Walnut Canyon

Total Miles
14.1

Elevation

915.92 ft

Duration

6 Hours

Technical Rating

5

Moderate

Best Time

Spring, Fall

Trail Overview

Walnut Canyon is certainly one of the most scenic Jeep trails in the area. It skirts the edge of White Canyon Wilderness, and the canyons and mountains along the trail are spectacular. Much of the land approaching Walnut Canyon is owned by Asarco, owners of the Ray Mine, and other properties in Arizona. Access is now allowed, but can be revoked at any time. We like to drive the loop in a clockwise direction and have described it in that direction. There are many nice vistas, and wildflowers are abundant in the spring. Walnut Ford on the Gila River is a great place to play if the river flow is not too high. After visiting the ford, head west along the river then turn north up Lower Walnut Canyon. The trail is in the wash and is a lot of fun to drive after heavy rain. We do not know why this is named Walnut Canyon - we have not seen any walnut trees. Our best guess is that big rocks fall from a brown layer high on the cliffs and are scattered on the lower slopes. With a little imagination, these brown rocks could be interpreted as walnuts. With a little more imagination this one could be interpreted as a cow skull.

Photos of Walnut Canyon

Walnut Canyon
Walnut Canyon
Walnut Canyon

Difficulty

Moderate: Winding, rutted road with steep climbs and descents. Much of the trail follows low-lying sandy washes. Toughest part is a long, steep downhill stretch between Waypoints 05 and 06. After a heavy rain, this section can become rutted and washed out.

Technical Rating

5

Status Reports

Steve Michelson
Jan 24, 2024
4x4
Open
Rough/Deteriorated
Normal
Breathtaking views at every turn. some rocky trails, sand washes and a few washed out climbs to keep your interest.
Bryce Adams
Nov 04, 2023
2019 Jeep Wrangler
Open
Rough/Deteriorated
Gar Gargia
May 15, 2023
2017 Toyota Tacoma
Open
Rough/Deteriorated
Jeff Swanitz
Apr 01, 2023
2021 Toyota 4Runner
Open

Access Description

From Phoenix, take Highway 60 east to Superior. On east side of Superior, take Hwy. 177 south 9.5 miles to Battle Axe Road on right.

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