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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Willow Springs Canyon to Bagley Tank, AZ

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176 30 0
Guide 30 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
Rated
2.9
2.9 of 5 by 9
 
4
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,081 feet
Elevation Gain -209 feet
Accumulated Gain 588 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5
Kokopelli Seeds 10.34
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
12  2014-11-02 trekkin_gecko
19  2014-11-02 AZLumberjack
74  2014-11-02
Jack's Back 2014
tibber
6  2013-01-26 jochal
10  2013-01-09 AZLumberjack
30  2012-12-29
Goldfield arches
jameslcox44
10  2012-12-20 AZLumberjack
25  2011-11-18 jochal
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  7:20am - 5:18pm
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Official Route
 
2 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Cottonwood Spring - Goldfield Mtns
same trailhead
7.0 mi
400 ft
Wishbone Junction - Goldfields Mtns
Wishbone Junction - Goldfields Mtns
same trailhead
7.0 mi
330 ft
Little Chance Canyon Loop
Little Chance Canyon Loop
0.0 mi away
3.0 mi
422 ft
Sunset Arch
Sunset Arch
0.2 mi away
1.4 mi
550 ft
Needle Double Vista
0.4 mi away
3.0 mi
700 ft
Needle Vista to Hackberry Spring
0.4 mi away
3.0 mi
Gold Eagles Nugget Trail
Gold Eagles Nugget Trail
0.7 mi away
0.4 mi
82 ft
Checkmate Arch
Checkmate Arch
0.8 mi away
0.5 mi
296 ft
Peak 2980 Mormon Flat Quad
0.9 mi away
0.5 mi
601 ft
First Water Creek Overlook
First Water Creek Overlook
0.9 mi away
2.5 mi
[ View More! ]
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Easy & Scenic
by OhOh7

Likely In-Season!
Overview
From SR88 hike through upper Willow Springs Canyon following an old jeep road over to Bagley Tank. Return by the same route or make up your own off trail loop back to the trailhead.

I wondered what was north of the Apache Trail having driven by many times. I looked up the Goldfield Mountains on the computer and found a great deal of information about the area. For example there are very few actual trails and only some jeep trails to follow. Most of the great scenery is off trail. There are many natural arches in the area but all have to be reached by off trail hikes. I selected the Willow Springs Trailhead. As a reference point, Needle Vista viewpoint is on the south side of the highway. The trailhead is not marked but it's a clear pulloff area just before mile marker 204.


Hike
A locked iron fence blocks the road from vehicle use (maybe by permission but we are hikers) and once through it the jeep trail winds down into the Canyon to Willow Springs Well that looks to be quite deep with a cement frame around it. Our objective was Bagley Tank which is roughly 3.5 miles from the highway. We found some caves, pipe lashings, cement troughs and lots of evidence of years ago cattle areas.There also were many "waterholes" with lots of water. The dogs loved that. Much of the roadbed is sand and it makes for difficult walking. You pass some nice meadows and a grave with a beautiful cross. We wondered who and what and how. Once we left the creek bed-road bed we began to climb slightly more northerly toward the Bagley Tank. Once we arrived we were quite amazed at all the work that had once gone into that water catch. Some of my photos show how big a catch basin it is and how the berms have been built up around it with inlet and outlet trenches. So this is a "tank" out here! Interesting.

The terrain up and back is quite beautiful and really quite different from the stark, jagged Superstition range nearby. Even the color is varied in the cliffs and surface rocks. We went beyond the Bagley tank a few hundred yards and had a great lunch in a canyon. Although a bit rocky in places this is a fairly easy hike (except for the sand sections like walking on a beach). It opened me up to the Goldfield Mountains. Now I've arranged to go see some of the arches in the area. Over 10 have been identified but all are off trail.

It was a good day. A bit windy, however the temperatures were great! There was 4 of us and 2 dogs. Great fun for me as I did not have the fear of heavy steep climbing. Now I've discovered a new area nearby my home with some interesting terrain.

OhOh7
  • Map
    guide related
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 $$
None


Directions
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Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Willow Trailhead
Apache trail Northeast from Idaho Road in Apache Junction. About 10 miles northeast to highway marker 204. Just before the marker turn left into parking area. A reference point is the Needle Vista viewpoint on the south of the highway. The trailhead is not marked but is a clear pulloff area just before the 204 sign.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.5 mi - about 48 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - 2 hours 14 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - 3 hours 2 mins
(Trailhead is generic)
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