An easy Goldfield hike to start out with is the Bulldog Canyon Loop. I had heard that route-finding is difficult in the Goldfields because the trails are less traveled. I didn't find that to be true, and I would say that for most people, the biggest challenge will be driving to this Tonto Forest trailhead. I'm including photos here of some of the fuzzy route-finding areas. Hope this helps. I did this hike on a Wednesday late morning, and I didn't see another soul on the trail until the very end when a dirt bike passed me. You will have solitude, but my cellphone worked for most parts of the trail.
The Bulldog Canyon Loop starts at the Dome Mountain trailhead. If you are coming from metro Phoenix, then you will exit US 60 at Idaho Road and head north. Continue heading north on Idaho Road and do NOT turn at the intersection for AZ 88. At McKellips, turn right and head east. At Wolverine Pass, turn left and head north. At Tonto Street, turn right and head east. At Cactus Road, turn left and head north. At McDowell, turn right and go east until you reach the trailhead, which is straight ahead after the road bends north. There is a large dirt parking lot at the trailhead.
The trail around Bulldog Canyon starts on Forest Service Road 10 (FS 10) heading north. You are following a dirt road here. At the split, bear right on Forest Service Road 1356 (FS 1356.) These forest service roads are labeled with their numbers on brown sign posts. At this point, it becomes a little difficult to follow FS1356 because there are ATV roads crossing over your road. Just keep trying to follow the most road-like road which will be heading northeast and climbing gently uphill with a ravine on your left. You will know that you are on the right track when you get to the top of the hill, and you are rewarded with this view of Dome Mountain and and the adjoining peaks:
In this photo, you can also see where the road divides, and you can turn right and follow FS 1356, or you can turn left on an unmarked road. You want to turn LEFT here and follow the road that is now heading northwest. You are beginning to make your loop where you are always going to be bearing left to get around the big dark mountain on your left. If you continue bearing to the left on this road, pretty soon you will find yourself walking in a stream-bed. Technically, you could stay walking in his stream-bed, but there is a convenient trail that winds in and out of the stream-bed and allows you to avoid some deep sand and thorny bushes. Here is what the first sight of this convenient trail out of the stream-bed looks like:
We also had the handy advantage of following piles of horse poop on this trail so even with the winding nature, we still knew we were on the right track. If you've followed this trail correctly into the canyon, then you will end up at an area of pools of water that look like a big slick of lava hardened here:
Here's where you want to look up and to the right (northwest), on the high cliffs above, where you can see the Mask Arches. One arch looks like it has a Saguaro growing through it:
Continue following this stream-bed down until you will leave Bulldog Canyon via a defined trail bearing off to the left. Again, you will be following a trail around a stream-bed. Here's a landmark:
Just about the time that you are sick of walking in sand that looks like this (pretty but slow walking):
Now, you will intersect back with with FS 10, and you will want to leave the stream-bed of thorny bushes and bear left up the dirt road:
You will follow FS 10 all the way back to the trailhead parking lot (about 1.5 miles from here.) Along the way are great views of the Superstitions all the way to Weaver's Needle to the east. Looking south on a clear day are views of the San Tan Mountains.
Length: 4.7 miles
Elevation gain: 600 feet
Time it took us: 3 hours with photo stops & route finding
Dogs okay: Yes