Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
5,500.00 ft (1,676.40 m)
Trail type
27.00 mi (43.45 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

AZT Passage 4: Temporal Gulch is a 27 mile point-to-point section of the roughly 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail. This section runs from Highway 82 to Gardner Canyon Road and is rated as strenuous. The southern trailhead is located north of Patagonia, AZ and south of Sonoita, AZ. This passage is accessible for runners, hikers, and long-distance backpackers. 

Passage 4 begins with a long ascent into the Santa Rita Mountains, a rugged sky island range with steep slopes and granite peaks. This section features incredible biodiversity and is home to rare birds and some plants that occur nowhere else outside of Mexico. Mount Wrightson, the high point of the Santa Rita Mountains, rises to an elevation of 9,453 feet and has a distinctive pyramid peak that can be seen throughout much of this section.

Starting from the Casa Blanca Canyon Trailhead, this section begins in a grassland ecosystem and climbs through oak savannah to reach the sweet smelling oak-pine forest on the edge of the Mount Wrightson Wilderness. Early in spring, it is not uncommon for snow to remain on the higher peaks and hillsides of this wilderness. 

The trail follows a well-graded dirt road along a gradual climb through the foothills. The road twists and turns, winding its way uphill while surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. Eventually the road becomes a singletrack trail and the climb steepens, gaining over 2,000 feet in seven miles.

After passing Upper Walker Tank, the trail crosses a saddle and begins a picturesque descent through a series of switchbacks across the canyons and ridges with expansive views. The trail meanders through Gardner Canyon and along Gardner Canyon Creek until reaching the road and the end of this section. 

From the Casa Blanca Canyon Road Trailhead, follow the AZT west through the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains for 13.5 miles.

From Temporal Canyon Road (FR 72) head north toward Walker Basin Trailhead in Walker Canyon.

From Tunnel Springs Trailhead head east to Gardner Canyon Road.

Check the Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at:

Arizona National Scenic Trail Association:  

Coronado National Forest, Nogales Ranger District, 303 Old Tucson Rd., Nogales, AZ 85621   (520) 281-2296

BLM Information Center  (602) 417-9300.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round





Biodiversity. Rare Plants. Rare Animals. Scenic Climb.


Includes some dirt roads.

Trailhead Elevation

4,263.00 ft (1,299.36 m)

Highest point

6,563.00 ft (2,000.40 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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