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Ford Canyon Trail - White Tanks, AZ
details
drive
permit
forecast
route
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1,035
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226
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2
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Note: 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.
Description 226 Triplogs  2 Topics
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 11
 Region
 
0
0
 Phoenix NW
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,615 feet
Elevation Gain 1,410 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.1
Interest Seasonal Creek
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 758
Photos 9,495
Trips 3,523 map ( 18,268 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
2  2017-07-30
Ford Willow Loop
trekkin_gecko
8  2017-07-30
Ford Cyn-Willow Cyn Loop-White Tanks
lindaagm
17  2017-03-31
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
friendofThunderg
39  2017-03-07
Mesquite-Willows-Ford Canyon
Widowmaker
5  2017-03-05 norm5715
1  2017-03-04
Waddell Trail
MountainMatt
5  2017-02-04 Nightstalker
10  2017-01-07 Nightstalker
4  2016-12-24 MikeS
11  2016-12-18
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite Canyon
lindaagm
28  2016-12-07
Mesquite-Willow-Ford
Widowmaker
13  2016-11-16
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
Tortoise_Hiker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Backpack   Possible & Connecting
Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:36am - 5:54pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Mesquite Trail - White Tanks
0.0 mi away
4.0 mi
1,394 ft
Wild Life Trail - White Tanks
0.0 mi away
0.4 mi
15 ft
Mule Deer Trail - White Tanks
0.1 mi away
3.3 mi
251 ft
Black Rock Long Loop
0.3 mi away
1.3 mi
120 ft
Black Rock Short Loop
0.3 mi away
0.5 mi
68 ft
Waterfall Trail - White Tanks
0.5 mi away
2.0 mi
170 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Banded Garden Spider
Black-Throated Sparrow
Bordered Patch Butterfly
Checkerspot Butterfly
Chuckwalla
Common side-blotched lizard
Curve-billed Thrasher
Empress Leilia Butterfly
Gray Fox
Harris Antelope Squirrel
Horned Lizard
House Finch
Mule Deer
Phainopepla
Praying Mantis
Rock Squirrel
Speckled Rattlesnake
Toads
Turkey Vulture
Unidentified Fauna
Western Patch-nosed snake
Flora
Arizona Lupine
Blue Dicks
Brittlebush
Buckhorn Cholla
Coulter's Lupine
Desert Chicory
Fiddleneck
Mexican Gold Poppy
Saguaro
Scarlet Bugler
Wiry Lotus
Geology
Granite
Unidentified Geology
Meteorology
Crepuscular rays
Named place
Willow Spring - White Tanks
Culture
Dam - Power Plant
Triple Zoner
by joebartels

Note: 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.
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  • White Tanks Hunting

One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike 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 $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info


$6 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the 303 & Olive go west on Olive 4.5 miles to the park entrance. Olive turns into White Tank Mountain Rd. Continue 2.1 miles, turn right and it's 250 feet to to the Mesquite/Ford Trailhead

You get a map when you pay your entrance fee so that should help you figure it out if you have any concerns.
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