Millsite Canyon Trail #237, AZ | HikeArizona
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Millsite Canyon Trail #237, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.3 of 5 
no permit
285 9 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 5.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,490 feet
Elevation Gain 1,277 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,315 feet
Avg Time One Way 2-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.73
unreported if dogs are allowed
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15  2022-11-30
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66  2022-10-20
Hewitt Ridge Circumference
32  2014-01-27
Peak 4618 - Fraser Benchmark
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Fraser Peak 4618 Loop
50  2012-12-09
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32  2012-11-30 CannondaleKid
29  2008-12-31
Maverick Camp via 192B
author avatar Guides 263
Routes 2,313
Photos 13,459
Trips 5,405 map ( 27,362 miles )
Age 53 Male Gender
Associated Areas
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Preferred Nov, Mar, Feb, Apr → 7 AM
Sun  7:24am - 5:53pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sawtooth Fire24.7k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥

Joey Gumdrop's Backyard
by joebartels

Millsite Canyon Trail #237 has never been a maintained hiking trail in the nearly thirty years it has popped up on my radar. Rather an old jeep road through a slice of Sonoran heaven few hikers ever hike. Getting to the canyon without 4WD probably keeps out a fair share of curious hikers.

Upper signage declares Closed to Motorized Vehicles and Motorized Equipment. Lower signage lacks the verbiage, perhaps peeled off as it is missing that section. Regardless, it is a semi-popular destination for offroaders as is the entire area south of the nearby designated Superstition Wilderness.

From the south, at the topo map end of FR1900, begin hiking up #237. Views begin immediately and stay intriguing for the first 2.5 miles to the former Maverick Camp. Huge Fremont Cottonwoods come soon, along with red toned rock creekbeds reminiscent of nearby Randolph Canyon if you explore off-trail to keep your social media adventure username true to spirit.

The most notable geology looming overhead is Fraser Peak 4618 near 2 miles up. Fraser Peak is a worthy destination in itself due to the great views and one of two arches along this hike.

2.9 miles onward is within the 2019 Woodbury Fire perimeter. The difference is minimally evident being rolling hills of junipers vs the lower broadleaf riparian areas. The area sports nice examples of Desert Hackberry, no surprise with nearby Hackberry Butte and a similar named canyon and spring off its southside. If you happen by when the orange berries are ripe they are worth a sample. Beware, they're 75% seed but have a refreshing fruit flavor that fades quickly like Trident gum.

Upper Rattlesnake Spring (Iron Mountain topo) is near Maverick Camp and lower Rattlesnake Spring (Picketpost Mountain topo) is near the beginning of the hike at 1 mile.

Upper Millsite
Less obvious gems reside in the upper canyon that will not appeal to most. Arizona Sycamores before upper Rattlesnake Spring are the last riparian-esque hurrah but healthy pleated saguaros stay strong in areas until the old route eases up to a stroll from 2.6 to 4.6 miles.

At 4.6, the trail turns north off the well-defined two-track to an older and nearly faded-away route to FS172 near Woodbury Trailhead. It's obvious to 5.0 miles. The balance of 0.3 miles is neither easy to see nor possible for some as it is washed out to untraceable for a good hundred yards. A barbed wire fence line in nearby eyesight will suffice for your route. It's unlikely you'll get back on the old official route again but it does not matter where you pop out on FS172. There is no signage or hints along FS172 that this trail is/was ever an option.

Millsite is more of a gem than meets the eye. The lower half will get the lion's share of attention. In full, it is surrounded by perks and loded with dreams.

The offroad crowd has never been an issue in my experiences out here or around the rowdy Four Peaks. Typically low gear crawling in Millsite as it is not a racetrack. They make it easier to get through in half a day. Shooting dwindles out this far but it is not uncommon. Most encounters lean towards extremely relaxed and friendly.

51-Second VideoNarrated Video

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2022-10-22 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Preferred route from the south.

    • High clearance may access from the north at the Woodbury Trailhead
    • High clearance from the south is accessible via a moderately easy 1.6 miles off-trail through Peacock Canyon.
    page created by joebartels on Nov 22 2012 1:23 pm

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