Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,907.00 ft (886.05 m)
Trail type
12.60 mi (20.28 km)
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Ford Canyon loop is a beautiful canyon in White Tank Regional Park on the west side of the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The hike starts in the northernmost canyon in the White Tanks and returns via Mesquite Canyon. This hike is a great way to enjoy the scenic White Tank Mountains.  While the park gets busy, it has fewer visitors in comparison to hiking on the east site of the Valley.

The first part of the trail is relatively flat and winds through the surrounding desert.  Enjoy views of the mighty Saguaro and keep an eye out for desert life. The trail approaches the mountains and hikers will start to enjoy views of the surrounding mountains.  The trail starts to ascend and hikers will be challenged with the ascending trail.  Hikers will enter Ford Canyon and the trail, while it is well maintained, will become very steep and rocky in some places. Hikers might have to use their hands to balance themselves along the trail. This portion of the canyon is one of the most beautiful views.  Depending on the season hikers may experience flowing water in the canyon and may get to see a mule deer if they are lucky. 

Hikers will get to a portion of the trail where there is a white rock wall that is about 10 feet high.  Hikers will have to scramble up the rock but it is manageable.  Once hikers get above that rock they will enter a wash where they will follow the wash.  Hikers will get to the crux of the wash and look for the exit of the trail.  Hikers will then follow the trail to Mesquite Canyon.  This portion of the trail will have one long ascent followed by a climb followed by another ascent to the trail junction with Mesquite Canyon.  Once hikers get to that junction the trail will be all downhill and hikers will take the trail back to the parking lot.  Hikers will have a steep descent out of Mesquite but won’t have any portions that require a scramble. 

This trail is a wonderful way to enjoy the White Tank Mountains.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day Use

Open Year-round



Beautiful canyon to explore the geology of the white tanks.


Some route finding needed.

Trailhead Elevation

1,442.00 ft (439.52 m)

Highest point

2,907.00 ft (886.05 m)


Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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