Explore the most popular camping trails in Arizona with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
18 hours ago

Just hiked this trail on Tuesday 1/16/18. I started a little later than i wanted at 10am. I've hiked this trail several times but it has been a couple years. The trail gets a little hard to follow just before dear head spring. There are trees down so the best i can say is follow the line of broken tree trunks that are kind of in a straight line. This time i hiked the full turkey creek trail starting at the 4WD road since i don't have 4WD. Got there at 1pm. Then proceeded on the deer head spring trail to the heartbreak ridge trail down into happy valley. The heartbreak ridge trail is awesome especailly going down..the views of the tucson basin as well as the san pedro valley are incredible. It's one of the few places that you can see both valleys on both sides of the rincon mountains. I got to happy valley at 3pm. Then proceeded down the miller creek trail and back to my car at 5pm over at the turkey creek trail parking area . Its about 16.5 miles total counting walking from miller creek parking area to turkey creek parking area...the weather was perfect. Went though 3 liters of water and a large 32 oz G2 gaterade. Apple, 3 tangerines, b&J sandwich on wheat, peanuts, pretzels, 2 chocolate chip cookies at the end. Very enjoyable hike . I would certainly recommend starting a little earlier than i did. Say more like 8am rather than 10am but i knew most of the trails except the heartbreak ridge but it was all down hill once i got to the end of the turkey creek trail....

One of my all time favorite hikes. How crowded it gets depends on the time you arrive. I started the other day at 8am and there was no crowd. The crowd really comes in after 9:30 or so. The earlier you start the better since there is little to no shade in the afternoon. Bring plenty of water (it's always smart to bring extra). Be prepared for a challenge!

nice shady walk. came right up to the herd of horses eating in the Mesquite grove. very cool.

It was a bit crowded but the higher you go the less people are on the trail. I think I counted a dozen people at the top. Like other people have said, pack more water than you think you will need and a light snack. I wouldn't recommend bringing a dog unless it's a very cool day, there is very little shade along the trail. We ended up going off trail and blazing our own path about 3/4's of the way up, it's easy to lose the trail markers as you get fatigued. Going down is easy and yet harder at the same time because your legs are shot from the trip. Overall it's a killer hike, amazing views.

came up this trail from Phantom Ranch in one day. Water and amenities made this trek excellent, though day hikers on their way down did not yield to hikers ascending, even though NPS informs them to do so. well maintained trails, though expect mule urine and poo at almost every turn. So much to see, bighorn sheep, all kinds of birds, ground mammals. Indian gardens is the halfway point and is a virtual oasis.

The trail is wide and well maintained with lots of switchbacks. The sun never penetrated the inner walls, which makes up about 75% of the hike (in January).

There are 2 rest houses, one at 1.5 mile and 3 mile marker.

The hike up is strenuous and very rewarding. I probably went through about 1.5 liters of water.

We hiked down in 2.25 hours
We hiked up in 3 hours

Beautiful views of the canyon on the way down and up

This is a fun loop with some great technical sections. Amazing scenery in the dells area

Great trail. Amazing views. Definitely lives up to its difficult/hard rating, do not underestimate need for water and food, especially during warmer days. Plus it’s nice to take in the scenery at the top with a picnic and the chipmunks. Don’t forget to turn around on your way up, or look up on your way down to enjoy all the views, it’s easy to miss as you will have to check your footing with each step until you’re past the draw.

My wife and I hiked SK to PR to BA all in one day. The longest hike we had done prior to this one was 10 miles and moderate. We did not physically prepare for this hike. Our active life consist of me going to the gym 2-3 times a week and 3-5 days for my wife, we walk our dogs daily. I am 36 years old and my wife is 32. We parked at the visitor center and took the Orange line to SK. We started our descent at 8 am, 30 minutes after the sunrise since it took us a few minutes to figure out where to park and where to start and the bus lines. Hope this helps if you're trying to figure out where to park and where to start. It took us 3 hours and 40 minutes to hike down to Phantom Ranch. I do have to admit we took our time soaking it all in and we took plenty of snap chats and pics. The way down was not that hard for us. We took a 30 min lunch break at PR. We had a stale bagel there. Don't expect much down there other than dry cold salty snacks. We took 2.5 hours to hike up to Indian Garden. Now the final 4.5 was excruciating and this is where the mental toughness kicked in and got us through last leg. We packed head lamps just in case we could not make it out before sunset and we ended up needing them since the sun set at 5:30 and we finished at 6:30 pm. The weather was perfect 30/40. This was by far the most epic, amazing, difficult, brave, and rewarding hike we have ever done. If you do not live an active lifestyle, I would not recommend this hike.

backpacking
3 days ago

Just did this Trail this last Friday-Sunday. We started late Friday evening and camped about 20 minutes in then completed the hike the following day. It took probably 2-3 hours with a lot of detours and checking out the creek! Such a beautiful hike and the water flow was fantastic. We were able to filter water whenever we wanted as water was so accessible and camped the second night behind the springs. Obviously this is a day hike but was fun to extend it and take our time!

This was my fourth time up to Flat Iron, and it never disappoints.
Know that this trail has really gained in popularity, probably in large part due to great websites like AllTrails. Seven years ago when I did the hike my first time, I was one of only 4 people on the trail the entire day. The second time maybe 5-6 people tops. Lately it's been very crowded, which isn't a negative, it just felt like, well, lots of adventerous people are in for a challenging hike.
This isn't the typical tourist hike, like Piestewa, Pinnacle Peak or Camelback. I happen to like all three of those hikes and consider them good in their own rights. My point is that not many people just wake up one day and decide to go to the top of Flat Iron. Even if you're already in good physical condition, you have to know what you're in for.
Tips from my four times up and down:
Do your best to stay to the left, where some of the faded blue/white spots are on the boulders marking the trail. I learned the hard way my first time going up, when I naively thought the best way up is the shortest distance between two points.
Bad move, and potentially dangerous too.
I found myself on the right side of the more widely-used trail and had to navigate the rock face just at the top of the vegetation. I learned my lesson after that and have stuck to the main trail up ever since.
After making it to the top of Siphon Draw, the hike is a combination of steep incline and a mix of light bouldering and scrambling. Nothing terribly intimidating, but at this point of the hike you've already potentially used up alot of energy, so it just FEELS long, when in reality, distance-wise, it might actually be the shortest section of the entire hike.
Pacing yourself up to that point will do you alot of good.
I know there are experienced hikers who've done the hike in less than two hours, but that's an incredible feat. My times have typically been arounnd 2-1/2 hours plus some, but that's OK, I just turned 63 and this fourth time up was my first since open heart surgery back in May.
Best to plan on a total round-trip of 5-6 hours.
Echoing other hikers' opinions, getting a reasonably early start is a good idea, both to have the shade work for you on most of the trip up, as well as just to give yourself more time in case you find your pace taking onger than what you expected.
I like the suggestion of one of the hkers to bring an extra pair of socks for the return trip down. It just feels better, especially after sitting at the top, taking off the hiking boots and socks as a reward for making it to the top.
No doubt you'll see people on different routes making their way down. This is because the trail, in my opinion, can be tricky to stick to even on the way down.
As a testament to how hard the trail is, it takes a different kind of effort to get down, mostly because bouldering on the descent can at times be a toss-up between figuring out which parts to "tail it" down vs trying to firmly step down.

This hike gives a sense of accomplishment that's definitely something to treasure.
Plan accordingly, and if it's within your capabilities, you'll be very glad you did it.

This hike was definitely hard and long. The views make it worth it though. There was ice and snow on some of the trail which slowed us down. It look us 7 hours. We intended to do the 10 miles but must of taken a wrong turn and when it was all said I’m done we were over 14 miles. Either way great hike, and no bears!

This is an awesome trail. Beautiful and shaded almost all the way through. It's difficult, but very clearly marked and evenly graded throughout. If you are going quickly, 5 hours is plenty. If you're taking your time and enjoying the hike, plan for 7 hours. Definitely worth the effort to make it to the top!

Beautiful Hike! The road to the trailhead is long and rough but it’s so worth it! It has everything! Desert, river, greenery, rocks, leaves, tough spots, river crossings, and more! I recorded about 7 miles in and out. We didn’t make it the entire way as about 3.5 miles in there was a spot where we couldn’t all cross so we decided to head back. I would definitely suggest some waterproof (water-friendly) shoes so the water crossing doesn’t hold you back!

Great views.

A little more than I expected. Be sure to have good ankle support. Loved the hike.

Great hike! Difficult but worth it.

This is a great beginner trail that is well worth the hike. There is a-lot of beauty all around from the wild horses that wander to the water to the Beautiful Mount McDowell. The trail features plaques with information about some of the trees in the are which are great but definitely need a bit of maintenance and love. Be careful to pay attention to all of the trail signs as there are many areas where others have blazed their own trails.

This was hard, but there were kids doing it. And it was totally worth the trek. It was cold when we started, warmed up half way through. Pretty traffickied, but everyone was accommodating to each other.

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