Ford Canyon Loop (Phoenix, Arizona) 19-Mar-2018

Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona

As we say in Oregon: When the going gets wet, the dry go to Arizona. And so it was that we found ourselves in Phoenix and Tucson for a week, visiting some old friends and doing six local hikes. The weather pretty much cooperated the whole time, with sunshine, mild air temperatures (mid 70ºFs to low 80ºFs), and only artistic clouds. There was a potent, cholla-hurling windstorm with clouds one afternoon but that was it for weather drama. We chose hikes that covered habitats fron saguaros to oaks to pines, at altitudes between 1,500 and 8,000 feet. Cacti spines were dodged, no snakes were startled (or startled us), and a good time was had by all. Now that there are direct flights between home and Phoenix, we may have to do some more hiking down there…

Our first hike was the Ford Canyon Loop in White Tank Mountain Regional Park immediately west of Phoenix. We started from the Waddell Trailhead and took the Waddell Trail north from there to its junction with the Ford Canyon Trail. We followed that trail up Ford Canyon, through some interesting rocky sections and past an old dam, to a saddle at 2,800 feet and then down to a junction with the Willow Canyon Trail. That trail took us down, with a short side-trip to a huge pour-off, to a junction with the Mesquite Canyon Trail. We followed that trail down to the trailhead. Overall, 9.5 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation gain.

Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Some overcast in the morning…
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
…soon gave way to bright sunshine
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Along the Waddell Trail
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Turning in to Ford Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Saguaro
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Climbing in to the rocky part of Ford Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Rocky but not hard
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Along the Ford Canyon Trail
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Granite ledges in Ford Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
A “tank” in Ford Canyon’s granite ledges
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
The old silted-in dam in Ford Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Nearing the head of Ford Canyon on sandy terrain
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Climbing out of Ford Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix from the Willow Canyon Trail
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
The 75-foot high pour-off in Willow Canyon
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix from the Mesquite Canyon Trail
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
The Mesquite Canyon Trail descends to the trailhead
Ford Canyon White Tank Mountain Regional Park Phoenix Arizona
Our track along the Ford Canyon Loop

HOME