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

Wants Map
1 day ago

dirt road follows dry river bed, VERY SANDY. Use 4 wheel low and be patient. first half of hiking trail is easy-moderate. half-way to two-thirds is moderate and begins rock. last third is very rocky and climbing. SPECTACULAR valley view. FRESH AIR!! windy day, partially cloudy and natural air conditioning LOL
Stay hydrated, used 2 liters on way up. one and a half liters on way back. quite a challenge and well worth the hardwork :D

on Quartz Peak Trail

7 days ago

I love this hike! I enjoy the drive to it. Steep incline is a definite workout. Go early because one the sun is above the mountain range very limited shade. I didn’t make it to the peak, but if you do wear reliable shoes and a walking stick or trekking poles recommended for balance.

Pretty trail!

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.

9 days ago

Beautiful hike, lots of shade if you start early. Alternated between seeing a fair number of people and no one. Good views of downtown for a minute, but nice to start and finish on the south side!

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.

Pretty trail. I’ve only done the start but plan to dig in further.

10 days ago

7.3 miles, 2:31 hours. Excellent hike. Ran some of the flats and down. For a solid workout, do the Bursera Loop Counterclockwise via Elimination Trail going up. Wow, awesome! Flowers are blooming and trails are empty during the week. Lovin’ it!!

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.

15 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

Good hike with amazing views!

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

pretty good trail looking forward 2 hitting it

I did the Gateway trailhead to Bell loop and prospector trail to jeep trail. DAMN! This is hard.. I mean I have done rim to rim in 11 hrs so I'm no slouch but the 30 degree incline over the last 2 miles or so, on pavement... It's harder coming down than going up

19 days ago

Climbed it on 1/1/2019. We've had near record lows and so the temps were in the 30's when we started. It quickly warmed up, well we did, hands were cold without gloves but outer layers got peeled in the first half mile. The views are fantastic, the climb is challenging. We had snow at the top which was fun being in a light patch of snow and looking into Phoenix Valley.

Look for the cairns along the way, the trail is mostly marked pretty well with them, although coming down we lost them a few times & had to backtrack.

I would go much slower in the warmer months for fear of snakes with all the rocks. I would recommend some agile work or climbing gloves because there are several scrambles along the way and that rock is sharp and jagged. Plus take a comb for Cholla removal because you will likely get it somewhere, even if its just in your bag.

I'll reiterate what was said previously, min of 3 liters of water, and it warmer, take more. The nearest service is well over an hour away and even when you get down off the mountain will have a drive back to Maricopa, Gila Bend or Buckeye (depending on your personal route).

Cell reception is decent at times, but you will likely be roaming the entire time and your battery will suffer. Can't recommend it enough, very cool climb all around and glad I went.

22 days ago

Parking for ~5 vehicles east of 43rd Ave at Estrella. 1/2 mile to San Juan Lookout, then chose your trailhead to Alta or National Trail. Did the full loop, 9.76 miles, ~2,150’ elevation gain, took about 4 1/2 hours. First half of Alta Trail the most challenging with steep hills. Trails fairly well marked and groomed. Lightly traffic (saw ~12 people). Good hike and enjoyed

I love this area you feel like you and some other country is such a beautiful beautiful lovely

mountain biking
25 days ago

Parking is sparse in neighborhood with lots of no parking signs. Trailhead is at big wooden gate; go around it on left side.
Trail is a gradual, consistent uphill for first 3.75 miles (advanced beginner level). Then 0.5 miles of more steep trail to get to the fire road that leads to the ridge. Overall, lots of gravel makes the trail harder to pedal but is do-able. Canyon is woodsy and I was in shade at noon almost the whole time. This portion of trial: 4.25 miles, 950 ft elevation gain.

Poorly marked. A lot of litter scattered around. Have seen better views on other South Mountain trails. We actually didn’t enjoy this trail much at all.

Tried to do this hike on 12/9/18. The southern most part of the trail along the creek seemed to be washed out or very poorly marked. Gave up on the hike because it seemed like there was no trail and it was getting close to sunset. Turned an intended 4.6 mile hike into a 10 mile hike as I backtracked most of the trail.

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.

one of the longest trails iv’e ever done. start early because it will take you all day and bring a lot of water/food. also i was the only one on the entire trail so i’d recommend hiking with someone in case anything happens. it was as peaceful as can be and extremely scenic. it sure is an extensive trail but the view at the end is totally worth it.

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.


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.

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.

Rocky in some parts and tough climb at end but worth it.

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

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.

trail running
2 months ago

Good trail run. Easy to maneuver, lightly trafficked.

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