Sonoran Desert National Mounment Big Horn Trail

EASY 1 reviews

Sonoran Desert National Mounment Big Horn Trail is a 33.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Ajo, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until April.

DISTANCE
33.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
941 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

nature trips

off road driving

walking

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

off road driving
3 months ago

A largely flat trail that is remote and quiet. The trailhead is directly off I-8 at approximately 136 mile marker at a single building on the south side of the highway. There is no off ramp so use caution when entering and exiting the trailhead. Parking is available just past the information board, which usually contains maps of the area.

The trail starts out with a lots of ups and downs as you cross small washes. As you make that first right onto 8020, you enter a grove of saguaro cactuses. Later on after you turn onto 8017, there is a steep hill entering the wash. You stay in the wash until it opens wide, then you turn onto 8014. As you follow 8019, after when you pass through the valley, the trail is not marked but look for an opening on the left to stay on 8019, otherwise you will follow the wash to nowhere. When 8019 dead ends at 8018, another wash, go about 4.9-5.0 miles, look for a small unmarked trail going from left to right, that is 8012, and go right.

As a result of extreme summer temperatures, activities are best pursued from late October through mid-April. Drinking water is not available, so visitors are reminded to bring plenty of their own water. Vehicles should be in good working order, have a full fuel tank of gas and full size spare tires. Cellular phones do not work in many areas of the national monument. The main access routes and washes are prone to heavy seasonal rains and flash floods. Check with the monument office for current conditions. This is a remote area, recreational opportunities are primitive and access roads are not maintained. No water or trash collection is provided.

Border Concerns

Be aware that the southern part of the monument is a corridor for drug and human smugglers. Be alert for illegal activities and law enforcement operations.