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Wilderness Volunteers

Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, AZ (Oct 10th - Oct 16th 2021)

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"The wildflowers, the birds and the warm spring sunshine draw me back to the Superstition Wilderness each spring. I've been going there for about 19 years." -- Bill Sheppard, WV leader

Lush canyons with sycamore and cottonwood trees, rugged mountains with pinyon pines and alligator juniper trees, hidden canyons, creeks and waterfalls, majestic deserts and wildflowers, prehistoric ruins, abandoned mines, prospector camps and ranches – all these are found in a wilderness close to Phoenix. The Superstition Wilderness is unlike the image most people have of a desert. It's very mountainous with elevations ranging from about 2,000 ft to 6,250 ft. The famous Weaver’s Needle, a weathered volcanic spire, rises to 4,553 ft. We'll have some minor elevation changes on our hike to camp, both up and down, but nothing too challenging. The trails are generally in good condition, but we'll do some touch-up work to keep them that way. If this winter's storms bring a good rainy season in the southwest, we'll witness a colorful blooming desert with many species of flowers. It's a natural garden!

The history of the Superstitions is fascinating - from the early Spanish explorers and the Apaches to the crusty old gold prospectors. The legend of the "Lost Dutchman Mine" still inspires gold bugs to scratch around in the desert in search of the mysterious mine. Some experts think the Dutchman pulled off a successful hoax, so don't be fooled by any old timers who offer to sell you a "recently discovered" treasure map.

In early June of 2019, the Woodbury fire burned more than 123,000 acres of the Superstition Mountains in Tonto National Forest. Our service project will focus on much-needed recovery efforts on wilderness trails in the Eastern Superstition Mountains. We will be helping the forest service assess and/or repair trails that were severely damaged after this disastrous fire. We will car camp in a remote area and hike each day on various trails, flagging trail, assessing damage and work needed, and doing minor trail work. Participants should expect to hike 5-10 miles each day with 1,000' elevation gain. Help rehabilitate this wilderness area and get these trails back in commission.
Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from our prior Superstition Wilderness projects in our gallery.


Oct 10th - Oct 16th 2021

Service Project

Hiking, trail maintenance, tread repair, erosion control

Agency logo

Free Days

Day hikes, photography, wildflower viewing


Remote car camping

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : Hiking 5-10 miles each day, bending, digging, shoveling, hauling, lopping, cutting.


Ashely Northcutt
Bill Wood

Equipment List