register help

Rough N Ready Canyon, AZ

no permit
50 33 0
Guide 33 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.6 of 5 by 7
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,218 feet
Elevation Gain -468 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.78
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
16  2019-03-25
Quartz Crystal Arroyo Loop
15  2019-03-24
Pedestal Arch
10  2019-03-24
Pedestal Arch
10  2019-03-24
Pedestal Arch
36  2019-03-02
Goldfield Arroyo and Window
20  2019-02-06
Goldfields: Golden Dome and Peak 3141
12  2019-01-12
Golden Dome
14  2018-02-18
Goldfield Combo
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 247
Photos 7,293
Trips 1,818 map ( 15,596 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:30pm
Official Route
12 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Go prepared! - Caving Checklist
Join The Rolling Stones
by AZLOT69

In the relatively short distance Rough-N-Ready Canyon traverses between the Javelina Mine Trail and Willow Springs Canyon Lower it transforms from many gentle swales providing drainage for the Golden Hillside Mines area to a wash. It continues on joining with several other tributaries finally becoming a spectacular rugged, rocky canyon with walls standing several hundred feet on either side.

Flash flood warning. These dry washes and canyons can fill with water quickly and the water can be strong and violent. Evidence abounds that water at depths over ten feet deep have passed this way. Water will significantly add to the difficulty of this hike as the entire hike is in the waterway.

Follow the Javelina mine trail for one half mile. At one half mile take the jeep road to the left. At the top of the hill look left and right of the road. There is a swale on either side. Going out take the one on your right. If you return this way come back via the swale on your left. Either way the two swales join together and become one just ahead. You may locate some domestic trash in the area which seems to be from the mining era. The swale is occasionally filled with obnoxious vegetation in this section. You can generally find a way around right or left of the swale. The swale curves right with some nice monoliths on the horizon. A significant step down in the swale is encountered. This obstacle can be avoided on the left. The swale now becomes a wash with a more defined pathway. The wash alternates back and forth between an easy sandy traverse to a moderate rocky encounter. Soon a cottonwood tree appears. There is another significant step down in the wash here where there appears to be a spring. Even in the driest of times there is water pooled although stagnant. Avoid the obstacle on the left. There are two more areas like this just ahead. Both have cottonwood trees with significant steps down in the wash. The second is the more interesting with a slot carved into the wash. The next obstacle is another significant step down. This one is about twenty feet and without ropes can be avoided on the right. The deep wash now can not be reentered for about two hundred yards. Get back into the wash when possible. At about two miles Quartz Crystal Arroyo joins from the right. The two trails continue thru a canopy of mesquite trees surrounded by golden hillsides. Rough-N-Ready continues as it starts its conversion into a canyon. There are countless distractions which will draw the curious out of the wash to explore and photograph. Just over a half mile after passing Quartz Crystal Arroyo, the Packsaddle Trail enters from the left. Rough-n-Ready is now a canyon. The next mile and a half is a thrill. The trail now alternates between an intermediate rock hop to more difficult bouldering, all of which is non technical. Be alert for natural arches and unusual rock formations. At about three and a half miles into the hike watch for a cave on the left. As one of the more unusual natural caves in the area, it has a separate entrance and exit making it all the more special. Back in the canyon a little more bouldering leads to an easy section and the intersection of Willow Springs Basin and the trailhead for Willow Springs Canyon Lower. You can continue by connecting to these trails or return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-01-21 AZLOT69
    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.

    Most recent of 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldfield Combo
    one of the best things about haz is the ideas you get from other people
    @hikerdw, @hikingaz2, @azlot69, and @cannondalekid have all posted triplogs, photosets and gps routes for two hikes i've been wanting to do
    thought we could combine razorback knob and camouflage tanks with triple arch via black glass canyon
    doing it this way would eliminate the nasty bushwhack down the exit wash, eliminate a duplicate approach, and give us a lot of bang for the buck
    after my route manager skilz scared jj off, john and i set out around 0715 on dave's track, hooking up with a trail i belatedly realized i've been on before: rough n ready canyon
    we found the point where the off trail began, and took the path of least resistance up to the base of razorback knob
    neither of us were feeling the summit due to steep and sketchy terrain
    great views from the base
    headed off to the camo tanks, exploring the area and taking a snack break
    bigger than i pictured, some animal paths leading toward it, interesting setup
    i also had hikingaz2's route of black glass canyon, and it was a very simple matter to drop down to it
    that was the piece i was missing, so perhaps my track can help the next person connect the two
    nice to see triple arch, then continue into the canyon
    boulder hopping and a little bit of finding the best way down
    only one real drop that required a work around
    beautiful in there and a fun descent
    a few pools of water
    came out in willow springs basin, and immediately saw a couple in a jeep doing some four-wheeling
    a couple miles of walking in gravel, then took one of the horse trails back
    some gratuitous aeg on this; would try the other trail another time
    saw three groups of horseback riders along here
    the entire hike was only 10.2 miles - i had thought it would be closer to 12
    while i was a tiny bit disappointed not to summit the knob, i got to see four cool goldfield landmarks up close
    thanks for being willing to come along, john
    i always enjoy hiking and exploring with you

    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Goldfields Figure 8 Loop and Arroyo
    We've had this on our TO DO list ever since we saw it posted and boy was it a winner. I think the previous hikers trip reports were holding out on us as to how beautiful this "keep on giving" figure 8/loop was as we were pleased with each corner we turned, each hill we crested, each valley we went thru and then to top it off, there were wildflowers, water in the arroyo, cool-shaped clouds, great temperatures and a really awesome arch. Other than the humidity, it couldn't have been a better day. Plus, after a little extra route finding, I was able to visit the bedrock bench that I was last at in 2010. So thanks Kelly for a great day in the Goldfields and thanks for dinner after.

    Oh ya, the hike. Starting out on the road you eventually hang a left and head west altho we went a little further and Kelly took a look at RS to discover we SHOULD have taken that first turn. It was very green out already as we headed west for a bit before coming to another section to head west again as I wanted to do the Figure 8/Loop that way so we could hit the Arroyo on the way back if I felt up to it. You eventually come to a little canyon like area that you hike through so that was a pleasant surprise. You go up and down a little and have great views to the north. Eventually you end up doing a little road walk before heading north toward a gold faced mountain.

    It was a little climb up to here where you get right below the rock face before heading up above it to the huge bedrock area that Kelly and I were anxious to see. It was so cool and the views :y: . The clouds were pretty awesome too and then as we topped the bedrock area we even got some wildflower action as we made our way down the back end. After crossing the wash which you could take toward Top Hat we continued north on familiar ground to the intersection with the top part of the loop. I didn't think there was anything of interest and thot we would have to bushwhack after crossing the wash but we decided as long as it looked like a good trail we would see where "the boys" went. Needless to say, sure glad we decided to proceed.

    We had lunch on top of some folded bedrock with views in all directions. It was still overcast so everything seemed extra colorful. In fact, I'm having to tone down the colors in my pictures as the camera seemed to photograph in such a saturated way. After lunch we walked thru one of those interesting areas where the ground is somewhat void of vegetation and there are little rocks and some lava-looking boulders scattered about. Luckily the trail went the whole way as I don't think we crossed over the deepest part of the wash. Kelly went and took a picture of her cracked boulder and we checked out the tunnel we think is so cool before continuing our way around this little mountain. We saw a cave above and I zoomed in and we also saw a little arch.

    As we were hiking ahead of us to the left we could see a great stand of saguaros on the hillside. Little did we know we would get to hike right next to them. That's the second time when we saw something cool from a distance and then found ourselves hiking next to it (the huge bedrock face of the mountain earlier and now this). Once again we would cross over a wash and alongside another mountain. It seemed like we would go up about two mountains and then down into these little valleys. It was a constant blitz of really cool stuff to see :y: . In fact, when I talked to two horseback riders, they made the same comment. I do wonder if the horses wear different shoes to hold onto that bedrock, especially when they're going down it? Just before meeting up with them we saw the middle line of the 8 but opted to continue on our loop since we still wanted to go see the Arroyo.

    The horses went one way and we went the other way. I think their way was the short cut but once again, glad we went the day we did as we got to see the Window Arch. Kelly had walked right by. I think I had it marked on RS who was barking at me. So we had a little fun in that. We saw the inch worm earlier. After making a bit of a turn to the east and around we reached a wash and intersection where I thot there was a trail over to the Crystal Arroyo so we proceeded over there. It did have water in it but not as much as I had hoped. We took a short break here; it was really nice. The next goal was to find the long bedrock bench I had been on back in 2010 with Kat, Bruce, Ambika and johnr1. We just had such a wonderful time there so I wanted to re-live that moment for a moment.

    At the end of the Crystal Arroyo trail I felt we should go off trail to the bench but just wasn't sure; after all, it's been seven years. We ended up on the Golden Eye Trail as we went south and then east getting further away from the Waypoint I had marked. We backtracked UP hill and came to the area where we cross over to the bench with a slight detour to check out a possible route to Helmet Rock. I said to Kelly, "today?!" and she said "yes if it looked like we could make it easily from here". We went north to an edge and easy was definitely not to be. So we headed back toward the bench. We sat for awhile but since it got chilly we left and headed back to the Arroyo.

    We got to the intersection we had been at earlier and then continued southish on part of the trail we had been on before when we were out here. It was a fairly quick couple of miles when we were "hiking for beer". The sun started to come out by this point but it never got warm. I never took off my outer shirt the entire way and though the time doesn't show it, Kelly kept up a pretty good pace; mostly so I wouldn't dally with my camera too long :lol: and as you all know, that's a tall task.

    I think this ended up being my longest hike since August 2014 when I did some AZT that was around 15 miles. So that's two weekends in a row of long hikes this year... then again, the elevation and trail conditions made that very doable. I'm still working on the many, many photos I took and it's been fun editing them as it was a beautiful hike. The videos could be awhile as usual. I can't wait to see them myself.

    Part 1 from the road [ youtube video ]
    Part 2 to the Keyhole [ youtube video ]
    Part 3 to the Wash [ youtube video ]
    Part 4 to top of Loop [ youtube video ]
    Part 5 east side of loop [ youtube video ]
    Part 6 east side continued to middle of the 8 [ youtube video ]
    Part 7 to junction with Rough n Ready, side trip toward Arroyo [ youtube video ]
    Part 8 Crystal Quartz Arroyo, search for Bench and back to TH [ youtube video ]

    scattered poppies and scorpion weed.
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldfields Figure 8
    this hike has been in the works since we've seen tracks posted from @hikerdw, @hikingaz2 and @rtaylor3235
    set out around 8:00 sunday morning
    followed the route pretty well except for the actual crossover area that makes it a figure 8, staying on obvious horse trails and out of the washes
    seems like any goldfields hike takes a couple miles to get interesting, but the vistas and greenery make up for it
    took the left leg first, eventually dropping into a deep wash or shallow canyon
    stayed left, and by that point we were into the more dramatic rock formations
    nice climb up to a bedrock area with stellar views
    started seeing poppies and other wildflowers
    wound north and northwest on a horse trail
    wasn't until i recognized a certain rock formation that i realized we'd gone this way on the pedestal arch hike
    took the horse trail to where it curved around and had lunch on a rock outcropping, again with nice views and great scenery
    the next segment went past crack-in-the-rock [ photo ] , the rock tunnel, a dense saguaro stand and an arch
    dropped down to rough and ready canyon - there were actually a couple of paths for this, but we stuck to the posted track, and angela spotted another arch
    angela knew of a use trail that cut over to quartz crystal arroyo, wanting to see if there was flowing water and check out a rock bench up above
    pools of water but no flow, and we had a bit of a chase finding the rock bench, even heading down golden eye mine for several hundred yards
    the bench also offered great views, especially of helmet rock :)
    (shameless plug for my forum post: viewtopic.php?p=122923#p122923)
    retraced our steps down the arroyo, back to rough & ready and back out
    very nice loop, didn't quite get the middle of the 8
    fun day exploring some new territory in the goldfields
    angela couldn't enjoy her beer at the trailhead due to some annoying bugs, so we packed it in and hit la casita for dinner
    thanks for doing this one with me, tibber
    still so much more to see out there
    posting more photos that usual, as the boys didn't take many and we both feel this hike is worth sharing
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldfields Rambling
    we had intended to follow hikerdw's figure 8, and started out clockwise on the bottom loop
    got distracted by some of the peaks ahead of us, and contoured around to see if we could find a summit
    ended up in rough-n-ready canyon, and headed north to the confluence with willow springs canyon
    in between, went partway up a drainage to see what we could see up high
    went back on the sandy road in willow springs canyon, then found a trail that cut over to rough-n-ready
    accidently turned onto quartz crystal arroyo, which is a very nice trail, then finished sort of on javelina mine trail
    so we didn't do the figure 8, and that can be revisited another time
    explored some caves, saw some great scenery, saw a gila monster (3rd one for me but first photos) and an eastern collared lizard
    saw six hikers and four horseback riders
    more research is needed as i really don't know what the landmarks are out here or exactly all the trails we were on
    intriguing area and some of the high points might be fun
    thanks for the hike, john
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldfields Loop from FR1356
    Mark and I headed out to the Goldfield Mountains on a nice loop hike, starting just east of the Tomahawk Mine off of FR1356, dropping into Rough and Ready Canyon, then looping back west and south on the Packhorse Trail (I think) for a bit, then following a wash parallel to Rough and Ready Cyn until we reached the Tomahawk trail.

    This was a very enjoyable hike under clear blue skies. Although chilly in the shade, the bright sun kept us warm throughout. We took a side loop off of Rough and Ready Canyon up to the ridge and played around near an arch that we noticed on the way up. The arch was a perfect window frame to the Four Peaks.

    After lunch, at the NW corner of our loop, we saw what we thought was another arch in the distance. We scrambled up to where we thought the arch was, but didn't find anything. Turns out the sun, shadows and a saguaro were playing tricks on us. Anyway, I found a geocache when I got to the top. Since there was no arch, I played around with the toy soldiers inside the ammo can, signed the log for Mark and I and we returned to our hike.

    The last third of the hike wasn't as fun as the first two thirds, but still enjoyable. A good chunk of it was in and out of a wash. We joined up with the Tomahawk Trail, then back to the Jeep. For the finale, Mark took us down the forest road to Bulldog Canyon and we exited that way.

    This was a very fun hike on a gorgeous day with great company. The weather was perfect. Bright sunshine on the yellow rock and bright green moss was simply striking. My photos will not do it justice. I need to come out here again. Mark, thanks for inviting me along. I had a great time!
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It didn't seem like we took that many breaks since we only sat down once for lunch. I guess it was the exploring and stopping to gawk, oh and of course, the blood trail we followed. Second, thx Kelly for co-navigating this one. It was a bit tricky because there are so many trails and options now. Third, we missed two of the areas from last time so I'll be heading back in the spring to find them.

    We met at the TH and headed across the road and up the Javelina Mine Trail before splitting left to catch up with the now trailed Rough n Ready Canyon Trail. You do have to be somewhat careful out here now as there are trails and they are unmarked so you better know where you're going. The scenery out here is very interesting and fun to investigate what catches your eye like a cave we saw above the trail. We climbed up to it and it is pretty big. We had Jack do the scat check before heading back down to the trail which at this point was high above the wash. Another note of caution is when you do end up going in the washes, watch for where the trail leaves the wash but then you have to be mindful if the trail you catch out is the right one. You have to know where you are going, that is if you have a specific route or destination you're looking for.

    Before the cave or about 1/2 hr after seeing the first blood we finally found the resolution to the significant blood spots we followed for almost a mile. We had hoped it wasn't a human being bleeding like that and thot maybe a horse and then Jack said maybe a hunter had nabbed something. The blood stains were very recent. Soon Jack looked up from the trail and saw the guts of the hunted deer. Mystery solved.

    We continued in and out of the wash and into the Canyon with expanded views of the lichen-covered rockery with layers of tuft waving through it. I have to say, it's much more beautiful when the sun shines on it though. I looked at my photo set from last time and was duly impressed with those and other pictures we had taken last time on a beautiful weather day. I was shocked I didn't take any video so I made up for it this time ;) .

    We saw a porthole in what I called the Tuff Wave Mountain. Kelly was intrigued and decided to go on up. She made pretty quick time of it and soon her head was peeking thru the port hole so we got pictures of her. Didn't know she got a pic of us too so that was pretty cool. We then followed the trail up from the wash and it headed to the right and behind the mountain, NOT the direction we wanted to go.

    It was here that I thot we had come up to on our way back so we made our way down this tricky area thru an opening between the rocks and by a little cave. As I was balancing myself across this steeper section I went to use the side wall only to have a huge chunk of it slide and bounce off my leg. That hurt! It's best if you want to take the short cut up to catch the backside of that mountain to do it UP, not down. And now, that's not even necessary as I see when we did it last time on the way back, we ended back in the wash again after going all around this narrow mountain.

    But we got back down to the wash and continued until the trail part ended. We decided to go up (SW) this wash/canyon for a bit before continuing on in the main wash looking for that turn around point from last time. This little side adventure was pretty cool scenery-wise. It looks like if you continue in that SW wash it veers to the south and you could possibly take it to Cottonwood Spring. Looking at the satellite vision, there may even be some trail to hook up with.

    We passed by the area we turned around at last time but I didn't even realize it as it doesn't look what I remembered. What a surprise? Anyway, we decided we would continue around one more corner... well an S curve actually. We didn't go far and then headed back a moment or two to end up eating what would be a quick lunch as it started to sprinkle so we were off again. For the rest of our hike it would rain on and off again. We headed back toward the trail that takes you up and around the wavy mountain but this trail wasn't veering to the right down to the Crystal Arroyo so we bushwhacked our way down to the Rough n Ready Canyon.

    Soon we came upon the Arroyo but it didn't have much water in it. However, the whole area along here is pretty cool :) . It started to rain a little harder so we didn't get to dally much. The rain stopped once we got to the top of the hill above the arroyo. This is a neat area too as you continue out of the canyon. The sights and views are still plentiful as we headed back toward the Javelina Mine Trail.

    We did get off track once going up a hill. That trail actually takes you over to the Willow Springs Trail to the east and then you could hang a right and head for the highway but we chose to go back down and hang a left (right if you were coming from the west) at the intersection. That's one thing I still struggle with is which way to turn or keep going straight :? ?

    You walk between some of the lower mountains and up a bit and past Checkmate Arch which we decided was too much of a scramble and with impending weather; we kept on moving. It is very green through here as you wind between the hills and eventually to the road that takes you back to the TH across the highway. The rain started to get more serious by now and let go when we arrived at our vehicles so we loaded up quickly and headed for Los Gringos but not before Jack handed out Pat's cookies which Kelly ate on the way. I saved mine for later.

    On the photoset, I included some pics from our hike in 2010. Last, I didn't realize how much video I took and unfortunately, with the lower light I've really had to edit them to get the light up. I only have one done and two are in production but I have several more to finish. Anyway, it was a great day and fun to be back in the Goldfields.

    Part 1 to Rough N Ready Canyon ... bwfU
    Part 2 RnR Canyon ... H4uY including large alcove
    Part 3 RnR ... 35Hs
    (My Favorite of the videos) Part 4 RnR ... 0zm4 including Tuff Wave Mountain
    Part 5 RnR ... nzLg including Side Canyon
    Part 6 RnR to the end and heading back ... OMxU up, out and back in
    Part 7 Quartz Crystal Arroyo ... ajKw
    Part 8 Javelina Mine Trail ... jWNs
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    angela and I have wanted to get out in the goldfields again
    we also wanted to arrange a hike with jack since he is back in az for good
    mary jo came along for the day, too
    angela picked this loop she had done before
    another good sampler with a variety of terrain and trails
    started out on javelin mine trail, taking rough n ready canyon trail after a half mile
    very nice when the canyon narrows, and we took a couple of exploratory side trips
    this canyon eventually connects with willow springs canyon but we didn't go that far, just picked a spot to turn around and have some lunch
    chose a slightly different path on the return, then back down the canyon to crystal quartz arroyo
    this short trail was a highlight, good trail through some cool rock formations
    connected with javelina mine trail again, which seemed the least scenic
    got a few sprinkles at our lunch spot, enough rain to put on rain gear halfway back, and we finished just as the heavy stuff arrived
    good timing
    enjoyed the company and seeing all new trails
    would like to see a map with all the trails on it
    we went off on crossing trails a couple times, and didn't know where they went
    would like tenny's book to be a little more user-friendly
    i think the solution is to spend more time out in the goldfields :)
    ambika hooked up with us at dos gringos for an early dinner
    thank you for that, angela
    thanks for the hike, y'all
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Went back to one of my favorite areas in the Goldfields. Weather was perfect, and we saw no one else all day. We were going to hit Black Class Canyon, but once again started out too late (blaming our late start an a squirrel party the night before.) After heading down the canyon past the Quartz Crystal Arroyo, we headed east and off-trailed it to the Willow Springs Basin Tank trail, then back by the Javelina Mine and out. Beside no people, we saw NO critters today, not even any lizards...

    Interesting that the old wrecked truck at the start of the hike has been removed.
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Having scoped out Rough & Ready yesterday, I was "Rough & Ready" to do the loop. We did this counter-clockwise, going to Javelina Mine first. Heading towards Quartz Crystal Arroyo we missed the left turn and ended up going about a mile down towards Willow Springs Basin. But that little side trip was totally worth it, beautiful scenery! I'm so glad we did turn around and find the trail to the Arroyo, that was the high point of the hike. Heading down into the Arroyo is simply gorgeous! Once we met the Rough & Ready Canyon, we headed back.

    I definitely want to go further down the Rough & Ready Canyon. Next time!
    Rough N Ready Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Went to to explore the area since I'd never hiked around there before. I wasn't sure I was even in the Rough & Ready Canyon, but when I got back and looked at the topos, I found out I was. Went back the next day and did the Javelina Mine to Quartz Arroyo and back via Rough & Ready. That's a great hike through some really pretty country (triplog and photos coming soon).

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    Apache trail Northeast from Idaho Road in Apache Junction. About 9 miles northeast to just short of highway marker 203. Just before the marker turn right into parking area. The trailhead is not marked but is a clear pulloff area just before the 203 sign and has parking for several dozens cars. Take the Javelina Mine Trail one half mile west to the Rough-N-Ready Trailhead.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Jan 21 2010 11:42 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

    end of page marker