The Stats: Trail name: Praying Hands trail to Slot Rock Location: Superstition Mountain Range near Apache Junction, AZ Distance: 4.6 mile loop Elevation Gain: 955 feet Published Difficulty: Moderate Dog Friendliness: they'll pray that you bring them
The Praying Hands to Slot Rock hike is located on the northwest end of the Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction, AZ. The hike starts at the Crosscut trailhead where you’ll pass through a cattle fence and you’ll be on your way.
The area has a lot of intersecting trails that aren’t clearly marked, so I would definitely recommend bringing (or downloading) a map. I used AllTrails and had to reference the map several times to ensure we stayed on course. Aside from the way-finding challenges, the trail is correctly labeled as moderate.
The first mile on the trail is relatively flat terrain that meanders back through the desert floor toward the looming Superstition Mountains. To the right, you’ll catch sight of the first rock structure that could be considered “Praying Hands” resembling a person bowed over praying hands. To the left is your first view of the towering praying hands structure.
Hiking to the Praying Hands
Shortly after encountering the praying person rock formation, you will begin your uphill journey toward the real praying hands structure. Follow the trail to your left. There are a couple of places where it diverges on the steep path to the saddle. As long as you continue in the direction of the hands, you’ll be fine.
The praying hands are massive once you approach, and also look to be a rock climber’s paradise. I am not a rock climber, so I can not corroborate that. There was, however, a group of several who were climbing up the face of the left hand.
Closing the loop to Slot Rock
Many people hike to the hands and the continue back the way they came, however I would recommend continuing your trek past the praying hands for the duration of the loop. After a moderately short descent, the slot rock will come into view. You’ll know you’re there because it looks like the below.
The views along the entire loop are beautiful, however this spot makes what I would consider to be the best backdrop to a photo on the entire hike. Well, maybe with the exception of the Praying Hands themselves.
The remainder of the trail is nothing special. You’ll continue through your standard desert brush for a little over a mile. You may need to reference your map quite a bit. The trail is a pretty straight shot back to the parking lot, but can get a little confusing along the way.
I will admit: while I enjoyed the views on this hike, as well as the opportunity to mix things up, there are better options in the Superstitions.
Like what, you ask?
Pick up the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix book. Or view other trail options below. Happy hiking!