Walnut Canyon

Total Miles


915.92 ft


6 Hours

Technical Rating



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.


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


Status Reports

Bryce Adams
Nov 04, 2023
2019 Jeep Wrangler
Gar Gargia
May 15, 2023
2017 Toyota Tacoma
Jeff Swanitz
Apr 01, 2023
2021 Toyota 4Runner
AJ Carr
Mar 18, 2023
2021 Ford Bronco

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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