for free!

White Canyon - Shuttle, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  1 Topic
  4 of 5 
no permit
13 1 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,176 feet
Elevation Gain 570 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Avg Time One Way 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.67
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
23  2017-01-02
White Canyon Upper - SW Approach FR319
13  2012-12-10 bensondk
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 8
Photos 159
Trips 13 map ( 101 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Florence, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred Nov, Mar, Feb, Apr
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:43am - 7:16pm
2 Alternative

Ok for us 60+ hikers
by bensondk

This hike is the completion of an effort to connect White Canyon from two different directions, the northeast, and the south. Initially, I hiked into White Canyon from the northeast (Official trail in HAZ by Grasshopper as White Canyon Upper - SW Approach FR319). As Grasshopper describes, the northeast approach takes you to the top of the valley with some fantastic views of White Canyon. Further investigation showed several approaches from the south from Battle Axe Road, but no routes connected to the top of the ridge where the northeast approach ended. The track described below results from a combined effort with George from Solera, who recorded the initial track.

The accompanying GPS track helps pick the right general area, but it may not follow the best line in places. The GPS track does become very helpful in knowing where to leave the creek to go up to the top of the valley to the right.

Using the track from George as a guide, we parked my pickup at a wide spot on the road (N33 09.658 W111 04.433), beyond which the road deteriorated a bit. More aggressive drivers with suitable vehicles could drive up to 1.1 miles further and park where the road separates from the creek bed.

The hike in on the first 1.1 miles is on a traveled road, mainly used by off-road vehicles. It passes a fixed up spring with a pipe coming out of the ground keeping a pool filled. Later I was told that this spring is warm water, although I didn't think to feel it at the time. As you hike in on the road, the cliffs to the side become more rugged and impressive.

Where the creek bed separates into two, the road follows one, and the track takes the other as you work your way up the creek. About 0.2 miles from the road, you are likely to encounter a registration stand. This registration stand is located in a remote location and contains a surprising number of entries. It seems likely that some hikers going up the creek bed would miss the registration completely.

As you work your way up the creek, you will encounter all sizes of boulders, some of which will test your scrambling skills, but none of which required any special skills other than picking the easiest route. A trail can be found for much of the way, but it will disappear from time to time, particularly where the trail is right at the bottom of the creek.

After about 3 miles from the parking spot, you will come to a waterfall (likely dry) on your right. This is where you leave the creek bed and turn uphill. At first, this will appear to be impossible to scramble, but if you look closely at the left-hand side, you can begin to see a path, and as you work your way up, you find that it is indeed not that difficult to scramble. If you use a series of switchbacks, the otherwise very steep track can be made much easier. Initially, we thought that it might be ok going up, but it could be challenging to descend later, but descending turned out to be relatively easy as well. Compared to the hike up to Picket Post summit, those familiar with that hike will find this route by the waterfall slightly easier and much shorter duration.

Once at the top, we returned the same way we came. For hikers in this area for the first time, I would encourage you to go further to the north along the edge of the valley to take as many scenic lookout points as time allows. If transportation can be worked out to combine this track with the one called White Canyon Upper - SW Approach FR319, an excellent outing can be had by hiking from one trailhead to the other.

Check out the Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2012-12-18 bensondk

    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix
    Take US-60 E (signs for Mesa - Globe), Take the AZ-177 exit at Superior, Turn right onto AZ-177 S/Ray Rd, Continue to follow AZ-177 South for 9.6 miles, Turn right onto N Battle Axe Rd (considered a primitive road) and go for 2.3 miles, turn right onto a less traveled road which heads generally northwest for 0.7 miles, then swings to the Southwest and goes about 0.8 miles to reach the parking spot.
    page created by bensondk on Dec 17 2012 5:10 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

    end of page marker