DISTANCE
13.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,660 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

backpacking
20 days ago

My husband and I hiked this trail the first week of November. Temperatures were very pleasant, probably 85-90 degrees in the desert and 5-10 degrees cooler in the mountains and along the river. The trail is easy to lose so I highly recommend a GPS unit or app on your phone and a paper map backup. The cacti are vicious, be prepared to pull needles and barbs out of legs, arms, hands. Don’t skimp on the gallon of water a day per person suggestion—we carried 3-1/2 gallons between us for the overnight and drank or used every drop. The first couple miles are an easy hike through the desert. Then you climb about 500’ in about a quarter mile and continue through the mountains to the split. We hiked the south leg first, descending to the connector trail and camping at the first campsite we found. The descent was brutal, it just goes more or less straight down the side of a mountain. I was ready to drop my pack at the first sight of a campsite, but there is a second location further down the connector trail with what seemed like 2 spaces for tents. The first campsite was flat and relatively free of rocks. There were some ants, but they didn’t bother us. The view of the river was great, and the cliffs surrounding our camp on all sides made for a beautiful sunset and an even more beautiful sunrise. The connector trail continues north along a ledge overlooking the river, then crosses a wash out so deep we had to drop our packs, lower ourselves down, heave the packs up over the other side, and climb back out. The trail then climbs up and back into the mountains through a rocky sloped pass requiring a little bouldering and climbing up short but pretty sheer rock faces with a few places to place hands and feet. It was a bit of a scramble at times! A pleasant hike through the mountains and back to the connection with the main trail leg, back down out of the mountains and into the desert to get back to the car. We hiked about 6 hours each day, covering a little over 6 miles the first day and closer to 8 the second day. A very enjoyable trail!