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.

Google maps originally suggested parking on hwy 95 and walking 7 miles to the trail head, don't do that. Drive on the dirt road till the very end. The trail itself is mostly loose rocks and not entirely clearly marked. It was fun to climb and explore a bit. The views are beautiful. A good easy hike if you need to get out of the car for a little.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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.

More like a strenuous walk than a hike, but great destination. The palm trees are pretty outrageous, and you can nearly climb up to them (off-trail) to increase the difficulty. Dog-friendly. Nice way to spend an afternoon.

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nice trail to hike. At the end of the trail look up in the ridge of the mountain side and you will see the last of the palm trees native to Arizona. Dog friendly. Trail is usually empty. Bring water.

on Palm Canyon Trail

off road driving
Friday, May 29, 2015

Easy off-road drive on a well maintained dirt road. Nice hike up in the canyon.

off road driving
Friday, May 29, 2015

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.

hiking
Thursday, November 27, 2014

hiking
Saturday, September 06, 2014

hiking
Friday, February 28, 2014

off road driving
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nice drive, smooth dirt road with good parking lot. Good hike but not an easy one.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rocky. Some parts hard to find. Bouldering!

hiking
Sunday, December 11, 2011

The hike gets interesting AFTER the Palms sign. Quite a bit of bouldering and an pretty good view!