Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,457.00 ft (444.09 m)
Trail type
10.00 mi (16.09 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.

Mesquite Canyon is a 10-mile trail that is situated in White Tank Regional Park.  The White Tank Mountains are a landmark of the western border of the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Look for the signs to the Mule Deer Trailhead to begin the hike.  There are several trails that leave from this parking lot, but there are well marked signs for hikers to easily identify which trail they should embark on.  Once hikers set off on the trail the first mile and a half is relatively flat.  If hikers start out at sunrises, they are greeted with wonderful views of the mountains with the painted sky highlighting all of the peaks and desert life.

Hikers will pass a parking lot, this is the last chance for water and restroom for the duration of the trail.  This is also an alternate parking/trailhead in order to reduce the mileage by roughly three miles.  Shortly after passing the parking lot the trail will ascend via a series of switchbacks.  Once hikers reach the first climb they will follow Mesquite Canyon (the trail’s namesake) for the duration of the canyon.  Depending on the time of the year there might be water in the canyon.  This is a great portion of trail to see the mule deer that live here.  The trail continues to ascend along the backside of the canyon.  Once the trail crests hikers will have views of the backside of the White Tanks as well as Goldwater Peak, the highest point in the range.  Hikers will descend slightly until the trail junction, five miles from the trail head.  That is the official end of the trail.  Hikers can choose to turn around at that point or continue to Goldwater Peak by going left or turn and make the trail into a loop by going right.  This is also a great point for hikers to turn around and follow the way they came back to the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee

Open Year-round



Canyon Views.


Little Shade. Crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

1,452.00 ft (442.57 m)

Highest point

2,909.00 ft (886.66 m)


Flushing toilets
Potable water

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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