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Willow Canyon - White Tanks, AZ

Guide 92 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.4 of 5 
691 92 1
Abbey's Way Trail #151
Abbey's Way Trail #151
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance One Way 1.75 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,233 feet
Elevation Gain 319 feet
Accumulated Gain 416 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.14
Interest Seasonal Waterfall
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11  2022-04-01
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
35  2022-04-01
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
2  2021-11-21
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
5  2021-11-21
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
12  2020-12-05
Barry Goldwater Peak
11  2020-12-05
Barry Goldwater Peak
13  2020-03-15
Mesquite Willow Loop - White Tanks
18  2019-11-30
Goat Camp - Willow / Mesquite Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
author avatar Guides 80
Routes 426
Photos 5,449
Trips 1,571 map ( 11,120 miles )
Age 42 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Associated Areas
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Phoenix Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:20am - 6:23pm
Official Route
20 Alternative

where there's a willow there's a way
by LindaAnn

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Fairly easy trail in the heart of the White Tanks that can be incorporated into a loop hike. The highlight of the trail is Willow Spring.

To reach--Willow Canyon is not immediately accessible from a parking area. To get to the start of Willow Canyon Trail, start from Ramada/Area 7 at the end of Ramada Way, which is the next road past the popular Waterfall Trail. Take Mesquite Canyon Trail west for 1.80 miles (718' aeg) to the junction with Willow Canyon.

At the Mesquite/Willow junction, turn right at the signed junction to get on Willow Canyon Trail. The trail immediately crosses a dry wash, then heads uphill. The trail is in good shape and will gain approx 200' in the first 0.40 miles.

At this point, the trail levels off and is pleasant walking for the next mile. There is a wash in the bottom of the canyon below you which frequently holds water, and mule deer frequent the area.

At 1.40 miles, you will reach the Willow Spring area. There will be the rock ruins of an old cabin on the north side of the trail, and the ruins of an old corral on the south side--there is old wire fencing, rock walls, and a metal water tank full of branches. Turn left at the corral, go through the opening in the fence where a gate used to be, and follow the distinct use path a couple hundred feet over to the spring. There is always water here, although the waterfall only flows after heavy rain. This is a nice spot for a snack break in the shade. Once done, head back to the trail.

If you are not making this part of a loop hike, there's not much sense continuing west for the remaining 0.30 miles of the trail to the Ford Canyon Trail Junction. Heading back to the trailhead from the spring would make for a 5 mile (2.50 miles each way) out and back hike. If you do continue west to the Ford Canyon junction, the remaining 0.30 miles will gain about 150'.

Once at the Ford Canyon junction, you can turn right (north) to complete a very enjoyable loop of Ford Canyon & Waddell trails. Turning left (south) allows you to loop back around to Mesquite Canyon, or if you want to put in a lot of miles, a loop with Goat Camp.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2019-03-04 LindaAnn
  • 2019 White Tank Trails Map
    area related
    2019 White Tank Trails Map
  • 2019 White Tanks Closeup Map
    area related
    2019 White Tanks Closeup Map

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 $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - 2021 [ fees ]

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

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

2021 [ hours ] - varies by park & season

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
page created by joebartels on Mar 04 2019 6:08 pm

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