In the early part of the 1900s the King of Arizona (KOFA) Mine scoured this land for precious mineral deposits. Today, in a twist of fate, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge)protects the region's precious plant and animal life, including: one of the Arizona's largest desert bighorn sheep populations, a species nearly extirpated prior to the Refuge's establishment in 1939; less than 100 California fan palms, remnants of wetter days; and the rare Kofa Mountain barberry, found only in southwest Arizona. Approximately 82% of the Refuge has been designated as Wilderness, making this Arizona's second largest. In the north lie the Kofa Mountains, to the south the Castle Dome Mountains. Both are magnificently jagged peaks looming thousands of feet above the pristine desert floor of King Valley, which separates them.
From the official trail brochure, available at the trailhead: "The narrow canyon ahead of the parking lot is Palm Canyon. A half-mile foot trail starts at the upper end of the parking area. The trail is easy to follow, but is rough most of the way due to large rocks and has some steep sections. Allow an hour to make the round trip." We found all this to be accurate.
Although AllTrails has the length at 1.6 miles, it's actually just 1 mile round trip to the slightly elevated area near the middle of the canyon from where you can see the native palm trees growing in a side canyon on the north side. We didn't continue up the canyon (another .3 miles of steep climbing) from there. Note that there is no water or restrooms at the trailhead.
David T. on Palm Canyon Trail
Easy off-road drive on a well maintained dirt road. Nice hike up in the canyon.
David T. on McPherson Pass Trail
Nice scenic off road drive. Can be negotiated by standard 4X4 vehicle without much difficulty. There are a couple spots where you should be extra careful due to deep sand, large rocks or overhanging brush.