Ford Canyon Loop Trail

HARD 272 reviews

Ford Canyon Loop Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Waddell, Arizona that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,482 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

This is a tough hike! If temperatures are above 90 degrees, you will need more than 3L of water (assuming you hike it in a loop with Willow and Mesquite Canyon trails). This trail is the most interesting in the White Tanks because of its seclusion and varying scenery. You will hike through a sandy wash bottom, climb boulders, and see an old earthen dam.

hiking
2 days ago

I enjoyed this trail. It has a little bit of everything. I did it Counter Clockwise. I would recommend it and I will do it again.

recorded Ford Canyon Loop Trail

hiking
bugs
rocky
washed out
8 days ago

road biking
12 days ago

Nice

hiking
14 days ago

Mesquite Canyon trail is harder than this loop; there’s a lot of cover and spots where the trail’s hard to find, bring your AllTrails app.

hiking
14 days ago

Don’t take this trail lightly, it’s designated ‘Hard’ for a reason. It was a tough hike. All that said, it’s also one of most beautiful hikes! I started at Ramada #7, did Mesquite trail and caught Ford where it intersects with Willow. Finished last leg with Waddell. Bring plenty of water. I brought 3L and finished it off just before end of hike but I know everyone is different.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Trail was great! Bathrooms at rest area 9 were the best I’ve been to on a trail. When on the trail starting at rest area 9 be sure to take a left at the sign that has arrows going both ways. Right takes you to another starting spot for the trail. Awesome trail we didn’t get as far as we wanted but will come back to finish it!

hiking
4 months ago

Just 2.25 miles out on this trail.

running
5 months ago

I love to trail run and am looking for difficult trails. The first 3 1/2 miles are fairly easy, mostly flat with a several moderate inclines. At mile 3 1/2, there's a sign that states "more difficult terrain". I couldn't run the next mile or so because of the boulders, switchbacks, etc. Made it to the abandoned dam but couldn't find signs designating the rest of the trail. I, unfortunately, had to turn back. I started around 8:30am and finished around 10:30am. I only had a Camelback of water that holds about 1L of water and I still had some water left. However, I train to not drink a lot of water due to my races the water stations are few and drinking a lot of water upsets can upset my stomach while running.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Definitely a trail with a wide variety of landscapes. Definitely some scrambling/bouldering near mile 2-4 but then follows the wash for a while after. While following the wash I missed the trail turnoff and added an extra mile to the trip. It was very hot even on a 80deg day with minimal protection from the sun. I went through 4L of water by mile 6 or so. So make sure to bring plenty of water!!!

hiking
5 months ago

We were closer to 12 miles based on our GPS but we did take a couple of wrong turns. The alltrails recording doesn’t match up with the trail signs for Ford Canyon so use your GPS to guide you to follow this particular loop. The trail is rocky in sections and has some mild scrambling (not technical though) followed by hiking through a sandy wash. This combo can definitely wear you out! Bring LOTS of water, Gatorade etc especially if it’s hot. We did NOT see a waterfall, so I believe it is seasonal/seen after heavy rains.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

poppy superbloom!

hiking
6 months ago

We had a great hike here. It was really pretty and diverse terrain. There’s only about a mile and a half that is difficult terrain where the “Hard” rating comes from. The rest is moderate. My wife and I each had 2L of water. She ran out with about 1.5 miles to go. It wasn’t that hot, only mid 80’s. We went out this week and bought 3L bladders. So take plenty of water and snacks. Great trail and lightly traveled.

hiking
6 months ago

Fabulous hike! The scramble was so fun... managed to make this hike about 21 km. The views with the spring foliage was amazing. We took about 5 hours to complete the adventure.

6 months ago

My favorite in the White Tanks!

rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Tough in places. Some trail markers are confusing. Dam is pretty cool.

hiking
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Started the loop from Site 7 using the Waddell trail. Definitely hard and interesting, canyon was gorgeous, long rain shower made some of boulders a little dicey but the loop down Willow and Mesquite Canyons was a good finish. You don’t get as high up as you do on the Goat Camp loop but vistas still worth the effort. Took me 5 hours roundtrip, probably slower than most but at 77 years I’m satisfied.

8 months ago

only hiked as far as the dam. Started in area 9. mile 2 to 3 is the prettiest I think in the canyon. Good out and back hike.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Awesome rainy foggy 10-11 mile hike in 6 hours! Lots of different terrain that makes for a fun hike! The old Dam was really cool, no waterfall today but lots of huge water holes....Make sure you double check your direction along the way...Trailhead confusing last marker. 2-4-19

8 months ago

Such an awesome hike! Love the scenary and the challenge it provides. The trail is kind of confusing in some parts, but this app maps it out perfectly. There were some animal tracks seen, so be wary, bring plenty of water, hat, and sunscreen. It took us 4 hours to complete. Also, it is a difficult hike, so ensure you're at least moderately in shape.

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

Ford Canyon is a beautiful trail! My husband and I tried this hike once last year around this time, and had to turn back early due to starting later in the day...Last weekend we returned to Ford Canyon with an earlier start to finish. Better idea! We began our hike at Ford Canyon Trailhead into Willow Canyon intersection, onto Mesquite Canyon Trail, and finally up Waddell Trail back to the trailhead. Overall, we hiked approx 11 miles or so. We were out on a sunny day, and definitely got some sun however, there was some shade throughout this hike. Some areas went for a longer period of time lacking shade, but once you reach the area with the Abandoned Dam, it cools down for a bit. The dam was pretty neat to see, along with the canyons and desert scenery this was an awesome hike! We definitely recommend this hike for those who are a bit more experienced and the trail is well maintained and marked throughout the majority of the trails, we have been on other trails marked less well. We came across quite a few others hiking throughout the day. Definitely need to bring plenty of water/snacks and would not suggest this hike in the Summer months, unless you start early AM. There were portions that were rocky, and portions where climbing alongside and up some boulders becomes necessary, makes for an adventurous afternoon. We finished our hike after sunset, saw some hot air balloons in the distance and the Full Moonlight was beautiful!!

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