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

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hiking
bugs
2 days ago

the hike was beautiful and the swimming hole at the end looked like it would be amazing in summer. totally worth it for the scenery itself though. there were quite a few small non biting bugs by the swimming hole though.

I just hiked this trail in mid-January. It started out kind of flat with not much to look at. Then, the trail began to gain a little elevation, slowly by slowly. As the elevation gained, the scenery just kept getting better and better. After about the first mile or so, the red rocks rose right in front of me as the sound of the water was heard below. There was not another soul in sight as this became one of the most magical hikes I have done in a while. After about 3 1/2 miles I reached the pools that this hike is known for. I did not expect such a stunning sight. I strongly recommend this hike.

on Horton Creek Trail

nature trips
6 days ago

Beautiful, easy trail. Elevation may bother you if you are from the Valley.

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.

It was gorgeous, but definitely not well marked so don't go alone and don't go if you've never hiked in AZ before. The views at the peaks were unbelievable, and even the sides of the mountains are something else. I highly recommend this trail in early spring months.

Hiked this trail two weeks ago with my husband. We started out at 7:30am and it was around 34 degrees. We parked at Mesquite and hiked Waddell to Ford Canyon. After the first mile and a bit of the hike, the upward elevation begins. The views are amazing. It is lightly traveled until you rejoin Willow or Mesquite. We didn’t pass another hiker for 3 hours. We chose to extent the hike by a couple miles and took Mesquite back, bypassing the shorter Willow route. I will hike this trail again and again, it’s one of my favorite in the area.

hiking
14 days ago

It’s a nice trail for the cooler weather months and if you stay well dressed (well covered) it’s a easy hike not being drained afterwards

14 days ago

Beautiful trail! Amazing views for a short distance! This trail has it all! We completed it in 3.5 hours with a nice lunch break by the water!!

Nice hike (ccw) very scenic and good excersize. Dont think I would do this in the summer months.

I hike this regularly. Beautiful hike, dogs love the water. Any level of hiker can hike this. In and out as far as you wish. Parking can be an issue on weekends so come early.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike and destination. Good pup hike too.

This trail will kick your butt with the incline lol.

As a fairly inexperienced hiker, this almost 10 mile trek took me about 5.5hrs to complete, but the view from the top was pretty spectacular. Granted I also had my Corgi child with me, so although you're shaded by trees for almost the entirely of the hike, extra water breaks were needed. (Side note: Although my pup made it the full length of the hike, it's not a great trail for small dogs. There were a lot of really rocky stretches that were a disadvantage to short legged pups & makes for slow-going.) It was also early November when I hiked this so we didn't go through as much water, but if you go during the warmer months, you'll want to pack enough to get you through. There's a bathroom at the top, but I didn't check to see if there was a place to refill drinking water since I still had plenty. There were also picnic tables set up if you were wanting a designated place to take a lunch break; from there you'll see a wide rocky road leading up toward the tower. That's where you're gonna head to then take the small trail to your left for amazing views of the surrounding forest, all the way down into Prescott. Lastly, if you want more of a workout, follow the trail clockwise since the first stretch is almost entirely uphill. If you want a more intermittent workout with an easier finish, take the trail counterclockwise. Enjoy!

This area is absolutely worth the trip and you need to add it to your list.
I wouldn’t even call this a “hike” or “trail”. It’s an outdoor adventure.
There is no defined path; instead you move in the river or on the banks.

The pictures listed here don’t do it justice.
If I could compare it to anything else it would be: Tanque Verde Falls and the Santa Cruz River outside Tubac combined inside of a canyon.

1) Recreation.gov is where you get a permit
2) We crossed the river almost 50 times in 5 miles one way.
3) The water was higher than we expected and was almost knee high in December.
4) The road is sketchy looking but passable in a Civic.
5) Chose your shoes carefully. We started by taking ours off at crossings, but with so many, we decided to soak our boots and socks. This was a good choice, and we hiked 10 miles without issue.
Others had strap-on sandals, beach gear, or old shoes. I would recommend your hiking boots, because the footing can be slick and it’s very rocky/sandy on the banks.
6) This was more challenging than we expected. Not because of distance or elevation, but because of the multitude of river crossings and spending time locating the best path. Plan to spend more time than expected. We averaged 35 min a mile with little downtime.

Did this trail back in September when it was about 101º outside and I like to call this experience my "Hell Hike." Went with a large group who were experienced and knew the way, otherwise I would've gotten lost. The trail isn't well marked. There's essentially no shade on the trail and make sure to bring plenty of water too. Just grueling in the heat; I had to take many breaks and spent way too long in the sun (ended up being around 6 hours). The trail is lightly trafficked - I don't remember seeing anyone else at all. However, this experience is mostly my fault, as I had never been on a hike in Arizona - I would NEVER recommend a beginner on this hike and learned this the hard way. I was sore for 3 days after, too. However, now that I'm a frequent hiker and the weather is in the 60s, I would definitely love to go back and try it again, and I'm sure I would have a better hike (and I can't wait to leave an updated, better review then).

Ford Canyon Loop, Counter Clockwise. This is a very scienc and secluded trail. I didn't see anyone from about 1/10 of a mile prior to the warning sign, until the junction of Willow Canyon and Mesquite Canyon trail intersection.

It's very desolate and the wash is 2 miles long of boulder scrambling to sand walking and climbing a few near vertical walls. You need at least 3 quarts of water if it's in the low seventies to a gallon or more if above mid seventies. This is not a hike for the causal hiker and is for experienced hikers only that have traveled off trails before.

A hiker died five years ago on this trail. You can read about it here. From what i got out of the story, they had plenty of water and started at 6:30am on a summer day. The temperature rose to triple digits which resulted in a heat related illness that progressed to the death of one of the hikers.

http://archive.azcentral.com/community/surprise/articles/20130625arizona-hiker-death-white-tanks.html

Some spots have exposure and the two walls are not difficult however a fall would result in injury.

Plan at least 4 to 5 hours for the loop which is around 10.0 miles long. This is the hardest trail in the White Tanks Park. Not a trail to be caught after it turns dark even with a headlamp, if your in the wash.

With all the warnings out of the way, this is a great trail, because of the solitude, scenery and varied terrain to hike and boulder hop through. It's suggested to not hike this trail alone. If you do, use a tracking program so a reliable person can be tracking you.

A good prep is to do Goat Camp Trail to the 4 or 5 mile marker starting from area one, as a out and back hike.

Another is the full loop on Mesquite Canyon Trail which starts and ends at area seven and is 8.6 miles and gains 1,580'.

The suggested way for Ford Canyon is to hike counter clockwise. The reason it's easier to climb up rock then climbing down. Also your done with the hazardous part at 5 miles meaning your less tired when going through the wash.

went to go hike based off descriptions on here however you do need to get a permit in advance, ranger said sometimes several weeks in advance especially for weekends. better luck next time I guess.

First time we hiked this trail so only went a couple miles in before turning around. We saw a Doe and her three fawns. A beautiful area and a nice easy hike. Looking forward to coming back and trying to finish all the way around and go to the Lookout.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike up to three spring going through the forest following the Horton Creek with some mini waterfalls all along. Very beautiful scenery, very peaceful and relaxing. This hike is at a moderate level.

hiking
1 month ago

Favorite hike in AZ! Ends at a swimming hole with some great spots to cliff jump at. Pretty long hike but all worth it once you make it to the water. Probs too cold in late fall/winter to get in water but great for Spring/summer.

Great for dogs

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is my favorite hike yet. The pine trees and creek are breathtaking. I highly highly recommend you make it to the top - the views are so worth it! It was very windy and chilly at the top and the trail toward the top is not marked. Allow yourself 4-5 hours.

Great hike today! Relatively easy hike.

One of the best!

The first 2 miles are very easy. Beautiful scenery and lots of greenery unlike a lot of AZ trails. There are lots of signs of wild life along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

I can imagine the crowds in the summer. In late November this was a calm trail but the overflow parking says it all. cool water holes for splashing, swimming and cooling off.

Beautiful!

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

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! The trail did get a bit rough, and was confusing in one spot. I had my older son go up to the top of the mountain, to look for more of a trail, but we really couldn’t make out where to go after a certain point.....around the 5/6 mile mark. We decided to come back down, as it was about 4, and we really didn’t want to chance getting stuck up there during the evening hours. Next time we will start earlier, and be more prepared. We are beginners, and new to Arizona.

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