Explore Backpacking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking  Map

I love this hike. I've done it twice and it never gets old. Very scenic, very quiet, with a decent amount of shade. Bring lots of water and stay prepared for unforseen weather patterns.

This is a favorite of mine, always chances for beautiful pictures. I will keep coming back to this one!

My FAVORITE trail! I try to get there at least for my birthday every year. Beautiful beautiful trail!

This was a nice hike. Nothing really technical about it other than a few river crossings. The water was low for us and never got above our chins. The trail is hard to follow at times, but you can’t get lost. There is always a wall on either side. We actually found that if you start walking toward one wall or the other you may cross about 5 trails. At the turn around point we decided to climb one of the cliffs for a nice view. We also did some side trips up a couple of the washes that were really neat. Overall, we logged 7 miles. Easy hike even for a beginner, just be prepared to get your feet wet.

2 months ago

I’ve hiked this in the snow and in the fall colors. Both were beautiful hikes. I made it to the top lookout (just past the hoodoos) but have never continued on. It’s a somewhat easy hike. I’ve only been on weekdays and only seen a few other people which makes it nice and quiet.

Love this hike!

This was a casual hike compared to the rim ascent/descent. The signs basically say it's a 12 mile RT from Phantom Ranch. We had 3 different GPS watches in our group and they all came in around 18-19 miles round trip. It's a pretty cruise-y trail so there are not a lot of elevation changes, so we were able to maintain a pretty good pace and even then it took us about 6 hours round trip, not including the hour we spent at the falls. 3 mph+ for 6 hours is at least 18 miles RT. Falls were worth it though. Heading north, you come to a sign that says 'Ribbon Falls via Bridge" that points straight/right. It will take you up a decent hill before coming down to the bridge. I guess they purposely steer people that way because you are able to go left at that sign, but there is a water crossing (at least as of 10/21) that required you to take off your shoes or get submerged.

Doable in a single day - it's practical to go back because of transport. I did it in 10.5 hours. It's smart to leave before sunrise. Think about bringing water, not every water source was open when I went.

Anyway, it's a great hike. Going down the canyon is THE thing to do over there. Hiking on the rim isn't the same - you'll get the full experience of the size of the canyon!

Also, if you have to choose south rim vs north rim...I'd vote for south rim because it's closer to the colorado river. You also have more decent choices (hermit, britgth angel, tanner)

3 months ago

This trail was much more then I expected. As it is Fall right now, the aspen trees are changing their colors to a golden yellow. Very cloudy out, and left before the rain started to fall. Very green pine trees, yellow grasses, and a little bit of the wildflowers left. Easy hike, very quiet as we saw very few people. We crossed the creek once. Mt. Baldy wilderness has many recreational opportunities. Definitely adding this area to our bucket list! Great place to hike!

3 months ago

Excellent trail! A fairly easy one to bring first-time backpackers on. I was surprised we had issues with coyotes in the area. They usually keep to themselves but there were three that were testing us the whole night, walking through our campsite and later in the early morning, we had one yelling outside our tent.

Incredible, "inter-active", versatile view hike. start at lonely dell ranch on google maps, bring some water proof shoes, and if you want to not handle with water logistics issues- keep in mind to bring some water purify instruments/pills to get as much water that you like from the river.
The hike is flat- yet extremely muddy - some of the crossings as a result consume some more time.
Watch for flash floods notifications before visiting - this hike can be washed rapidly due to the tender texture of the soil and the already significant presence of water along the trail.

We loved this hike. We basically had the entire hike to ourselves on a Sunday morning. Well maintained, spruce, Aspen at every turn, we will return. Not sure if the distance shown above is accurate, as the signs seem to contradict these numbers, but it was a great hike. Highly recommended.

One of Arizona’s most beautifully, peaceful hikes for sure. The first four miles are relatively easy, after this point though, the stream fades off as you start the truer gain in elevation through switchbacks in the mountain. I took the West Baldy Trail, returning the same way and my watch clocked in closer to 15 miles RT.

4 months ago

So amazing! Between the rock formations and the green surroundings, this is my new favorite trail. Highly recommend starting early to avoid storms. They rolled in by noon today. We made it back just in time!

4 months ago

Amazing greenery due to a month of rain. Hiked in rain and hail but had proper gear. #94 was not strenuous. It got sloppy with the rain but very worth seeing the view at 10,400 and the old growth pines.

4 months ago

I came in from Lodgepole Campground and did this as an out and back. There is definitely a good elevation gain and I'm not entirely sure of the mileage, but it was really worth it. There were almost no bugs at the lake and with how still the lake was the full moon shined extra bright! The fire wood on the peninsula is pretty sparse so you may need to trot out a little further than you'd like to gather some wood to burn.

Beautiful hike especially after a good monsoon. We followed the running creek enjoying the wildflowers and crazy looking mushrooms. Will wear long sleeves next time as I got stung by a bee like insect two separate times.

we did the trail without map, back and fourth in a day! wish we had known there was campsites at the lake - it would have been a lovely place to wake up. highly recommended

Absolutely amazing trail, loved it!

Awesome trail. The only think I could say negative, is I got stung by a wasp or bee or something on my wrist. Hurt for a short time, Then all was good!

Loved this trail and it’s beauty! Easy to forget I was in Arizona in July! Beautiful views, wildflowers and meandered along a river. Do not hesitate to try this trail if you are wary of the “difficult” rating. We did 2.5 miles and back—easy for even a novice like me!

Just took my 5 yr old on this hike with the family. We caught a bunch of rain, but really enjoyed the hike.

5 months ago

This trail map is very misleading. The whole loop adds about 7 miles to go via JO's Pass and then back to Weaver Lake.

We were at Jennie Lake and it took us almost all day to head to Weaver Lake.

The AllTrails map is incorrect.

An amazing day hike. Beautiful views and wildlife sighting. If you go in the summer, be prepared for weather shifts. We got stuck in a thunder storm on the way back out.

I started from the north end of the trail. there were a lot of cattle on and around the trail. that was fine, except it seemed like I was chasing them. the day started a bit cloudy. I turned back hoping to miss the rain, that didn't happen. if I were to hike this trail again, I would start on the south end.

Nice trail, high elevation does take some getting used to but as many note, absolutely beautiful, pictures do not do this one justice. will recommend to friends, and will do it again.

6 months ago

I couldn't recommend this hike strongly enough. We feel privileged to have been selected for one of the limited number of permits issued each year to hike into Keet Seel. The hike was recently selected by Arizona Highways as the hike of the month, which will only serve to increase the demand for permits.

Our party of 4 decided to do the hike in 2 days vs a single day so we could take our time and fully enjoy the surroundings and exploring the Keet Seel cliff dwellings. We opted to stay at the Monument's camp grounds the night before we hiked into the canyon so that we could get an early start while the air was still cool.

I would rate the difficulty of this hike somewhere between moderate and hard. Hard, primarily because of the amount of water you are required to carry and having to traverse thru so much sand. We carried 7 liters of water each into the canyon. We cache about 1/3rd of our water near the first marker once we were in the canyon so it would be available for the climb out. This worked well for us, and we never ran out of water. I would strongly discourage anyone from considering filtering their water. Cattle and feral horse droppings quite literally line the stream bottom. In fact, it's virtually impossible to avoid walking thru it.

For shoes I would recommend "WATERPROOF" hikers or trail runners, preferably medium height. You could also consider low gaiters if you prefer low shoes. I definitely would not recommend trail runners that are not waterproof unless you like to remove you shoes every couple miles to dump out the copious amounts of fine sand that will filter into your shoes. Your shoes will get wet as you will be continuously crossing the shallow stream bed. Luckily the Arizona sun will dry your shoes quickly once you get the camping area.

The camping area near the cliff dwellings is a beautiful spot, surrounded by fencing to keep the cattle and horses from entering the area. The composting toilets are clean and well kept with virtually no smell.

I would highly recommend this backpacking experience. Especially if you enjoy beautiful/remote locations, star filled night skies w/ virtually no light pollution, and some of the most incredible ancient cliff dwellings to found anywhere. Remember your hats, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Such beautiful scenery with a beautiful meandering creek. Lots of green. Wild strawberries! We ate along the way. And what were those blue trees? We went 10-11 miles round trip so not all the way, but good memories.
Stayed in Show Low the night before. Fantastic breakfast at Sweetheart Cafe before driving an hour to the trailhead. We were two families with plenty of kids on Fourth of July. Lightly trafficked trail that day. Finished the day with dinner and fireworks in Payson. Then a drive back to the valley. A wonderful day.

My friend and I did this hike a few days ago and it was BEAUTIFUL! We started at the East trailhead and hiked all the way up to the connection to the West trailhead. This is by far, one of my new favorite hikes! The weather was perfect and it was just gorgeous! There are several stretches where you have to go over or under fallen trees, but I think it just makes the hike more exciting! ;) The thing I found most difficult was the elevation. I was definitely out of breath as we were ascending. It’s absolutely worth it though! :)

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