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White Tank's Master Loop, AZ

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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 19 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,482 feet
Elevation Gain 3,500 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8-12 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 36.5
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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9  2020-12-12 AZOutdoorsman
Author AZOutdoorsman
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 0
Photos 2,275
Trips 128 map ( 1,379 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Chandler, AZ
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Sun  5:38am - 7:35pm
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I Like Big Loops and I Can Not Lie
by AZOutdoorsman

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Warning
Sections of the Ford Trail are in a canyon drainage - sandy bottom & rock scrambling.


Overview
A true trailed loop of 19 miles combining multiple trails (well signed/marked) in White Tank Mountain Park. "I Like Big Loops and I Can Not Lie" - Sir-Hikes-a-Lot. I know there are others on the site who feel as I do. I put this one together, combining multiple trails to form a true, trailed, big loop out on the westside!

Hike
I started at Picnic Area 2 (see map) and did the loop clockwise, preferring the steepest ascent on a good trail at the start, then coming down the sandy drainage of Ford. As you can see from the map, there are several areas from which you could start the loop and go in either direction. I'm a pretty fast hiker and did some light/intermittent jogging on some of the easier sections - your time will, of course, vary from mine.

Heading out on the Bajada Trail (0:00 time), I soon rolled into the Goat Canyon Trail. This a great training ascent on pretty good trail tread (as are most of the trails). After about 6 miles I took the turn onto Mesquite Canyon Trail (2:08). (If you are looking to cut a few miles/100s' of AEC, you could continue onto Ford Trail at this point and eliminate the "horseshoe" section of this loop). Heading down a couple miles and crossing Mesquite Canyon onto the Willow Canyon Trail (2:56, includes:10 break). Now heading up and just before leaving Willow Canyon, there is a little side-route to the seasonal falls (out-and-back of just a few yards). Back on the trail to the junction with Ford Canyon Trail (3:36). I continue right on Ford Trail, which eventually goes into the canyon. Now the "trail" is through the drainage for a couple of miles or so. I pass the old dam and several cool bedrock areas that I scramble over - nothing too difficult for those used to off-trail. (Don't miss the stick sign with double right arrows at the canyon exit). Eventually, back on the lower part of the mountain, I reached the junction with Waddell Trail (5:57, includes:30 break). Following Waddell for about a mile, I reach Mesquite Canyon Trail once again and take a left. After about a mile, it dumps me into a parking lot. I walk to the opposite side and find the sign for the Mule Deer Trail (6:25). This trail goes through a burn but is still well-defined. After about a mile on Mule Deer I come to the junction with Bajada Trail (6:48) and take a right. In less than a mile, I'm back at the truck and have completed this loop! Finished 6h 58m.

Synopsis
A nice loop with some great scenery just outside the valley! All the trails are in excellent shape and well marked. I didn't GPS the route. Have Fun!!!

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Note
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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2020-12-13 AZOutdoorsman
  • 2019 White Tank Trails Map
    area related
    2019 White Tank Trails Map
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 - Fees more info


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

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
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Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take I-10 W to AZ-303 Loop. Take 303 N to W Northern Ave exit 110A. Turn left onto W Northern Ave. Turn right onto N Citrus Rd. Turn left onto W Olive Ave and follow into park. Get a map at entrance of roads/trails. Go to Picnic Area #2.
page created by AZOutdoorsman on Dec 13 2020 4:28 pm
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