Trip Planning Guide
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White Tank Mountains
Ford Canyon Trail
Ford Canyon Trail: This wide path is lined with river
rocks – placed there long ago by prison inmates. It is
very easy to follow. There are a couple of junctions where
convening trails make a hodgepodge connection. The path
generally follows the edge of Ford Canyon and gradually
angles up into a side canyon that starts displaying white
granite bedrock tanks – the range's namesakes. These tanks
contain varying amounts of water accumulated from previous
rainfalls. The gradual climb along Ford Canyon brings the
western part of Phoenix into view. The higher you climb on
the trail, the closer you get to the main stream bed.
Take a walk over to the exposed granite and see if you
can find any water in the tanks. Look for remnants of old
rock dams and water catchment basins. Also look for stone
fencing and small corrals, which are remnants of cattle
grazing days. This will be the area where we will stop for
lunch. We will return to the trail head via the route above.
Waterfall Trail: Leave White Tank Mountain Road
at 1.65 miles from the entrance taking Waterfall Canyon Road
to the left then a very short spur road. The trail leaves
this branch road at a sign 2.0 miles from the park entrance
neat the picnic ramada and comfort station #6. Total ascent
- Length: 5.8 Round Trip
- Elevation Change: +-900'
- Elevation: 1500 ft.
- Difficulty: Moderate
To reach White Tank Mountain Regional Park from Phoenix,
take Interstate 10 west to Exit 124 (Cotton Lane). Turn
north (right) onto Cotton Lane and go seven miles to Olive
Avenue (Dunlap). Turn west (left) onto Olive, travel four
miles to the park entrance. Follow the park entrance road
(White Tank Mountain Road) to Ford Canyon Road and turn left
and continue until you reach the Ford Canyon Trail sign. All
roads are paved.
Goat Camp Trail
Trail heads due west for approx 4 miles along Goat Canyon.
We'll go as far as the antennas (2.5 miles) and then turn back.
The trail starts at 1500', goes to 3150'. It is almost all
uphill to the towers. Bring at least 2 liters of water, and a
rain poncho or wind breaker. Part of the trail is in the shade.
Trailhead location: Goat Camp trailhead is just
inside the park entrance off Black Canyon Dr.
I-10 West to Cotton Lane exit.
North (right) on Cotton Lane to Olive.
West (left) on Olive to White Tank Mountains Regional Park
$3 entrance fee per vehicle.
Approximately 1 hour from Central Phoenix
Once past the ranger booth turn left at Black Canyon Dr. Take Black Canyon
Dr. to the Goat Camp Trailhead. If the lot is full go to the next 'T'
intersection, turn left and park at the first lot you come to. The lots
are small but there are picnicking areas with lots all up and down Black
White Tanks home page
- Little shade on trail. best for fall/winter hiking
- No water on trail, limited at trailheads