Praying Hands formation in the Superstition Mountains

Praying Hands to Slot Rock


Mileage: 4.3
Elevation gain: 1062 feet
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
Stars: ★★★
Difficulty: 2/5 (Ratings explained)
Steep in spots, sometimes hard to follow

Hike to Praying Hands, a striking and easily recognizable rock formation in the Superstition Mountains. Enjoy views of the Superstition Mountains as you wander among the other similar rock formations along the way, including a short rock chute nicknamed Slot Rock.

Trail Description

We recommend doing this lollipop loop in a counter-clockwise direction so you’ll come to the Praying Hands first and then go down the slot rock.

From the trailhead, take a short connector trail to the unmarked junction with Jacob’s Trail #58. We didn’t even notice this junction, but ended up on Jacob’s Trail anyway.

Jacob’s Trail #58

Turn right onto Jacob’s Trail at the signed junction. The trail is fairly flat as it travels through the occasional group of saguaros and a crowded forest of chollas on its way toward the base of the Superstition Mountains.

Saguaro cactuses on the way to Praying Hands in the Superstition Mountains

Keep left at the signed junction with Treasure Loop Trail.

Treasure Loop Trail #56

If you’re hiking this in the morning, you’ll get a nice reprieve from the sun along the Treasure Loop Trail. The trail starts to get a little more steep as you get closer to the mountains, but you’ll pass by a small bench where you can take a breather. Or do push ups, if you’re like us.

Watch your GPS route for the turn for the Praying Hands trail. It’s not marked, but there is a sign there trying to keep people on the Treasure Loop Trail.

Praying hands formation in the Superstition Mountains
Praying Hands is farthest left

Praying Hands Trail

This trail is not part of the official trail system, so it’s not as well groomed, but it still sees plenty of traffic. The problem is that people have gone every which way, so there are several trails that seem to branch off everywhere. Don’t sweat it too much. As long as you are still heading generally toward the saddle up to the left where you can already see the Praying Hands formation, you’ll get there.

Praying Hands

Once you get up to the Praying Hands formation, it no longer looks like praying hands, but it’s still an awesome experience to stand next to it and think about the crazy rock climbers who climb up the skinny fin on the right side.

Praying at Praying Hands rock formation

The trail continues past praying hands along the foothills of the mountain and then eventually loops around to the left where you’ll see Slot Rock straight ahead.

Slot Rock in the Superstition Wilderness
Slot rock, here we come!

Slot Rock

If you haven’t seen shade in a while, you’ll likely find some at the top of Slot Rock, so it makes a great stop for a snack. Continue down through the slot. Kinda cool!

Slot rock in the Superstition Wilderness

After the slot, head down and to the right. It can be easy to get onto the wrong trail here since there are a few different use trails in the area, so keep an eye on the map. If you’re in the right place, you should be on a fairly obvious trail that becomes very wide as it leads you back to your car.

Map & Directions

Location Superstition Wilderness, Apache Junction, Arizona

From the US60 take the exit for Idaho Road. Go north on Idaho Road to state route 88 and turn right. Follow this road past the Lost Dutchman State Park to the turn for First Water Trailhead. Turn right and follow the dirt road 4/10 of a mile to the parking area on the right. It is not marked, so GPS can be helpful. The road is usually passable in a passenger vehicle.

Fees/Passes None

Trailhead Facilities None

Download KML or GPX

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Disclaimer Outdoor activities have inherent risk, and we will not be able to tell you all the risks you may face. You are responsible for your own safety, so prepare as well as you can and know your limits. Follow this guide at your own risk. And have fun!

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