Click on photos for larger images. Sometimes you have to refresh the page to re-activate this feature. Hide Slide Show (you will have to refresh the page to see it again)

Superstition Wilderness/Tonto National Forest

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - Thursday, April 4, 2024 -- $1675 ★★★, ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT

Just an hour East of Phoenix, in the Tonto National Forest, lies a magical desert called The Superstition Wilderness. The Supes are known for many beautiful trails and iconic features such as the Weaver's Needle, Miner's Needle, Angel Basin, Cave Dwellings, Circlestone and Superstition Mountain itself. We will hike through the more remote Eastern section that includes Reavis Ranch, Circlestone, Reavis Falls and the Angel Basin Cave Dwellings.

Our journey will begin and end at the Miles Trailhead in the Eastern Superstitions. We'll hike the West Pinto trail, camping at-large along to way to Rogers Trough. The next day, we'll head to picturesque Angel Basin, visiting the long abandoned cave dwellings along the way. We'll then head to Plow Saddle in a quieter part of the wilderness before taking a day to visit Reavis Falls. Then we head back to our starting trailhead visiting Reavis Ranch (which still has an orchard) and the mysterious Circlestone along the way.

Why not escape your frigid climate and hike a warm and wild section of the country to amazing places that cars cannot reach?

Topographical Map of Proposed Route

See CalTopo map


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Historical March weather averages in the mid-70s during the day and 30s-40s at night. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 90s and freezing temperatures at night. We even experienced freak snowstorms in 2006 & 2011 and 100 degrees in 2015 & 2017 so anything can happen. But overall, expect a warm respite from your end-of-winter blues.

Probable Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Rick Romine
Any Other Guide(s) TBD


The hardest parts of this trip is lack of water in dry years and overgrown trails after wet years. When water is scarce, we may have to carry 8 liters of it in anticipation of not finding any for two days. We will keep tabs on water availability as the trip approaches, but water is more important than just about anything else we carry. And sometimes, vegetation can grow rapidly and block the trail, especially noisome when it's catclaw.


$1675 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Phoenix, AZ (PHX) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, campground fees, National Forest permits, and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.


The Superstition Wilderness is the site of the very first Fatpacking trip back in 2005. It is also the favorite destination of the company's founder even if it doesn't have the same name cachet as say, the Grand Canyon.

Back to top
Sign Up For a Trip
Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Fly or drive into Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX). The best time to arrive is between 9AM and Noon, but if you have everything in order and are "ready to go" for a 3PM departure, you can arrive later.

We will pick you up at the airport and will attempt to consolidate trips so please be patient as you may be waiting up to an hour or possibly more for pickup.

We will assemble at: Guide Deb's House, 12419 S Suki Ct Phoenix, AZ 85044

While you should have already had a virtual equipment shakedown with one of our staff pre-trip, we will go over a few items again to make sure you are prepared.

If necessary, we may take a quick trip to REI Tempe, 870 N 54th Street, Chandler, AZ, for forgotten or last minute equipment

Make your own trail mix bar

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Your spare bag(s) will be kept at the home of Fatpacking guide, Deb. Please keep these to a small amount if possible.

At around 3PM, shuttle to campsite: TBD, To Be Determined Site(s): Trailhead

Shuttling will take about 2.5 hours

Guides prepare dinner in camp. On some trips with longer shuttle times, we may opt to go out for an opening dinner at a local restaurant. (Cost of restaurant dinner not included in trip price)

Camp at TBD, To Be Determined Site(s): Trailhead

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Second set of "before" body composition measurements taken

Start hiking the West Pinto Trail (#212), elevation 3400'

Hike 2.4 miles on the West Pinto Trail (#212) to Oak Flat, elevation 3700'

Hike about 3.6 uphill miles on the West Pinto Trail (#212) to a dispersed campsite hopefully near water, elevation 4350'.

Dispersed camp in the wilderness about as close a flat spot as we can find, elevation 4350'

Miles today: 6.0 miles. Total to date: 6.0 miles

Possible Bailout: Miles Trailhead

Friday, March 29, 2024

Hike about 2.7 uphill miles on the West Pinto Trail (#212) over the summit of Iron Mountain to Iron Mountain Spring, elevation 5500'.

If it's a dry year, fill water here

Hike 0.6 miles on the West Pinto Trail (#212) to the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109), elevation 4800'.

Hike 1.5 miles on the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109) to the Rogers Canyon Trail (#110), elevation 4370'.

Hike 2.3 miles on the Rogers Canyon Trail (#110) to some cave dwellings, elevation 3800'.

Hike 1.5 miles on the Rogers Canyon Trail (#110) to Angel Basin, elevation 3680’.

Camp in Angel Basin with several flat spots and incredible sweeping views (water generally available, but not always), elevation 3680’.

Miles today: 8.6. Total Mileage: 14.6.

Possible bailouts: Rogers Trough, FR-172A.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Hike about 5.5 miles on the Frog Tanks Trail (#112) to Plow Saddle Spring for reliable water, elevation 4430'

Hike 0.5 uphill miles on the Plow Saddle Trail (#287) to Plow Saddle, elevation 4800’

Camp at Plow Saddle, elevation 4800’

Miles today: 6.0. Total Mileage: 20.6

Possible Bailout: 1 day away

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Day-Hiking only today, leave camp set up.

Day-Hike about 3.2 miles on the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109) to a social trail to Reavis Falls, elevation 4450'

Day-Hike about 6.0 round trip miles to Reavis Falls, elevation 3080'

Reavis Falls is a normally remote, long day-hike. Now that road access via the Apache Trail is closed for 5 miles because of a flood in 2020, expect much more solitude.

Day-Hike about 3.2 miles on the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109) back to Plow Saddle, elevation 4800'

Camp at Plow Saddle, elevation 4800’

Miles today: 12.4. Total Mileage: 33.0

Possible Bailout: Apache Trail

Monday, April 1, 2024

Hike 2.6 miles on the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109) to Reavis Ranch, elevation 4840’.

Hike 0.7 miles on the Reavis Ranch Trail (#109) along Reavis Ranch to Reavis Creek for reliable water, elevation 4870'.

Fill all water vessels in anticipation of a dry camp tonight.

Hike 1.7 uphill miles on the Fire Line Trail (#118) to Circlestone Spur Trail, elevation 5500'.

Hike 0.8 uphill to Circlestone, elevation 6000'. Nobody really knows what this place is.

Camp at Circlestone, elevation 6000'

Miles today: 5.8. Total Mileage: 38.8

Possible Bailout: 1 day away

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Hike 0.8 downhill miles to the Fire Line Trail (#118), elevation 5500'.

Hike 1.8 downhill miles on the Fire Line Trail (#118), to the Campaign Trail (#256), elevation 4500'.

Hike 4.5 miles on the Campaign Trail (#256) to Oak Flats, elevation 3690'.

Water is generally reliable here

Camp at Oak Flats, elevation 3690'

Miles today: 7.1. Total Mileage: 45.9

Possible Bailout: Miles Trailhead

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Hike 2.5 miles on the West Pinto Trail (#212) to the Miles Trailhead, elevation 3400’

End of hiking

Miles today: 2.5. Total Mileage: 48.4

Possible Bailout: Miles Trailhead

Shuttle back to Phoenix and check into local hotel

Shuttle back to local hotel: La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, 911 S 48th St, Tempe, AZ, 85281, 480-897-7900.

Gather your off-trail items from storage

After body composition measurements taken

Dinner and awards ceremony at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Stay in our local hotel (included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Take free airport shuttle or we will pay for a shared cab/Uber

Back to top