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Maricopa Trail - White Tanks to Grand Avenue, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 18.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,453 feet
Elevation Gain 282 feet
Accumulated Gain 632 feet
Avg Time One Way 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.36
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2021-03-31
Maricopa Trail - Grand Avenue/Westwing
12  2020-02-09 DarthStiller
8  2020-02-01 DarthStiller
16  2019-12-28 DarthStiller
Author DarthStiller
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 359
Photos 7,455
Trips 557 map ( 5,006 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Dec, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:21am - 7:44pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Single track and jeep roads, hike it before the development gets there
by DarthStiller

The north end of this segment of the trail is one of the few spots that has a trailhead that is solely dedicated to the Maricopa Trail, named the Trilby Trailhead. The trailhead has very sparse amenities, consisting of gravel, under ten parking spots, and a kiosk with a map of the local area and trail.

Heading in a general southwest bound direction, take Santa Fe Drive towards 163rd Ave. and cross Route 60. Markers for the MT are few in this area, so it helps to have a GPS track. After crossing Route 60, the markers direct you to some single track that eventually turns into lighter jeep roads. The single track section parallels Route 60 for almost a mile. Some trash has been dumped in this area, as well.

Soon the single track turns to a jeep road and gradually turns to the west and then southwest, making a half a circumference around the Trilby Wash Basin. The jeep roads continue in a southwesterly direction, making hard rights and lefts, keeping in mostly straight segments. The surrounding area here is undeveloped, with some berms and a powerline crossing at one point. Just over 5 miles in, the trail crosses Trilby Wash. Vegetation is a combination of native Sonoran desert flora and what is best described as weeds.

At the 6.5 mile mark, the trail intersects the Sun Valley Parkway. At this point, the trail takes a detour to the east to a bridge, going under the parkway, and then back. Altogether, this jog in the trail takes up about a mile.

Once past the Sun Valley Parkway, the trail becomes primarily all single track. The surrounding area is still undeveloped and the flora is more native desert. The White Tank mountains come more into focus from the west. Also coming into focus is a powerline that the trail parallels for the next few miles, crossing under at one point. To the southeast, South Mountain and the Estrellas are visible, although distant. To the east, Four Peaks and the Superstitions are at times recognizable, but much smaller. To the north, the mountains near Lake Pleasant are very prominent.

After a few jogs, the trail heads straight towards the White Tanks in a southwestern direction. At just over 12 miles from the Trilby Trailhead, the trail makes a 90-degree bend to the northwest towards White Tanks and enters it at the 13-mile mark. For the next 2.6 miles, the Mule Deer Trail in White Tank Mountain Regional Park is designated as the MT. There are two spurs in this park. One is at the north entrance and continues another quarter mile northwest to the main Trailhead Staging Area inside White Tanks. The second spur is the South Trail inside the park and is 0.1 miles from the end of the Mule Deer Trail to a small parking lot.

Once it leaves White Tanks, the trail heads in a southwest direction while descending into a valley with a saguaro forest. The trail heads this direction for just under a mile, at which point the trail intersects Northern Avenue and follows a jeep road. The single track parallels the jeep road (Northern Ave) until the southern terminus of this segment, which is designated as an access point.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2020-04-21 DarthStiller
  • 2017 Map
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    2017 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 $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
To the Trilby Trailhead, take I-10 to the 303 north and exit at Route 60. Take Route 60 northwest and turn right on 163rd Ave, then right again on Santa Fe Drive. The trail is just past a canal on the north side of Santa Fe. Other designated trailheads for this segment are the Mule Deer and South Trailheads in White Tank Mountain Regional Park.
page created by DarthStiller on Apr 21 2020 1:41 pm
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