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.


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.


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