Hiking in Hells Canyon Wilderness

    Rate this Adventure

    Added by Laura Hill

    Hiking in Hells Canyon Wilderness feels thousands miles away from anything else in the world. This is such a beautiful hike with the most relaxing views!

    Spanning 9,951 acres of backcountry a few miles northwest of Lake Pleasant and about 25  miles north of Phoenix, Hells Canyon Wilderness area offers a quick way to escape into an untamed swath of desert that’s more paradise than purgatory.

    I have to say, this entire trail is 36.3 miles (and is technically an OHV road), but if you’re staying at Castle Hot Springs, the first portion of this hike is a fun one!  There’s beautiful cliffs and it follows a shallow stream.  But bring SO MUCH WATER, especially if it’s even slightly warm. There is little to no shade, and the sandy stretches are killer for your calves. 

    Altogether, an easy, flat hike with beautiful desert vistas.  If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter a family of burros relaxing by the stream.

    *THE TRAILHEAD IS EASY TO MISS*

    How to Find the Trailhead:

    From the dirt turnouts near a cattle guard on the access road, locate the small trail sign on the west berm. Then, look across the creek bed and spot the white trail register and a huge rock cairn that mark the official trailhead.

    Note that there is zero signage on this trail, so make sure to download a step by step map here.

    Trailhead address below – NOTE: this trail is best paired with a stay at Castle Hot Springs, because there is no place to park your vehicle outside of their property.

    5050 EAST CASTLE HOT SPRINGS RD CASTLE HOT SPRINGS, AZ 85342

    Read More
    Photography
    Hiking
    Scenic
    Wildflowers
    Wildlife

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Crown King, Arizona

    Turney Gulch Group

    Crown King, Arizona

    Horsethief Cabin

    Phoenix, Arizona

    New Listing! 8,000 Sq. Ft. Estate W/ Pool, Theater

    From $551/night

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Cave Creek Group Site

    Nearby Adventures

    Experiencing Castle Hot Springs

    Explore Lake Pleasant, AZ

    5.0

    Hike the Pipeline Canyon Trail

    4.8
    4 mi / -220 ft gain

    Hike the Wild Burro Trail

    4 mi / 112 ft gain
    More Nearby Adventures