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Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks, AZ

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Guide 85 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
3.2 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,497 feet
Elevation Gain 1,730 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,050 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.03
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15  2019-02-24
Barry Goldwater Peak-Ford Cyn-Willow Spring
8  2018-12-22 Yoder
9  2018-11-23
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
18  2018-11-12
Ford Canyon-Goat Camp
5  2018-02-18
White Tanks Goat Camp to Willow Canyon
4  2017-12-23
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
34  2017-12-08
Goat Camp - Willow / Mesquite Loop
7  2017-02-17
First MTB Ride
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author PatrickL
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 61
Photos 1,394
Trips 395 map ( 1,867 miles )
Age 28 Male Gender
Location Buckeye, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:37pm
Official Route
23 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Goats in the Valley
by PatrickL

Goat Camp is your southernmost entry to White Tank Regional Park's backcountry. Compared to its two counterparts, Mesquite Trail and Ford Canyon, it is the most strenuous, partially due to its rocky terrain. The reward after the climb up is a 3 mile, blissful stroll in the heart of the White Tank Mountains.

From the start of your hike, you are surrounded with classic desert scenery. Several large, rugged outcrops and the broad, tower-infested ridge of Peak 4018 paint the picture in front of you. Though it's tempting to look up, you'll want to watch your step frequently to keep from tripping. The trail crosses Black Canyon's wash just before mile marker one, and doesn't get any less rocky. Half a mile later, you'll pass under a couple mesquite trees to find a perfect rock bench on your left. Have a seat and take a breather. This is where things get fun.

The trail crosses the dry bed of Goat Canyon followed by several switchbacks before skirting along the slopes of the canyon for half a mile. During this 570ft climb, you'll have great views of the prominent, thumb-like outcrop to the north (I like to refer to it as the Goat Thumb), as well as some awesome cliffs to the south. There will be plenty of time to admire the beautiful scenery as you stop to catch your breath. You'll top out at a nice bed of sand and small dryfall, then do a quick zigzag up some boulders to reach the second mile marker.

The views continue as you enter a small valley. The once distant Peak 4018 looms above directly in front of you. While the rockiness subsides slightly, the climbing is yet to be over. Near the head of Goat Canyon, the trail bends to the north and begins a 220ft climb to the top of a ridge. Footing here can be loose, especially on the way down, so use some caution. The ridge makes for a nice destination, however, turning around here would be a big mistake.

The remaining three miles are the big pay off that makes up for all of your hard work. It is groomed to perfection wherever possible, and despite some minor ups, the majority of it is either flat or very gradual downhill. It's the perfect showcase with views east to the Valley of the Sun, numerous canyons, and the tallest peaks in the White Tanks. The best part is you won't be stumbling with every step you take, so go ahead and stare! When you reach the end of the trail, you can head back the way you came, loop around with Mesquite Trail, or do 11 more miles with Ford Canyon and Mule Deer for the complete White Tank Loop.

Water Sources
None on trail. There is a spigot at the trailhead.

The nearest camping is located in the park. See here for details.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2012-04-23 PatrickL
  • PDF Trails Map
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    PDF Trails Map
  • PDF Trails Map
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    PDF Trails 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.

Most recent of 38 deeper Triplog Reviews
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Hiked to the saddle, which is located at a little over the 2 mi point. Trail is well maintained. The first mi is an easy hike, then most of the 1000’ elevation change happens in the more difficult 2nd mi. Instead of turning around at the saddle, as we did, you can continue to make it a 10+ mile loop if desired.
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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This was a pleasant little hike with the pups today. I had been meaning to do the peak since the White Tanks popped up on my radar in the spring and today proved a good day to do it.

We got an early start and the temps were cool most of the day and the trails were fast and nice for the most part. It wasn’t the best day for views and the White Tanks are a little drab right now, but I still enjoyed the relatively close to home alternative. A good way to pad some stats and a add a peak late in the year (those things are important to Blanco). Overall it was a nice day and a decent hike, you could say it was a Barry Merry Christmas..🎄🎁
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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One last hike "out west" end of the big city.

Saw course little deer gals and four javelina...Surprised they were out and about it's chilly down here but today was gorgeous!!

Tried my hand at some bouldering off BG summit that didn't last long because I got chilled in the shade.

How I'll survive up north next week I have no idea haha
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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White Tanks
Hit the trial with my youngest daughter for the first time. She loved it....well for about the first .5 mile. Then she was asleep for the rest of the ride. But that's ok. The trails were in great condition. There was very little traffic.

Started on South Trail. Then hit Goat Camp. From Goat Camp, I jumped on Bajada leading to Mule Deer which brought us back to the trail head. Beautiful day!
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Radio Barry Sunday
Return visit a long time in the making. I had hiked to Barry Goldwater with my brother in law a little over 4 years ago, and I have wanted to do it again ever since. Make it a double peak day, and I am in. I managed to shave almost an hour and change off the previous time, and added in the extra peak. Thanks to trekkin gekko for the track idea, the tower road walk in between made logistics work out nicely. I got an 8:30 start in the morning, chilly but not too bad. Goat Camp is good trail, but gets pretty relentless from mile 1-3 or so. I saw a group of 6 white tail cross the trail about 50-60 feet ahead of me right before the Radio spur, Awesome start to a great hike. I had a head down moment and plowed past the turn off for the Radio Summit, but did not get too far down the trail before I realized my mistake. First time up the Radio Summit, the spur trail is pretty easy to follow. It does get a little thin in spots, but since you are heading up a ridgeline to a bunch of looming towers, it is hard to get too far off track. Took a short break at the top and then headed down the tower road for Barry Goldwater. Nothing like dropping 800' just to gain it right back again. Big machinery up by the top, looks like there will be some construction in the near future. Took a few minutes to thumb through the summit register, saw lots of familiar names in here. Great to see so many of my HAZ brothers and sisters representing. Looks like I just missed the Eagle and Ray Huston by a day! Took another break for some views and headed on down to the connector trail. I stopped a little ways down for a PB sandwich and some Gatorade, and then powered my way out. I saw about a dozen hikers today, but they were all within 2 miles of the trailhead. All Rush on the playlist today, Fly by Night, Signals, Caress of Steel (my personal favorite), 2112, Exit Stage Left. Been listening to more Rush this week after hearing Neil Peart is officially hanging up the sticks, sad days for the rock world. So glad I got to see them one last time on the R40 tour...
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
My first trip to the White Tank Mountains Regional Park. I've heard many good things about it but haven't made it out that way until now. This was a very enjoyable loop. Excellent trails, beautiful scenery and a chance to soar with an eagle. Well, Bruce soars, I just try to keep up!

I got a ping from Bruce earlier in the week. We hadn't hiked together in a few moons, so I jumped at the chance. Bruce needed to be home early for a holiday party so I suggested this loop in the White Tanks, thinking that might get us done soon enough. Bruce suggested adding Barry Goldwater peak, an extra 5 miles and 1200 feet. Barry Goldwater is my oldest memory of presidential elections. At 7 years old, I was already into politics, urging my mother to vote for Barry. She voted for Johnson. We still have those same conversations (arguments?) today, but I digress.

I agreed to the side trip to BG because I needed the workout. Bruce kicked my :pk: up the hill (he called it "life coaching") whereupon we took a delightful break under a warm sun. The previous few miles had been uphill against a bone chilling wind that was doing its best to beat us back down. The break at the top under sunny skies with a wind break at our backs was simply wonderful.

We made good time on the way back. The excellent trails in this park allowed us to let gravity pull us down the mountain. Neither of us had spare batteries so we were also racing to get back before the Garmins died. I think we made it just in time. It was a cold and windy day in the White Tanks, for much of the route, anyway, but it was still a fun hike with great company. Good to see you again, Bruce!
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
Took a white Tanks Newbie out for a sampling of the area.

Brisk Morning turned to cold late morning when we lost the sun and the wind picked up. Ford Canyon is still my favorite up there. I also enjoy the Willow Spring area, especially above the spring.

We headed out Goat Camp and then the cairned short cut up to Barry Goldwater Peak. We had some lunch up top. It looks like they're getting ready for some kind of construction up there. A large pallet filled with Concrete sits up top.

A Video tour of Barry Goldwater Peak = :next: ... zlX8

Not as many out as I expected to see. Great Hiking w/ Ray again.
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Well it was a nice cool morning so I decided on getting a early start. I hit the trail around 11:30am and I was the only car at the trailhead. Just one of the advantages of a early start.
The last time I tried this hike I got extremely sick and had to turn back. I knew then I would have to come back and finish this hike and today was the day :y: .
The hike started out pretty slow as there really wasn't much to see. The best part of the hike was going down Willow Canyon which I almost didn't do. You know one of those last second changes I saw a sign that said one mile so why not as I knew it would connect with Mesquite further down. I not sure what we came upon but it might have been a old homestead. It really was in a great spot with a waterfall when it rains and some really nice shaded areas around it :app: .
As we got closer to where Mesquite connects to the road we did get to see four deer and they didn't seem to mind us being there. It was a really nice hike and I had to make so changes at the end as I really did not like the way the Haz Map had the hike finish.
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Went 3 miles up to the ridge and back. Brittlebush are looking weak higher up and they're mostly dead down below. Some nice hedgehogs and buckhorn blooms are still hanging on. Saw a good-sized chuckwalla - the first confirmed one I've ever seen in the White Tanks.
Goat Camp Trail - White Tanks
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Well I had planned on doing a loop but that didn't happen. :( . After the first mile I began to feel real bad and had to sit a while as I got really light headed. After a while I tried again but had to stop a quarter mile further and take another break. I thought about pulling the plug and heading home. But I decided to try again and I did.
As I went up I started to feel better and of course I kept on going. I did have a few people stop along the to see if I was ok, which was nice.
I did not know that there was a 50K run today which made it busy. 50K that's over 30miles and I am not sure how many finished it. As I continued up I saw some of the same people that passed me earlier coming down and they all said they give up. after a while I decide it was time for me to give up and head back home. There's always another day for me to comeback and finish what I started.
And I will.

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

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Goat Camp Trailhead
101 Loop to Park Take the I-10 west out of Phoenix to the 101 Loop Freeway. Go north on the 101 to Olive Blvd. Take a left and head west 13.5 miles to the White Tanks park entrance.

I-10 to Park To get to the White Tanks Park from downtown (PHX) is to stay on I-10 to Cotton Lane. Then go North 7 miles to Olive Ave, there is a stop sign and a Fertazone plant on the NW corner. Take a left (west) to the park. By going this you miss the new stop lights and the added stop signs on Olive.

After paying the fee at the entrance station on Olive Ave., continue west and take the first left, which is Black Canyon Drive, then park at the second parking lot on the left, which is Area 2. This is the location of the Goat Camp Trail trailhead. If the lot is full, go back to the first parking lot, which is Area 1. This is the location of the South Trail trailhead. The South Trail connects to the Goat Camp Trail.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 36.8 mi - about 50 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 144 mi - about 2 hours 20 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 153 mi - about 2 hours 29 mins
page created by PatrickL on Apr 23 2012 9:40 pm
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