You Will Feel Like You're In Lord Of The Rings While On This Dramatic Arizona Trail
*Cue epic trailblazing music*
We swear half of the Lord of the Rings movies are just hobbits walking along rolling green hills set to epic trailblazing music. If you’ve ever obsessed with LOTR folklore, it’s time to take your epic journey - sans the Mordor part. We’ve found just the place. Battleship Mountain hike is a long trek through some of Arizona’s most beautiful natural scenery.
Since the trail is 11.5 miles roundtrip, we recommend starting early in the day. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you, as there is a 443-foot elevation gain.
Nestled deep within the Superstition Mountains, you will be surrounded by dramatic rocky peaks and unique desert landscapes everywhere you turn. You don’t have to wait to take pics until you get to the top. The entire hike is beautiful!
Make sure to stop and take a minute to appreciate the diversity of the geological formations. Since there is no maintained trail, natural cliff pathways make up most of the hike.
You’ll need to do a little bit of bouldering and climbing to reach the top of the mountain. This hike isn’t for the faint of heart!
Wear proper hiking shoes that have excellent traction and plan accordingly. We also recommend wearing long pants, since some thorns and weeds can easily attach to your clothing.
There are several ways to access Battleship Mountain, and each of them is beautiful. One of our favorite routes is via First Water Trailhead.
From there, you will follow the path to the Second Water Trail east to Boulder Canyon Trail. Head south to the tip of Battleship Mountain.
Here, you can leave the trail and climb the mountain from the southern peak to its northern end. You will return the same way that you came. You can get full directions on the route here.
If you want to reach the very top of the mountain, proceed with caution. You will have to cross a narrow wooden bridge, followed by steep, scattered boulders.
While it may look like the path has dead-ended, keep going! The view from the top has jaw-dropping panoramic views. On a clear day, you can see the entire valley for miles and miles around.
Make sure to take plenty of pictures once you get to the top; you're going to want to document the memories!
And if you're feeling extra Tolkien-inspired, nothing's stopping you from making a ring out of twigs and dramatically throwing it over the mountain's edge - Just sayin'.
Editor's Note: We strongly recommend starting this hike early in the morning. The best time to go is during the fall to avoid the heat. Watch your footing, wear appropriate clothing, and make sure to leave no trace. This trail is not dog-friendly. It is easy to lose your way along unmarked paths, so make sure to travel in a group and be mindful of your surroundings.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.