Hieroglyphic Trail – Apache Junction

Apache Junction, AZ

Recently our son, Kevin, flew in from his home in Atlanta to share some time with us in Apache Junction.  We wanted to give him a taste of the desert in Arizona so we decided to hike the near by Hieroglyphic Trail.  He was only here for one night so this relatively short trail (three miles total) would be a good length for the time we had and the very warm 90 degree temps.  It also has a great variety of desert plant life, with some of the plant life in bloom.

Heading up the trail

Flowers on the Brittlebush brightened the desert

The trail ends in a rocky area with a number of petroglyphs on the rocks.  Some of the petroglyphs may be historical but a few looked a little fresh to us.

Along the trail just below the petroglyphs is a large rock covered with morteros, holes in the stone caused by the grinding of grain by ancient cultures.

Alas, there do not seem to be any Crested Saguaros on this trail.  But just a few miles to the east on Rte. 60 there is an interesting one right at the entrance to an RV park.

While it was brief (about 24 hours), we really enjoyed our visit with Kevin.  He is an airline pilot so spending time flying to Phoenix as a passenger on a day off probably isn’t very exciting to him.   But the opportunity to visit with parents like us was apparently just too much for him to pass up!


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24 Responses to Hieroglyphic Trail – Apache Junction

  1. Laurel says:

    Beautiful hike, cool petroglyphs, and gorgeous blooming cacti — and even better that you shared it all with your son. It’s amazing how many of the crested saguaro you discover. They’re supposed to be rare, but you seem to find them everywhere!

    • placestheygo says:

      Laurel, I read that this was a great hike to introduce someone to the desert. The first half mile reminds me of a botanical garden and with so many plants blooming it was beautiful. Yes, there is only suppose to be one crested saguaro for every 150,000 so they are considered rare. That beauty in the blog I spotted as we were driving home from the Apache Trail loop trip. We went back the next day to get photos since it was just a few miles down the road. My head never stops turning when there are saguaro around:)

  2. Jodee Gravel says:

    Having cool parents is a cross our children also must bear……. It looks like you had a beautiful day to share with Kevin, hope you were back in the shade before it got too hot! I love the pic of them looking in opposite directions on the trail 🙂 You guys are like “crested whisperers” – they must call to you in your sleep. Glad we get to share!

  3. pmbweaver says:

    I love seeing the desert in all its glory.

    What a hoot that Crested Saguaros is. It is just so weird how they grow that way.

    Glad it was such a gorgeous day for Kevin’s visit. One day, one hour…always such a special time to be with our kids!

    If I only have the back to make a judgment for Carrie, I think it could be a go….hehe

  4. rommel says:

    A great way to spend the time with a visiting family. Those hieroglyphics are misspelled. 😀

    • placestheygo says:

      I wish they would change the name of the trail because you aren’t seeing hieroglyphics at all! Oh, well, once something was given a name by someone way back, ti seems to stick.

  5. jimandbarb says:

    You can almost picture the Indians sitting in a group grinding their grain and talking about their plans for the day. Oh how different life was back then!

    • placestheygo says:

      It is interesting whenever we come across an area where you know there was a settlement and you find yourself imagining how it must have been. Tough women for sure grinding away on the rocks!

  6. Ingrid says:

    I had that trail noted on my map so thanks for the share. We’ll definitely do that one next season. Glad you had a nice visit with your son 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Ingrid, you and Al will enjoy this trail. While it is only 3 miles, it is a challenging one with lots of rocks and some elevation. It isn’t a walk in the park:) The desert floor is gorgeous and the boulders at the top are a great lunch/rest place.

  7. Becky says:

    Thanks for sharing this hike. We missed the petroglyphs when we were in AJ. We’ll have to visited again.

  8. Sherry says:

    Looks like it was a great trail to share with your son. He’s lucky to have such active parents. Really lovely flowers and I love petroglyphs but it does irritate me no end that modern folks think they have to add their 2 cents. People are so inconsiderate.

    • placestheygo says:

      It is the perfect trail for visitors to the desert especially this time of year. I had read that there were some “modern” petroglyphs that had been added. It is too bad because they really did try to make their figures match the old ones so it is a little difficult in a few places to really tell them apart.

  9. Gay says:

    Time with Kevin and a nice hike in the desert sure makes for a great day!

  10. That is a nice trail. Good that you got to share it with your son! When we hiked it in early January nothing was blooming. Looks like a totally different place from our photos!

  11. LuAnn says:

    Glad you got to get out and show Kevin the ropes. He is very fortunate that he has such active parents who can show him lots of amazing things. Great photos! Pam, I think someone should pay you to go out and identify where all the crested saguaro are. You must have seen most of them by now! 🙂

  12. Oh my the yellow flowers! The desert is really alive and you got to share it with Kevin!
    I now have a long list of hikes to do when we get there this winter! Im sure you will have a crested saguaro withdrawal once you leave the desert 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      I am sad to be leaving my beautiful saguaro cactus tomorrow but then, I am heading to my other favorite area…red rocks!! I am so excited to be heading back into the land of beautiful red cliffs and my favorite hiking.

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