“This trail takes you through the heart of the White Tank Mountains and provides some beautiful views along the way.”
— John Parker
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A day-use fee of $6 per vehicle is required at the park entrance.
The park is open from 6am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday, and from 6am to 10pm Friday and Saturday.
Be careful of your footing as the terrain can be uneven, rocky, and full of loose gravel.
This trail is within the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. It can be traveled as an out-and-back trail or as part of several loop options utilizing the Ford Canyon Trail
, Willow Canyon Trail
, or Goat Camp Trail
. This is a moderately strenuous trail with some rocky terrain and beautiful views. You’ll want to be sure to bring a cell phone if you venture to the end of the trail, as it is quite secluded.
This trail begins at what is known as the trailhead staging area, which has ample parking, a few picnic tables, and a portable toilet for last-minute preparations before beginning your run. The first mile is relatively flat, wide, and well maintained. It’s a pleasant trail for everyone in the family, until you cross the Waddell Trail
intersection. At this point, the incline begins to increase as you hit a few switchbacks and wind your way up the side of the mountain. This is where your heart starts pumping and you get a good workout for a little less than a mile until you reach a nice lookout spot with a good view of Phoenix.
From here, the trail levels out a bit and you traverse the hillside to get some nice scenic views of the canyon. There are some bumpy areas on the trail with rocks to step over, but it is very well maintained singletrack that isn’t very difficult. The trail takes you to the bottom of Mesquite Canyon, where you'll pass the Willow Canyon Trail
intersection and make your way up the side of the mountain. The trail is a steady climb almost to the end. Be sure to turn around from time to time to take in the beautiful scenery. There are some wonderful views of the mountains and the Valley of the Sun.
The trail makes a short descent into the rolling hills where it ends at the intersection of Goat Camp Trail
and Ford Canyon Trail
. Here, you can turn around and go back or continue on with one of the other trails to make a longer loop.
Overall, this is a mildly challenging trail that is very clearly marked and well-maintained. Be careful of your footing, as the terrain can be uneven, rocky, and full of loose gravel. Beware of rattlesnakes during the warmer months and carry plenty of water.
Flora & Fauna
A variety of desert plants and cacti are plentiful. Watch for mule deer, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and rattlesnakes.