Take A Hike

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Because hiking on the Rim these days requires a pair of snowshoes, head south.

The best hike for this time of year is a visit to the Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness.

Many consider this spot to be the heart of the Southwest.

The hike opens up to rolling views on all sides. It's a great spot for contemplation and even better for such quiet moments if you do the hike on a weekday.

To get there, take Highway 87 south to Mesa, then take U.S. 60 east for 42 miles to milepost 204. Make a left into the Peralta Trails subdivision. The asphalt turns into a dirt road, which deadends at a parking lot and the trailhead.

The hike is 2.3 mile climb, which is not difficult for the experienced hiker, but could be hard for those who are out of shape or small children.

The climb is worth it. Find a comfortable spot for lunch and enjoy the panorama -- hoodoos in the foreground leading into blue mountains in the distance. Weaver's Needle itself is only a small piece of the attraction of this hike.

If you are looking for something more adventurous or a backpack trip, the saddle is only one stopping point in a larger network of trails that could keep you away from civilization for quite some time.

For maps and a complete description of this network, read "50 Hikes in Arizona," by Martin Tessmer.

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