Wet Canyon, AZ | HikeArizona

Wet Canyon, AZ

Guide 50 Triplogs Mine 0 2 Topics
3.5 of 5 
178 50 2
tap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,035 feet
Elevation Gain 950 feet
Accumulated Gain 950 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.75
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
 Backpack No
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
15  2017-10-06
Noon Creek Ridge Trail #318
30  2017-05-10
Grant Hill Loop
12  2016-11-01 SkyIslander18
15  2014-11-11 SkyIslander18
28  2014-10-23
Pinaleno Fall Tour - the Encore
14  2014-05-19
Mount Graham 10,720
11  2013-11-01 SkyIslander18
15  2012-11-06 SkyIslander18
Page 1,  2,  3
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,740
Trips 1,886 map ( 10,000 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:17am - 6:34pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
[ View More! ]
Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Meteorology  Nearby
no photo labels yet
+Add > Photos to this Guide
then label as applicable
Arcadia's back alley
by PrestonSands

Southeastern Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains contain many riparian treasures. One of the most easily accessible is Wet Canyon. Why hike up this trail-less canyon to nowhere? Because summer wildflowers next to a shady, perennial creek can't be beaten!The Wet Canyon picnic area is the most convenient place to enter the canyon. From the parking area, a use trail heads up the right side of the creek. This trail soon dies out near some picnic tables. From here it is a boulder hop and log hurdle adventure up the creek bed. Wet Canyon creek tumbles over variegated boulders, forming tiny pools here and there, while bigtooth maples and box elders keep the canyon well shaded.

Where the canyon turns southwest, it briefly flattens out and opens up slightly. The floor of the canyon was once the location of a wagon road to the Jacobson Sawmill. Southern Arizona's torrential monsoon downpours, and the passing of more than a century, have erased most of the wagon road from the creek bottom.

At 0.4 miles, a small side canyon comes in from the left. Just above its confluence with Wet Canyon is where the wagon road left the creek bottom. From where the old wagon road meets the creek (32.65131 N, 109.82066 W), you can choose to follow the wagon road south for 0.25 miles up to Arcadia Campground, or continue further up Wet Canyon. Returning to the Wet Canyon picnic area via the wagon road and the highway makes a 2.5 mile loop.

Continuing on, Wet Canyon now becomes increasingly steep and narrow. As you near the Arcadia Trail, gigantic white firs begin to appear. Large columbines and other wildflowers crowd the creek bed, hemmed in by nearly vertical, grass-covered slopes.

Wet Canyon crosses the Arcadia Trail at about the 1-mile point. For those looking to exit the canyon and return via the highway, this is the last reasonable place to do so. Returning to the Wet Canyon picnic area via the Arcadia Trail and the highway makes a 3.6-mile loop.

Have fun, and tread lightly through this fragile riparian zone.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-02-16 PrestonSands
  • guide related image
    guide related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

 Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Safford, head south on U.S. Highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail). Follow Highway 366 for approximately 9.6 miles to the Wet Canyon Picnic Area on the right (just before the one-lane stone bridge).

end of page marker