Adjacent to rapidly expanding communities, the 70,900-acre Agua Fria National Monument is approximately 40 miles north of central Phoenix. The area is located on a high mesa semi-desert grassland, cut by the canyon of the Agua Fria River and other ribbons of valuable riparian forest, contributing to an outstanding biological resource. The diversity of vegetative communities, topographic features, and a dormant volcano decorates the landscape with a big rocky, basaltic plateau. The Agua Fria river canyon cuts through this plateau exposing precambrian rock along the canyon walls. Elevations range from 2,150 feet above sea level along the Agua Fria Canyon to about 4,600 feet in the northern hills. This expansive mosaic of semi-desert area, cut by ribbons of valuable riparian forest, offers one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest. In addition to the rich record of human history, the monument contains outstanding biological resources. The area is the home to coyotes, bobcats, antelope, mule deer, javelina, a variety of small mammals and songbirds. Eagles and other raptors may also be seen. Native fish such as the longfin dace, the Gila mountain sucker, the Gila chub, and the speckled dace, exist in the Agua Fria River and its tributaries.

fun hike for kids and dogs it's easy, we usually hike down to the spring and go swimming there are some pretty big fish the for the area and some petroglyphs and a mine entrance or lock box area with a big explosive sign around the area and ruins. fun family hike and place to hunt not much on views bit nice walking in the canyon

The most difficult part of this trail is finding it. The trailhead isn't marked, but it's about 1 mile North of the Sunset Point rest stop on 17N. Look for the windmill as others have mentioned. It's right off the freeway, so be careful pulling in and out. The gate was locked but we just squeezed through. This is really more of a walk than a hike, but there are some trickier areas of you go off-trail and explore the mine ruins a bit. Wear sturdy-soled shoes!

Short drive from I -17 on dirt road. Plenty of space to park. Trail runs through the wash (soft sandy dirt). Very easy hike. A great hike to do with the kids. There are some very pretty wild flowers throughout the trail which attacks some very beautiful birds. Enjoy!

Perfect weather day to take an easy walk and decided to check out Badger Springs. Not difficult at all. Great place to take kids since most of the trail was fairly wide. We arrived and only two other cars in the parking area. Nice peaceful and quiet little hike to a stream where we let the kids explore. Nothing strenuous for them and we had fun. As for the views, I’m giving it a 3.5 stars overall. It was decent but we will continue to search for something better.

I call this hike “a Walk In Heaven.” I have always hiked this in the wash. Caution not to do so during monsoon season for risk of flash flood. Large animal tracks - you won’t be alone! A very special place. Lisa B.

off road driving
4 months ago

I liked driving off road here but the roads were not clearly marked.

Thanks to the reviewer who mentioned the windmill and gate. Between that and the GPS, it was easy to find. We weren’t sure if we should go in, the place to squeeze though the gate had barbed wire. However some of it was cut so we went for it. We didn’t do the full thing, probably a mile in and back. Very pretty views, a couple of ruins (well a foundation) it was a nice easy hike. Complete solitude, except a few cows on the way back. I’d go again and go farther.

off road driving
4 months ago

I went to Agua Fria National Park, which is near the Bloody Basin road when you go North on I-17. What a fantastic afternoon of playing and exploring - sans rattlesnakes! The goal was to reach an ancient, Native American settlement, which was somewhat challenging to reach. My Jeep could have taken me there, but the dirt bike was faster, albeit more risky! ;)

If you'd like to see a short video (10m), it is here and on youtube :

https://youtu.be/f58Ba3MZa40

The first part are little clips showing the terrain along the way, but the majority of the video is from the settlement.

Nice outing. A little hard to find. Park in spot between the road and the windmill then squeeze thru the fence and you're on your way. There are some nice things to see. We added a little to the hike and went off the trail to see the mines up close.

Very easy hike with a puppy, 6 year old, and 9 month old in a carrier. No water but it has hardly rained in Phoenix for 4 months so no surprise there. Will come up again after a monsoon

This is a short, easy trail nestled in the bottom of a sandy wash. The petroglyphs make the trip extra worth it.

Close to Anthem and recommended for beginners

Gates off the highway are locked. If you want access you will have to park on the outside and walk in from the highway.

Nice scenic trail, a little to easy for my liking but I did enjoy it. The pools didn't have alot of water but there still was some in the pools further back. This was one of the trails on my list and glad I got a chance to do it!

It's a beautiful area. Great scenery in the high desert. It's difficult to stay on an actual trail on this hike however. It kinda intertwined with the wash/river. If there was a lot of water in the wash/river we wouldn't have been able to go all the way down to the petroglyphs or swimming areas.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

We did not believe we would find water when we were standing at the trailhead, but we did! Easy hike in, our three year old walked it and loved playing in the pools. Saw 7 people total. It seems we were a couple of weeks late as the creek is no longer flowing. Pools are not stagnant yet.

Easy hike and different then most because of the spring. Well worth the trip and bring a picnic lunch!

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Saw only two Sauarros.

hiking
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Very pleasant hike in and along the stream. The petroglyphs are up high at your 7 o'clock if you are standing at the water intersection facing the fork of the water. Lots of dried slit and sand amongst large rocks -- kids dream and nervous parent nightmare.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Right now there is plenty of water to swim in! Also, when you first arrive at the pond, look up and to your left & you will see a cool hieroglyphic!

hiking
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Very cool place my husband and I stumbled upon. Very wet and muddy/sandy in some parts. The river was flowing beautifully in March. Overall very easy but beautiful.

Monday, January 23, 2017

we hiked it this morning and due to recent rains there was plenty of water in the river and along the trail. Made for a pleasant hike.

hiking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

Started out easy with sandy soil then gradually turned into large rocks to climb around. Was pretty dry when we went. Some pools of water but no running water. Very nice views.

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Great hike! Super Easy

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Took me a minute to figure out where it is. If you pass a windmill and what looks like a tin storage container you've gone too far. There is a lot of cows around and I think I even saw a long horn as well. Make sure you wear shoes that you don't mind getting fecal matter on...there is a lot of cow poop out there. Other than trying to find the entrance it was a good 2.5mi hike/walk! Would definitely do this again. I highly recommend this for beginners or someone's who's looking to get active and kill some time!!

hiking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Nice little hike to take my 3 year old on her first "adventure," didn't find a waterfall tho...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Favorite hike of 2016. Completed in May- wouldn't want to try it in hot summer. Visited unexcavated pueblo ruins, found petroglyphs and plenty of potsherds. Never saw another soul and most recent entry in the logbook was from the day before. Went well beyond the marked trail and the views were well worth it. Definitely recommend 4x4 vehicle to get well out into the park- 'primitive' road may be too generous a description lol

hiking
Sunday, March 06, 2016

Happy (the dog) and I love, love, LOVE this trail, probably our favorite in all of Arizona. We seldom see any people, those we do run across occasionally are totally cool with Happy off leash. It's an easy sand walk on the trail, but if you do want some good up-and-down exercise, you can crawl all over the rocks in the gorgeous river canyon. Don't be surprised if you hike all morning and your tracking devices show you walked a half-mile and burned 17 calories, your standard phone GPS will likely drop out halfway up the trail. If a point is, leave your devices at home, and look up!! This is one fabulous walk, enjoy it!

hiking
Saturday, February 06, 2016

Access to the Agua Fria River is via the Badger Springs trailhead; however, once you hit the river, there is no longer any maintained trail. Instead, you will just continue southward through the canyon. Depending on the time of year and the amount of recent rainfall, the river could be little more than a trickle, or it could be waist-deep. There will be a significant amount of bouldering, and you'll need to watch out for thorn bushes and cacti. Wearing long pants to help avoid being stuck. You will need to cross the river multiple times due to obstructions. At Perry Tank Canyon, you may turn off the Agua Fria and continue east before turning around and exiting the way you came. If you see a large dilapidated pipe along the Agua Fria River, that's a water intake pipe from the abandoned Richinbar Mine. There is a separate trail along the plateau to reach the mine.

hiking
Saturday, February 06, 2016

This is a very interesting hike in the Agua Fria National Monument. It follows an old forest road and mining road to a collection of archeological sites. Petroglyphs, an ancient pueblo, and the remains of a mining operation can be found near the trail.

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