Echo Canyon and Sarah Deming Canyon Loop

MODERATE 34 reviews

Echo Canyon and Sarah Deming Canyon Loop is a 8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Willcox, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,863 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Also known as "The Big Loop" and traverses multiple connecting trails in the Chiricahua NM. Begin at the Echo Canyon trailhead, connect to Upper Rhyolite Canyon, then to Sarah Deming, to the Heart of Rocks Loop, pass the Big Balanced Rock to Inspiration Point (the walk on Inspiration Point adds 1 mile to his loop hike), then continue to Mushroom Rock and end via Ed Riggs to complete the loop.

hiking
6 days ago

We did the Big Loop today and loved it! The weather was perfect so we decided to veer off on the Heart of Rocks Loop as well as Inspiration Point. The hike was challenging, but the views were so worth it! The staff at the Visitor’s Center was very helpful when we arrived, offering a map and information regarding the trails and the shuttle even though they had not opened yet. They were also very friendly when we stopped to buy a souvenir after our hike. I would definitely recommend this hike to others, and we definitely plan to go back!

1 month ago

Started at Echo Canyon parking lot and entered to the right into the canyons. Beautiful views. If you're doing the whole loop back to the parking lot, it's not 8 miles like listed, it's between 10-12 miles. For us ended up being 11.8 miles because of the confusion at balancing rock and Heart of rock junction. We did not do the heart of rock loop so keep that in mind for your mileage. The second half of the trail past Balancing rock is not as breathtaking as the canyons but still beautiful. It's all mostly up hill from there!! 7 hrs total time for an unexperianced 54 yr old. well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

We camped the night before the hike and mosquitos the size of horse fly’s arrived! Lol.

The hike was way worth it. Every turn was jaw dropping. Wall Street was so cool. Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. We were sandwiched between flash floods and oncoming fires so we couldn’t do it all. Will be back to finish it all.

Love this place!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice! You can see everything on this trail. Various angles to see these rocks.

4 months ago

Nice trail. Very rocky to negotiate but worth it. Spectacular views of rock formations and trees and forest.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike with varying environments and views. Allow for ~7 hours with stops to really appreciate it all.

hiking
5 months ago

I giggle when I read the trail is supposed to start from echo canyon and finishing with Ed Riggs... Oh my... We missed that memo... And this shuttle they speak of.. Lol missed that too. We did it in reverse... If you decide to go to echo canyon parking... Don't go Ed Riggs in reverse bc you'll be in awe of the scenery take lot of pictures and take breaks to snack... We started late... And took lots of pictures which murdered trail time... And yet we are rookies and went to the visitor center and got advice and it wasn't made clear to us what we were about to endure... I wouldn't take it back for the world but I would have gotten there at 9am. We started at 1115am...and sun set around 630pm. We went the extra mile round-trip loop to Inspiration Point and enjoyed our time up there probably a little bit longer than we should have... But definitely swing by Inspiration Point... You'll see lots of interesting trees that were burned from a previous fire then the breathtaking view of Inspiration Point was on point. We climbed on rocks and took lots of pictures and enjoyed the cool windy breeze. Truly an amazing trek. Back to the trail towards the Heart of Rocks trail... It had snowed a few days prior so we experienced snow patches and had actually utilized cleans snow for water bc we miscalculated... By the time we hit Sarah Deming we were getting tired and out pace wasn't super fast... Sun set on us when we hit the trail signs for Upper Rhyolite Trail which told us we'd hit Echo Canyon Trail in 1.1 miles and the Echo Canyon Parking in 2.8 miles... Pretty much in the dark. We had some sandwiches and granola bars and melted snow in our water bottles (except my Yeti decided to keep my snow frozen... Smh) so the last 2.8 miles took us a long time bc it was not long before it went pitch black... No moon... No nothing... I had a high lumens flashlight in my backpack (520 at high - - 250 at medium) mainly used medium to preserve battery life and it was challenging to say the least bc we couldn't find part of the trail where to go bc of the dark. We eventually found it and it was a serious uphill climb and the paths were challenging due to our fatigue... We found the sign for echo Park and couldn't see anything so I'm sure we missed some amazing formations... But we trekked the best we could and made it back to the Echo Canyon Parking lot Round 850pm. Yep. 2.5 hours after sundown. I had a great and patient hiking buddy and we laugh about surviving but if we didn't have that flashlight and trekking poles... We'd probably stayed the night... Learned a great lesson. Understand the map and the times it'll take to each trail and also incorporate time you're planning on taking in the views and photography and exploration... So awesome...just pissed we missed out on echo canyon... But i know about the shuttle now... What a difference that would make... Lol. Oh and the bathrooms at the Echo Canyon parking lot are the cleanest indoor outhouses Ive ever experienced. Time management is essential if you are going to go big (or you won't go home... Til Sunrise...) enjoyed it regardless... And thankful for the safe return. Definitely challenging for newbies especially now that I know we should have gone in reverse... Hmmph... The more you know. Can't wait to do it again soon!

hiking
5 months ago

I read a review about the shuttle that takes you up to Echo Canyon parking lot. There were many a surprised folks to learn that 1) even if you arrive at opening (8:30am) they are usually already full 2) you must sign up in person and cannot call ahead to reserve a spot. Confusing? Fortunately, We had not planned on the shuttle, but others had. It wasn’t just that this was the case, but the visitor center staff seemed disgusted by the questions about it. I felt awful for an older woman who simply didn’t know the area and had hoped to use the shuttle. She wasn’t given too many options for a nice plan B either. Again surprised that the staff wasn’t more helpful. Take home message? The shuttle is free, entry to park is free— perhaps the life of the shuttle is drawing to an end. Plan on a nice sustained hike out to Heart if Rocks via Ed Riggs, then back via Echo Canyon for spectacular sights. Took 5 hours to see all at a leisurely pace. Will never forget the unusual landscape. Amazing!

6 months ago

totally worth it

hiking
6 months ago

Highly recommend this hike! Absolutely the best way to spend your day. A very well maintained trail the whole way.

7 months ago

great hike with amazing views of mother nature in all her majesty.

hiking
8 months ago

Great moderate hike to see the hoodoos and balanced rocks. You can still see the effects from a fire in 2011. We did extra mile to Inspiration Point and it was worth it. Highly recommended

hiking
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

One of the most beautiful area that I have hiked. The loop is a must and heart of the rocks must be taken. Hiked on 3 April 2016

hiking
Saturday, January 28, 2017

The road to the trail head had snow on the shoulder. The trail had snow and ice on the north side. The views are worth the two hour drive and the cooler weather. Late January. Great area.

hiking
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Beautiful trail. Short climb at the beginning. Took a couple spur trails. Don't pass the Heart of Rocks, work the extra miles.

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4 months ago

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6 months ago

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10 months ago

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11 months ago

Thursday, April 27, 2017

hiking
Monday, March 20, 2017

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