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Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop, AZ

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Guide 42 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
3.6 of 5 by 18
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 10.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,542 feet
Elevation Gain 1,368 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,921 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.21
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
17  2019-03-16 Yoder
15  2019-02-24
Barry Goldwater Peak-Ford Cyn-Willow Spring
7  2019-02-23 Walworthjordyn
12  2019-02-02
Ford -Willow - Mesquite Loop
14  2018-12-15 Hippy
9  2018-11-23 KBKB
15  2018-03-25
Willow Ford Loop
1  2018-02-25
Willow - Mesquite Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Dec
Sun  6:14am - 6:35pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
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    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.

    Most recent of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Quick loop Saturday morning. Myself, Jamie Compos and Doug Nering.

    Lots of birds out on these trails. Some some rabbits and butterflies for wildlife.

    Mesquite trail had good bit of human activity going on when we started around 8am including a ranger led hike doing this same loop but going in the opposite direction.
    By the time we passed the Willow Canyon cutoff we were pretty much alone and that was very nice.

    This loop would also make decent corridor training for any newbies looking to hike grand canyon. Not sure why my mind goes straight to that.

    I especially enjoyed the Ford Canyon sections, I hadn't done this loop before and was pleasantly surprised to spend so much time in the wash and then over smooth granite it was absolutely beautiful.

    Lots of Mexican gold poppies out this weekend too.

    Trail conditions were great, smooth. Those trails are well maintained and that makes them an easy "trek" for anyone in the family that's up to the mileage.
    Ford Canyon had some "steep" footing which were fine for us but I could see it presenting a challenge for those folks who aren't use to walking off pavement.

    The white tanks had water and tadpoles.

    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Willow Ford Loop
    Adding to my list of all-time uniques, I made my first ever visit to White Tank Mountain Regional Park (the west side's very own South Mountain! :y: )

    Quite a bit of diverse stuff out here, from very intriguing canyons to large swaths of drab boredom. I made good time which allowed me to hit up the Waterfall trail before the "no excuses" entrance gate closure at exactly 8pm. I feel that darkness is an excellent time to see this desert spectacle, especially when in it's naturally dry state.

    Got to see all the 2018 wildflowers. Pretty sure it's prime peak right now.

    I was pleasantly surprised on this trip, and it seems to have earned a return visit sometime.

    * "substantial" as measured relative to the 2018 spring wildflower season.
    Compared to a normal season somewhere between "none" and "isolated" ;)
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was my first time to the White Tanks and I must say I came away pretty impressed. I was looking for a little end of the week hike to take advantage of the cooler afternoon, blow off some week day steam and get the dogs some exercise. I was expecting something more on the lines of South Mountain, or the preserve and instead we got a rather pleasant hike with ample water, wildflowers, varied scenery and great trails.

    Ford Canyon was a great trail to kick off my first experiences in the White Tanks. After only a few miles in, we started to encounter water in the bedrock of the canyon and this continued for most of the hike through Ford. The couple mile stretch along the bedrock through Ford proved to be kind of fun and the dogs were happy with the ample and sometimes deep pools of water. Jackie was "seeing" glphys everywhere and we examined a few of her leads, but they all turned out to be duds, until she did spot a faint set right in the creek bed. The flowers through Ford were great as well and only got better and more varied as we climbed out. We ran into a couple at about five miles in and they asked if we were staying a night out there, because they said they never ran into anyone out that far, which made me kind of chuckle, as we were only completing a nine mile loop and I certainly did not think we were in what would qualify as the White Tanks "backcountry."

    From Ford, it was on to Willow Canyon, which was a nice little area as well. We stopped at the spring briefly for the pups and then continued on to the intersection with Mesquite. This portion of the hike ended up being gold, as we got to enjoy the vibrant yellow of the brittle brush mixed in with some nice lighting, big clouds and a great sunset. Head lamp time for most of Mesquite Trail, a pretty quick downhill and then a quick hike across the well manicured trail and wide path back to where we began our loop at Waddell Trailhead.

    I don't know if I will start planning weekend hiking around the White Tanks, but this hike certainly exceeded my expectations and beats most of the urban hikes near town. In terms of desert hiking, the White Tanks probably represent some of the nicer classic desert hiking within an hour of Phoenix in my opinion and now is a great time to hit this area.

    I would say substantial, but I have heard brittle brush does not count as wildflowers and I don't want to offend the wildflower guild...
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Rick says lets go for a Hike ---- OK where ?? He says I'm thinking White Tanks Wednesday --- oh my !!! :o Must mean only one thing in that area to draw him over to that part of the Valley ---- :-k Firewood, he lives in AJ so they have no burning restrictions. Lindaagm gave me the tip and Widowmaker the route so I was ok with this idea :y: I think this is a go back area this fall and take Roger and Rick and do the big loop including Goat Camp :DANCE: Roger was all huddled up in his room due to heavy rain and lighting today, told him we were hiking over in White Tanks and was dry and Hot .. not knowing he asked if it was just hot or exciting hot ---- Well we just had a Cowgirl pass us ( see Rick's TL ) I told him Excitingly Hot, [-X made going up Ford seem a little easier :sorrry: I enjoyed the White Tanks and will be worth going back, enough variety of Trails to satisfy any level of experience !!
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Haven't been on Willow or Ford in a while so I decided to hit both. Pretty warm for the first mile, then the breeze finally kicked in. Wound up having perfect weather for the remainder of the hike.

    Someone spray painted two arrows at the lower end of Ford, when you first enter the wash. You should be able to figure out where to go in that spot, but evidently some are having trouble. It would be nice if the park would put an extra marker there. Maybe then people would leave the paint at home. ](*,)
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First of all this should be the official route for this hike. I am not really feeling well but Rowdy wanted to go hiking and so we did. I up loaded the route and thought it would be a little shorter than it was.
    The hike was really nice as we did not see to many people and there was water at Ford Canyon which Rowdy enjoyed.
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
    My first trip to the White Tank Mountains Regional Park. I've heard many good things about it but haven't made it out that way until now. This was a very enjoyable loop. Excellent trails, beautiful scenery and a chance to soar with an eagle. Well, Bruce soars, I just try to keep up!

    I got a ping from Bruce earlier in the week. We hadn't hiked together in a few moons, so I jumped at the chance. Bruce needed to be home early for a holiday party so I suggested this loop in the White Tanks, thinking that might get us done soon enough. Bruce suggested adding Barry Goldwater peak, an extra 5 miles and 1200 feet. Barry Goldwater is my oldest memory of presidential elections. At 7 years old, I was already into politics, urging my mother to vote for Barry. She voted for Johnson. We still have those same conversations (arguments?) today, but I digress.

    I agreed to the side trip to BG because I needed the workout. Bruce kicked my :pk: up the hill (he called it "life coaching") whereupon we took a delightful break under a warm sun. The previous few miles had been uphill against a bone chilling wind that was doing its best to beat us back down. The break at the top under sunny skies with a wind break at our backs was simply wonderful.

    We made good time on the way back. The excellent trails in this park allowed us to let gravity pull us down the mountain. Neither of us had spare batteries so we were also racing to get back before the Garmins died. I think we made it just in time. It was a cold and windy day in the White Tanks, for much of the route, anyway, but it was still a fun hike with great company. Good to see you again, Bruce!
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
    Took a white Tanks Newbie out for a sampling of the area.

    Brisk Morning turned to cold late morning when we lost the sun and the wind picked up. Ford Canyon is still my favorite up there. I also enjoy the Willow Spring area, especially above the spring.

    We headed out Goat Camp and then the cairned short cut up to Barry Goldwater Peak. We had some lunch up top. It looks like they're getting ready for some kind of construction up there. A large pallet filled with Concrete sits up top.

    A Video tour of Barry Goldwater Peak = :next: ... zlX8

    Not as many out as I expected to see. Great Hiking w/ Ray again.
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hadn't been to the White Tanks in a while and never after/during a rain. My favorite trail up there is the Ford Canyon Trail. So the plan today was to go up Mesquite, across on Ford Canyon, drop down to check out Willow Spring, back to Ford Canyon and then finish with checking out an old trail/road that I noticed on Google Earth a while ago.

    With the Cold, Gloomy, Foggy, Rainy, weather I thought I'd have the loop to myself. Not a lot, but I passed 9 others either running or hiking.

    I was surprised to hear water running while climbing up Mesquite Canyon. Getting up to the higher elevations I was completely socked in with visibility 20 to 75 ft. Willow Spring was full and the Falls from above were getting it fuller.

    Dropping down into the wash portion of Ford Canyon, it became obvious that avoiding the water was going to be way too time consuming. I really love the rock formations and views on the upper portion of the Ford as it becomes a trail out of the drainage again.

    Had a blast out there today!

    Note - On my way out I noticed that the Rain brings out the masses on the Waterfall Trail. The Over flow lots were full.
    Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Beautiful day :y: Got to the parking lot at 8am and it was FULL. There were 3 spots, I got one and by the time I got out of the car the other two were gone. The strange part is that I hiked for 5 miles before I saw another person :-k

    Permit $$
    Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

    $7 per vehicle,$85 annual or trade your first born for the life pass

    $2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Area 7 Trailhead
    From the 303 & Olive go west on Olive 4.5 miles to the park entrance. Olive turns into White Tank Mountain Rd. Continue 2.1 miles, turn right and it's 250 feet to to the Mesquite/Ford Trailhead

    You get a map when you pay your entrance fee so that should help you figure it out if you have any concerns.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 39.2 mi, 58 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 146 mi, 2 hours 38 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 153 mi, 2 hours 40 mins
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