Silly Mountain Hiking Trail: Backpack Pat’s Adventures

Silly Mountain Hiking Trail: Backpack Pat’s Adventures

Cacti stand tall during a hike amidst the beautiful scenery off the Silly Mountain trailhead.

Hi Everyone,

Backpack Pat here. Welcome to my first travel blog, where we explore hiking Silly Mountain! It’s a new year, a new month, and a new opportunity for local adventure. I will be your local tour guide to help explore the Apache Junction area and the local legends surrounding us over the coming months and years.
When you are searching for, “things to do in Phoenix”, be sure to search all of the points of interest in and around Apache Junction as there is so much to explore.

A sign showing educational information about the plants visitors can see during Silly Mountain hikes.


When is it best to hike Silly Mountain Arizona

January is a perfect month to explore the east valley, not just for the beautiful cool weather, but because the days are getting longer, which means more sunlight to experience all of the glorious sights and sounds of one of the best hikes in Apache Junction. January is also one of the peak months when our area hosts out of town guests and travelers – we warmly welcome those that are not from the area.

My first feature is going to be the only mountain within the city limits of Apache Junction, Silly Mountain, which is adjacent to US Highway 60, making it an easy attraction to reach. Despite its humorous name, that’s a for a different blog, The Silly Mountain hiking trail is full of surprise, splendor and offers spectacular views for everyone. On top of great hiking trails that are excellent for folks who want to go up a steady incline for a couple of miles,

Silly Mountain also boasts Apache Junction’s Botanical Walk – two great points of interest in one location.

A view from the top of a Silly Mountain hike.


Exploring Silly Mountain Botanical Walk

Apache Junction’s Botanical Walk, which is located at the base of Silly Mountain, is handicap accessible, including parking and bathrooms, and offers an up-close glimpse to the desert landscape. Learning about the dozens of local native plants and cacti is possible when you traverse through the designated pathway.

Be sure to turn around and take the views of the east valley and look north to capture even more stunning views of the Superstition Mountains. The Botanical Walk has been around since 2010 and is one of the few desert botanical walks in the east valley. This area of Silly Mountain Park features over 250 indigenous plants laid throughout the 1/3-mile path.

If you feel like you learned a lot from the Botanical Walk and you are ready to get more steps in, then check out one of the trail heads on Silly Mountain. You will find trail maps as the main sign that greets you at the base of Silly Mountain, but you can also view the trails on the City of Apache Junction’s website or by going to

A sign describing the Silly Mountain Botanical Park, a popular nature walk near Apache Junction.

When I traversed Silly Mountain, I took the Palo Verde Trail which treks around the northern portions of the mountain and then fed into the Superstition View Trail. Since it has been some time since I hiked in the desert, I took the easy trail, but don’t let the gradual terrain fool you, there are plenty of views to enjoy and the terrain does get a little steep as you go farther into the Silly Mountain hiking trails.


Palo Verde Trail Hiking Tips

It is best to stay on the trail system and to go with a buddy just in case you have not been on this trail before or if you are a beginner. The hike does not take a ton of energy, but there are some terrain changes that are steeper. Despite the 300+ foot elevation change from the parking lot to the top of Superstition Mountain, it was a great time to catch up with my hiking buddy, my brother, take in the sites, and say hello to all of the other friendly hikers on the trail. I pulled out the water bottle a few times from my trusty backpack, so don’t leave your house without water.

Lush rolling green hills adorning the hills during a hike on the Palo Verde Trail.


Are dogs allowed on Silly Mountain?

Dogs are allowed on Silly Mountain and there were a few hikers that brought their canine companions along, but it’s requested to keep your dog on a leash due to the wildlife and the number of people traversing the trail on any given day. If you dog is not ready for some rocky terrain, then it might be best to take Rocky to the Dutchman Dog Park or on a stroll around one of the local parks.


Enjoying the Views from Silly Mountain

Once about halfway up the mountain, turn around and look at all of the natural, and man-made, beauty in the area. With the 300 days of clear, sunny skies, you can see downtown Tempe and Phoenix to the west. If you are on the other side of the mountain, you will probably notice all of the gorgeous homes and golf courses in nearby Gold Canyon. This blog will cover the various golf courses in a future post. So about an hour into the hike, it was time to turn around and greet new folks that we did not previously encounter. This was also a great time to stop and see the views that we may not have seen while going up.

A sign directing visitors toward more Silly Mountain trails and the Interpretive Trail loop.

After two hours of hiking, we looked for a local Apache Junction eatery to grab a bite to eat and chat about what we saw on the hike. If you are looking for a local restaurant to refuel your batteries after a morning of afternoon of learning and hiking, then check out the many great local options in Apache Junction by visiting

  • January 31, 2023
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  • Adventure , Lifestyle , Outdoor
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