A scenic loop trail that takes you into the heart of the Superstition Mountains. With wonderful views of Canyon Lake, Battleship Mountain and Geronimo Head along with an emerald pool, we strongly recommend this great adventure. You’ll need a good map and route finding skills.

A big thanks to Charles Liu, the author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix. His book inspired us to hike this route, our first relatively big & challenging hike.


Distance 9.5 Miles Round Trip
Hours 7 hours Round Trip
Elevation approx 2,000 ft Gain & Loss
Scenery 3.5/5 Excellent
Crowds 3.5/5 Light
Adventure 3.5/5 Excellent
Difficulty 4/5 Difficult
AllTrails Trailhead Weather
Water Tip – Take 4 liters per person.


Begin from the Boulder Canyon trailhead, across the street from the Canyon Lake Marina parking lot. Day use marina parking is free.

Approximately 30 mins into the hike, you will reach the top of a small hill where you will get fantastic views of Canyon Lake.

Spring wildflowers dot the desert.

View of Geronimo Head (left), Battleship Mountain (center) and Weaver’s Needle (foreground).

Be careful of exposure. Over time we’ve learned to prefer desert hiking in light pants and long sleeves.

Inspired Tip

Just past the creek bed the trail starts to veer to the right or southwest. Leave the main trail and hike up the creek boulder hopping your way to the emerald pool. We spotted a Gila Monster along the way.

A couple miles of boulder hopping can be challenging.

The reflection of Battleship Mountain in the emerald pool makes for a great photo opportunity. There’s an excellent backpacking campsite near the pool.

We hiked in February and the pool was relatively large with clear water. The water level will depend on time of year and recent rain.

Inspired Tip

Near the backpacking campsite there is a faint trail that leads up and over the saddle. This takes you to the left of Battleship Mountain and down to Boulder Canyon Trail.

Once you hit Boulder Canyon Trail take a right and follow the trail north around Battleship Mountain. Our pictures end here, hiking was hard and hot, but you’re only half done when you reach Boulder Canyon Trail.


All images are taken from our hike in February 2016.

As you go up and over the saddle there is a faint trail at the top of the saddle that goes north, up and onto Battleship Mountain. The hike to Battleship Summit is quite and adventure.  We’ve hiked there from First Water Trailhead.

Do your part to help preserve nature.

Please Leave No Trace