Page data reflects the entire
trail from the horse staging area all the way to the Goat Trail. Few if any do this full stretch, adjust your distance accordingly when posting triplogs.Hike:
Here's a trail with many options. This summary reflects a one way 4.5mi/1140AEG trek. Starting at the middle Waddell
Trailhead, looping counter clockwise to the junction with Mesquite Trail
. See the map below for a better understanding. Choose one of the following options. Most hike 2.5 miles to the white granite slabs. Others loop back on the Mesquite Trail
for a 7.7 mile journey. Any trek along this trail on a 70 degree day would be enjoyable.
From the Waddell trailhead you'll soon be heading north. To the left a good size mountain looms close. It's a good landmark to remember for those taking on the 7.7 mile loop. A big wash is crossed before the junction with Ford Canyon Trail. The first mile of the Ford Canyon Trail takes you through a beautiful stretch of desert. The trail makes it's way, dodging cacti along the way. If by chance, you get bored with the beautiful desert scenery, an ascent helps change the pace. As I hadn't read anything about the trail, my eyes searched for everything. I caught a glimpse, in the distance, of a dry waterfall. That became the drive. What was it all about? Did it come close to the trail? How tall was it? Surprisingly the trail came closer than expected. Only to turn and climb to the real gem of this trail. The canyon stream bed turns to white granite slabs
. It's really white. Having hiked other trails in the White Tanks since, it's now apparent how the name came about. I could only imagine a summer swim in one of the many pools. I'm sure this is a very popular, day after monsoon rain, summer hike.
Not usually like myself, I forged on."The trail leaves the stream bed just after the 3 mile mark." A sign
on the left bank leads you out and up. The trail switchbacks up the canyon slope. Your heading towards a saddle with Willow Canyon. The vegetation, now in a third stage, is light desert terrain. Surrounded
completely by mountains, this is a very peaceful area. I nearly jumped (okay, I jumped) when two bucks or whatever they are
ran by me. Ocotillos
greet you coming to the first saddle. Cross over the saddle and now your looking into Willow Canyon
. Radio towers
can be seen in the distance. The trail goes down to the Mesquite Trail junction
. The Ford Canyon Trail actually goes about another mile where it hooks up with the Goat Camp Trail. You could make this into one huge loop with the Goat Camp Trail. If you do, consider a short side trip to Willow Springs