Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness Trails

Saint George, Arizona

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Lying along the western terminus of the Colorado Plateau north of the Grand Canyon, the twelvemile long Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness is situated on some of the loneliest terrain on the Arizona Strip. A look at a geologic cross-section of the colorful sandstone and limestone formations layering the cliffs reveals that they are actually an extension of the Grand Canyon itself. The craggy escarpments, rugged canyons, and sandstone cliffs, mesas, and buttes of the wilderness are actually a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range provinces. Botanically, the wilderness is also in a transition zone between the Mohave and Great Basin deserts. Joshua tree, the signature tree of the Mohave, grows in the lower elevations of the wilderness, while the piñon-juniper woodland, characteristic of colder desert regions, occupies the heights. Desert shrubs such as sagebrush, annual grasses, blackbrush, yucca, prickly pear, and winter fat thrive in the wilderness. This trail guide covers an area with 12 miles of trails.

Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness Trails Professional Review and Guide

"Lying along the western terminus of the Colorado Plateau north of the Grand Canyon, the twelvemile long Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness is situated on some of the loneliest terrain on the Arizona Strip. A look at a geologic cross-section of the colorful sandstone and limestone formations layering the cliffs reveals that they are actually an extension of the Grand Canyon itself.

The craggy escarpments, rugged canyons, and sandstone cliffs, mesas, and buttes of the wilderness are actually a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range provinces. Botanically, the wilderness is also in a transition zone between the Mohave and Great Basin deserts. Joshua tree, the signature tree of the Mohave, grows in the lower elevations of the wilderness, while the piñon-juniper woodland, characteristic of colder desert regions, occupies the heights. Desert shrubs such as sagebrush, annual grasses, blackbrush, yucca, prickly pear, and winter fat thrive in the wilderness. This trail guide covers an area with 12 miles of trails."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Saint George
Distance: 12
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Easy
Trailhead Elevation: 2,800 feet
Top Elevation: 6,700 feet
Local Contacts: BLM, Arizona Strip Field Office
Local Maps: USGS Cane Springs SE, St. George Canyon, Olaf Knolls, Last Chance Canyon, Grand Gulch Bench, Mustang Point
Driving Directions: Directions to Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness Trails

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May 2018