Dana's Arch, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
2.5 of 5 
no permit
67 9 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,739 feet
Elevation Gain 212 feet
Accumulated Gain 420 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.1
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2020-12-09 jillyonanadventu
10  2013-11-26 Stoic
16  2013-01-13 kingsnake
5  2013-01-01 kingsnake
1  2013-01-01 Barrett
15  2013-01-01 outdoor_lover
7  2009-02-15 JoelHazelton
Author JoelHazelton
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 10
Photos 986
Trips 407 map ( 1,987 miles )
Age 36 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan → 10 AM
Seasons   Winter to Spring
Sun  5:38am - 7:37pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
[ View More! ]
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
When Wickenburg gets unbearably boring...
by JoelHazelton

Although a relatively small mountain range just a stone's throw away from Wickenburg, the Vulture Mountains offer beauty and feelings of remoteness and solitude that are difficult to find in even some of the larger mountain ranges near Phoenix. Several roads and primitive campsites wind through these mountains, mostly occupied with large RVs and vans, but the rewards found in hiking the trails still exist. One such trail leads to Dana's Arch. My source for this trail was "Wickenburg Adventures" by Christine Maxa. If you're interested in some of the desert northwest of Phoenix, it is a very worthy purchase.

The trail is unsigned and begins on an old jeep track that drops steeply from the parking area into a wash and then climbs back up the other side. After about 100 yards, the road forks- take the left fork. In another hundred yards, the trail to the arch branches out on the left and is marked with small cairns on either side. Keep your eye out for these cairns, or you'll miss it!

The trail is narrow yet well-traveled, and the vegetation is up-close and personal on either side. Watch out for prickly pear and cholla sticking out over the trail. This stretch gently gains elevation, following a wash to the left. Soon the trail tops out at a low saddle. Not far past the saddle, at about 0.6 miles, is another fork in the trail- take the left fork again. This fork is cairned. If you take the right fork, you will switchback steeply up the side of a hill. If you find yourself doing this, you are on the wrong trail! The route to Dana's Arch never gets steep at all. After turning left, the trail contours around a small hill with volcanic tuffs rising to the left before gradually descending off the hill and connecting with the bottom of a wash. When you start walking on the bed of the wash, you are just about to the arch. Keep your eye out for another small cairn on the left, directing you out of the wash. When you climb out, the trail quickly disappears, and you can see the arch on the ridge immediately to the east (left).

It is quite easy to hike up to the arch. If you take a direct route to it, you will have to do a bit of climbing, but it's super fun. If you don't want to climb, then head up to the saddle to the north (left) of the rock formations that form the arch. This will involve some bushwhacking, but it's a very easy walk. Once up the saddle, the ridgeline to the right (south) is flat, and it's a quick stroll to the arch.

Enjoy the view of Vulture Peak from up here, as it's a different angle than what people usually see of this Wickenburg landmark. Once you're done, either return the way you came or, if you have a map, form an off-trail loop of sorts. Enjoy!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2009-02-18 JoelHazelton
    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 / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Wickenburg, head west on US 60 (Wickenburg Way) to Vulture Mine Road. Turn left on Vulture Mine Rd and travel about 4 miles to an unmarked dirt road on the right, just past milepost 22. Turn right here. The road is rocky and rough, but never presents much of a clearance issue as long as you drive carefully. In about one-quarter mile, take a left at the first real fork in the road (ignoring the one or two false forks that will take you right back to the main road). This road will narrow and get slightly rougher. Go about 0.5 miles to a large, grassy parking area, immediately before the road takes a sharp right into a wash. This will be the beginning of the trail.
    page created by JoelHazelton on Feb 18 2009 9:58 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

    end of page marker