Trip:
2 miles
Trail Type:
Out and Back
Elevation Change:
600 feet
Best Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter

Native Heiroglyphs in Heiroglyph Canyon

Trail Information

The Hieroglyphic Trail is located on the southwest corner of the Superstitions Wilderness Area and nearly runs in a straight-line from the trailhead to Hieroglyphic Spring. The trail follows a slight ridge line, rather than the bottom of the canyon, so you will get very good views in all directions. The trail is generally the highest point in the area, except for the massive palisades of Superstition Mountain which is ahead of you. The elevation change is small so things are pretty easy. You hike approximately 600 feet over the length of the trail. As the Hieroglyphic Trail reaches the spring, you cross a few small spots where there are small step-ups over rocks. The trail also crosses rock surfaces in two areas which makes it more difficult to identify the correct path. This is a minor problem since there is only one destination in this canyon. Arriving at Hieroglyphic Spring, there is a nice payoff the numerous Indian petroglyphs carved into the rock.

You can hike right up to the drawings for photographs and they are easily visible from across the wash when water is flowing. There are countless drawings like these, which are attributed to the Hohokam Indians, up and down Hieroglyphic Canyon. Archaeologists say these petroglyphs range from 200 to 2,000 years old, as new ones were added over the years. Pools of water are usually present. Rest for a while in the shade of the rocks to see local wildlife and birds as they visit their watering hole.


From Phoenix:
Take US 60 East to King’s Ranch Road (Gold Canyon Ranch entrance). Turn left on King’s Ranch Road. Turn right on Baseline Road Go a few hundred yards to Mohican Road and turn left. Go a few hundred yards and turn left on Valley View. As you follow Valley View Road, it turns into Whitetail Road At the end of Whitetail Road, turn right on Cloud Dr. and go a few hundred yards to the end of Cloud and you will find a small circular parking lot and the beginning of the trail.

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