Aravaipa Canyon

Mammoth, Arizona 85618

Aravaipa Canyon

Aravaipa Canyon Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A wilderness route through Aravaipa Canyon, 10.8 miles one way.

The trek begins by following a dirt road toward the ranger station. A path splits off to the right, and hikers should follow this track down to Aravaipa Creek. From this point on, the trek consists of travel along gravel bars and wading up the stream itself. Visitors are asked to stick to the creekbed since the route crosses private lands owned by The Nature Conservancy. Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and water ouzels are a few of the birds that can be spotted along the stream, and songbirds congregate among the saguaros and cottonwoods that line its banks."

Aravaipa Canyon Trip Reports

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The hike was great. The water flowed from klon@$!*% to mammoth, so we were hiking up stream, but that was not a problem at all. We saw tons of wild life. Owls, deer, turtles, and big horn sheep. I would recommend this hike to everybody. Also fair warning to all future hikers, a good portion of the hike is in the water, which is pretty much ankle deep anyways, so plan accordingly.
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We hiked Aravaipa up to Javelina Canyon since we didn't get started until around 11:00 a.m. The water was a little cold but after awhile we got used to it. It did seem easier most of the time to hike in the water rather than climb over all the piles of flood debris. I last hiked Aravaipa Canyon before the 2006 flood and the changes to the canyon are amazing, especially in the lower canyon. I recommend wearing tennies or something similar. Some us wore water sandals, some open toed and some closed and we were continuously emptying out the small gravel and the sand. Once we got really into the canyon it was spectacular; but I am biased since this canyon is one of my favorites. No one else in our party of 6 had been there before but they all want to return and go further into the canyon. We saw black phoebes along the way and lots of small fish in the creek...and, of course, herons along the road after the hike. Unfortunately, we didn't see any bighorn sheep. And, we didn't make any wrong turns into side canyons...we watched out for that! p.s. The hike was on 2/24. No problems with water levels on our hike.
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Excellent hike from the West Entrance. Wear trail shoes or a sturdy old pair of sneakers because you are in and out of the creek which, BTW. never fails to give sandals the opportunity to fill up with rocks. Cold night's in January, but the short day heats up the canyon decently enough. Most of the side canyons are impassable to all unless bouldering is your thing, otherwise Hell's Hole is the side canyon you can't miss. Don't forget to check out the spring as it begins to narrow into a slot canyon. PLenty of tracks but no sightings (Javelina, racoon, mountiain lion and coyote or fox). Bird watchers don't forget your binoculars, numerous predatory birds you can spot.

Aravaipa Canyon Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
465 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best March to May; September to November
Additional Use
USGS Brandenburg Mountain, Booger Canyon
Local Maps
Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and water ouzels
Specialty Birds

Trail Log