Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Gila River Canyons Day Hike
when Trip Report : March 31, 2018
  Trip Report : January 31, 2015
where Kelvin
the hike     This hike was recently described in Mare Czinar’s Hike of the Week column in the January 27 edition of the Arizona Republic.
    Gila River Canyons passage 16 was the last section of the Arizona Trail to be completed and was dedicated on December 16, 2011. The full Arizona Trail consists of 43 separate passages, ranging in length from 8.6 miles (Oracle passage 13) to 35.3 miles (San Francisco Peaks passage 34).
    David Hicks, former Arizona Trails Director, has hiked the full 26-mile length of passage 16 and describes it as second only to the Grand Canyon passages (37, 38, 39) in overall scenic beauty for the entire 800-mile length of the Arizona Trail.
    The initial 12 miles of this trail runs parallel with the Gila River and is one of the more scenic sections of the trail. We’ll plan on hiking in about six miles, before turning around and hiking back to the trailhead. At the turnaround point we’ll look for a good place to stop and have lunch.
    Ted Tenny has agreed to lead a shorter version of this hike for those who don’t want to go the full 12 miles. His group will hike in 2 1/2 miles from the trailhead before turning back. When you sign up for this hike, please let me know if you want to do the shorter or longer version. I’ll pass on all names to Ted for those wishing to do the shorter version.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 12 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC 1000' elevation change
elevations 1,646 feet at the trailhead to 3,714 feet at the end of passage 16
type round trip
starting at
Gila River Canyons Trailhead 33° 06.147' N,  110° 58.436' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Arizona Trail, passage 16
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Superior
meet 6:00 AM at Home Depot in Mesa on the southeast corner of Power and US 60.
•  Go east on U.S. 60 to Superior.
From U.S. 60 in Superior, drive 15.2 miles south on State Route 177 to the Florence/Kelvin Highway.
On the Florence/Kelvin Highway, continue for another 1.2 miles south across the Kelvin Bridge.
Park south of the bridge along Riverside Road and look for the Gila River Canyons Trailhead across the highway.

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updated March 31, 2018 © Copyright 2018, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.