Pivot Rock Canyon, AZ | HikeArizona
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Pivot Rock Canyon, AZ

Guide 48 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.8 of 5 
no permit
436 48 0
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,644 feet
Elevation Gain 475 feet
Accumulated Gain 475 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.68
 Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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5  2022-07-16
Upper Pivot Rock Canyon - Out n Back
2  2022-07-16
Upper Pivot Rock Canyon - out n back
12  2022-07-16
Upper Pivot Rock Canyon - out n back
16  2021-07-31 jillyonanadventu
12  2021-04-24
Bearfoot to Pivot
42  2020-08-19 outdoor_lover
4  2020-08-16 The_Eagle
7  2020-07-18 azlaurie
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
author avatar Guides 103
Routes 249
Photos 2,067
Trips 511 map ( 4,929 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Payson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, May, Aug, Sep
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  7:32am - 5:24pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2019 Coldwater Fire16.8k
🔥 2016 Pivot Rock Fire6k
🔥 2011 Sandrock Fire4.6k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥

It could go either way
by nonot

This hike is partially along abandoned jeep roads and somewhat along a trail. It ends near Pivot Spring at the top and FR142 at the bottom.

Bring a filter if intending to filter from Pivot Spring. It looks clean but could be contaminated. Also, the area is a maze of old jeep trails and hiker trails, be cautious you stay on route.

You will encounter an old cabin on the route. I heard there are two cabins, but only saw the one :(

From FR142, hike into the "Area Closed To Motor Vehicles" area as it winds its way along a rocky creekbed. After half a mile, a jeep trail leaves heading south, do not take it. Instead, continue along the creek, using hiker trails where they exist and parallel the streambed.

After about 1.2 miles, you will want to follow the old jeep trails heading south rather than continuing straight to the west. The jeep trail goes along the creekbed for a while and is pleasantly shaded. Continue walking the jeep trail until you see the cabin. It appears people have gotten creative with reorganizing the top rows of logs of the cabin. Inside, someone has constructed a rock monstrosity out of the chimney remnants.

Outside, you can see that it is in pretty darn good shape as far as old cabins are concerned. The place where there was a chimney is unmistakable, although the roof no longer exists. When done, continue south along the jeep road. Once you pass the jeep road, you will begin to encounter dozens of intersections. Each time take the option that goes left. Eventually, you will drop into the canyon floor and start heading up the canyon. I hope that the idiots lugging the discarded cartons of bullets and shooting at targets littered over the area are not there as you round the next bend.

After a while, the canyon gets very green, lush, and there are ferns everywhere. The trail has become a footpath and is reasonably easy to follow as it ascends the canyon. You will come to a junction where two creeks diverge upstream. Follow the trail along the left branch (looking upcanyon). The trail will lead you to Pivot Rock spring, and a short distance later, to the top of the rim and FR 616.

Pivot Rock spring provides cold water and natural air-conditioning as it emerges from its dark alcove. If it is a hot day, rest here a while and cool off!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2009-08-10 nonot

    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 $$

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To 142E Trailhead
    From Phx, take I-17 N to exit 287/HWY 260. Take 260 E and just before milepost 249, turn left/N onto FR 144. Take FR 144 1.8 miles and turn left onto FR 149. Follow FR 149 1.1 miles to a T junction with FR 142. Turn right onto FR 142 and follow it .8 mile to FR 142E on the left (there was a sign for 142D and on the other side of the same road was a rock painted with 142E). Stay straight on FR142 another 0.8 miles until it dips down and crosses Tom's Creek. There are parking options in this area off the road.

    2016-07 LindaAnn writes: The last 1/3 mile or so on 142E is the only rough part, maybe not great for low clearance, but easy enough to park there and walk a little extra to the trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 132 mi - about 2 hours 30 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 237 mi - about 3 hours 59 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 90.2 mi - about 1 hour 51 mins
    page created by nonot on Aug 10 2009 12:02 am

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