Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

Ajo, Arizona

Hike the Estes Canyon/Bull Pasture Loop

3.6 Miles Total - 900 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Sara Sheehy

See spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert and Estes Canyon on this moderately strenuous hike to Bull Pasture. 

The trailhead for Estes Canyon/Bull Pasture is on the Ajo Mountain Road scenic loop. Ajo Mountain Road is a dirt, windy, sometimes steep, one way road. It is maintained so that a passenger car can drive it using caution.

The trailhead has parking for two dozen cars, bathrooms, and a small shaded picnic area. Start this hike in the morning to beat the afternoon heat, and bring twice the water you'd usually pack.

Hiking clockwise, the trail begins with a short jog around a rocky cliff to access the wide expanse of Estes Canyon. The trail traverses Estes Canyon before beginning a switchbacked climb. At the top of the switchbacks you can continue on the Estes Canyon trail to drop back down toward the car (2.5 mile loop), or continue up to Bull Pasture (do this one).

The climb to Bull Pasture is steep and often exposed to drop-offs on one side. There is a beautiful viewpoint halfway up the climb to take a break. Once rested continue the climb to the top, where you'll get spectacular views of Ajo Mountain, Estes Canyon and across the desert into Mexico.

Descend back to the Estes Canyon trail, and finish the loop back to your car.

Warning: Organ Pipe National Monument is used daily by human and drug smugglers. Signs along the trail will warn you of this. Smugglers in general want nothing to do with you, and the Border Patrol presence is heavy in this park. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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

Ajo, Arizona

Twin Peaks Campground

Gila Bend, Arizona

Gila Bend KOA

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Desert View Trail

1.2 Miles Round Trip - 250 ft gain

Hike the Victoria Mine Trail

4.2 Miles Round Trip - 100 ft gain

Visit the Kitt Peak National Observatory

0.5 Miles Round Trip - 100 ft gain