Goat Camp Trail

HARD 90 reviews

Goat Camp Trail is a 16.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waddell, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

16.4 miles
3,116 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running



wild flowers



For the first mile and a quarter one experiences a gradual incline , walking on soft white sand for about one half mile, then the trail becomes rocky and towards the end more and larger rocks with steeper climbs. Up to the three mile marker, the trail narrows with very steep inclines and you need to know how to place your feet and to avoid falls. One rates this as the toughest part. Then up to three and a third miles one experiences the rocky climbs a little easier. One, therefore, can rate this hike as challenging.

1 month ago

One of the few trails in the greater Phoenix area that offers descent/elevation gain. Pretty good for backpacking/distance hiking training, most of the elevation gain occurs early in the trail.

2 months ago

I believe that this is the most challenging trail at White Tanks because of the distance and the gradual climb in the beginning. Be prepared in the summer with lots of water and trail snacks. There is no water supply on the trail. This trail is not as diverse as the Ford Canyon trail, but easier to follow the trail. Cell coverage might be a problem. This hike will take you very close to the towers in top of the mountain. ..not a well traveled trail..after first mile or two, I'm always the only one on the trail.

4 months ago

great trail for a workout. first mile is flattish but rocky followed by a steep climb for the next mile. after milepost two you lose most of the other people and it becomes a rolling path with a few rough bits.

4 months ago

I parked at the south lot Trailhead at 6:20am on 4/11/18 and hiked to the Goat Canyon Tr mm#1. Pretty mild hike to this point. Crossed the wash which began gradually increasing in slope. Very pleasant so far. Increase in slope and rocks began shortly. I Crossed the wash again and the difficulty increased markedly (for an old guy). I handled it pretty well however the heat was intense. Progress became slow. The trail and scenery were breathtaking. I made it to mm#2 and decided to stop and return.
NOTE- I carried a Garmin Foretrex GPS. It indicated 1.6mi as the distance between mm #1 and 2. And it certainly felt like it.
The trip back down was quick and easy. I only saw 3 other hikers in my short trek. The scenery and solitude were great. I returned to my car at 10:20am. My total distance was 5.17mi. Total ascent was 795’. Seemed MUCH more.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and will return again.
Thanks much to Maricopa White Tanks Regional Park as I have enjoyed several other shorter hikes in the unit during my short stay here.

4 months ago

Best trial in the White Tank Park.

6 months ago

From 1.5 to 3 this trail is definitely difficult. From 3 to 6.4, it’s absolutely the most peaceful trail I’ve hiked. Well defined and just a great hike. I’m 65 and I made it. Challenging at times but totally worth it.

6 months ago

Hiked 3.5 miles up then back down twice during our stay at White Tank Regional Park. Trail is rugged between miles 2-3 but certainly worth the effort. We’re 60 and 66 and found it doable. Path is plenty wide. Expect rocky spots but nothing that can’t be stepped up and down.

6 months ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. I like it and plan to eventually do the 17 mile loop.

7 months ago

So the first 1.2 miles is very sandy and pretty much flat... to the point where I was starting to become disappointed from spending the $6 park entrance fee just to hike a flat trail. However, right about at that 1.2 mile point it really started to pick up and became a challenging hike with a lot of elevation gain in a short distance. Unfortunately, I only hiked up about 2 miles before having to turn around due to pre-scheduled plans. Luckily, the last 0.8 miles I hiked was enough to work up a good sweat and get my heart rate up. I'm definitely going to go back next week when I have more time.

A good comparison of the difficulty level (once you're past the flat part) is Paralta Trail in the Superstitions.

Tip: the parking lot for the Goat Camp Trail is the 2nd left turn from the entrance gate, right after Area #1

7 months ago

Love this trail and the challenge I get every time I hike the trail. It is very Rocky and between mile marker 2 and 3 you are really in for a challenge and at times it feels like you are rock climbing. I have never made it past mile marker 3 but I love the views both up and down the trail and continue to work on adding more and more of the trail to my hikes.

8 months ago

8hr hike out and back. Goat Camp Trail is a little over 6 miles up to the lollipop shown, then left on the Willows Trail down to the Mesquite Trail, and then back up to the Goat Camp trail completing the lollipop. From there another 6 plus mile descent down the Goat Camp Trail. The trail incline is moderate other than miles 1 1/2 - 3 mile marker which is a difficult elevation climb.

8 months ago

Am glad I did this trail in my way back down. Going up can be very hard.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Great trail. Very challenging as a running trail... better have great balance and eye-foot coordination!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cool hike with great shade in the evening. Also saw some mule deer and a coyote!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spectacular wildflowers 3/20/17.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It was long, was hoping trail would take me to towers but it never did, seen some deer , it was challeging!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

did goat camp on 1/21 - 4 miles in.. loved it

trail running
Friday, December 16, 2016

Best and hardest trail for running in the area! My technical downhill has become my strong suit due to running goat camp every week! Soooo good!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Goat Camp is in the White Tanks Regional Park. There is some elevation gain over the first 2-3 miles, and if you keep your eyes open around mile marker 1, you'll see a rare crested saguaro.

Monday, September 26, 2016

I've hiked Goat Camp Trail twice. It is challenging, but it is worth the time and effort. Today I ran into several people. The first time I hiked it, I didn't see a soul. I enjoy hiking alone, but sometimes it would be good to have another hiker with me.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The description states that Goat Camp is open September-May, however we went today, July 9th and it was open.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Great hike

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

This is a great hike if you're looking for some challenging elevation gain and relative solitude.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

love it

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It was a wee bit of a gradual steep trail with a lot of small rocks... according to my fitbit I climbed 91 flights of stairs lol…Started off a bit late so only made it to right before the antennas, had to turn around or I would have been up there after sunset.
Saw lots of lizards and heard what I thought was a rattler.
Make sure you have good hiking shoes with great support, plenty of water and snacks.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Fun steep trail.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Easy trail runner for the first .75-1mi then some moderate hiking through small to medium rock gardens. There isn't an actual summit with a 360 degree view.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Today was my first Hike. I went to Goat Camp Trail. Can only climb up to 1.5 uphill . Not a bad beginning for a beginner :)Today was my first Hike. I went to Goat Camp Trail. Can only climb up to 1.5 uphill . Not a bad beginning for a beginner :)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

This is an endurance hike/bike. Drive to the ramadas where the Mesquite Canyon trailhead begins. Chain your bike(s) to a secure stationary object (we chain ours to the gas grills adjacent to ramada). Jump back in the truck and drive to Goat Camp trailhead. Basically you will hike Goat Camp trail for 6.3 miles as shown on map, then continue on for another 5.5 miles via the Mesquita Canyon trail to the ramadas where your bike(s) are. At this point you will jump on your bike and bike back to Goat Camp trailhead where you parked your truck. The entire trek will take approximately 4.5 hours and cover about 13.5 miles providing you are in excellent shape. This is an great tuneup for Humphrys Peak which in turn is a great tuneup for the Grand Canyon. As you'll note the halfway point on this jaunt puts you at 2 plus hours away from either trailhead. As such, an encounter with a rattle snake or a twisted ankle etc. could be precarious. Be sure to let someone know where you are hiking, and when you expect to return. Never hike alone, carry plenty of water, food is also a good idea (apple,raisins,seeds). Carry a GPS and become familiar with all the functionally. Heat will be an issue on this hike in the hotter times of the year, be sure to begin the hike at the break of dawn. Take your fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergency. Do not attempt this hike without knowing your limitations and comfort zone.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This is a great trail and there are great views at the top (by the antennas). Not an easy one for moderate hikers. I've seen plenty of people have to turn around on this one. I hardly ever see anyone on this trail so pack what you need, or should have.

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