GENERAL INFORMATION: Margie's Cove Trail is a nearly level, 9-mile route through the heart of the 63,200-acre North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness. The North Maricopa Mountains are a jumble of long ridges and isolated peaks separated by extensive, saguaro-studded bajadas and wide desert washes. Cholla, ocotillo, prickly pear, paloverde, ironwood, and Mexican jumping bean complement the thick stands of saguaro to form classic Sonoran Desert vistas. Commonly seen wildlife include desert mule deer, javelina, desert bighorn sheep, coyote, desert tortoise, and numerous varieties of lizards and birds.
Margie's Cove Trail follows a combination of former vehicle tracks and wide, unmarked desert washes. No trail signage or directional markers are available along the route; therefore, this trail is recommended only for experienced hikers skilled in reading topographic maps. Margie's Cove Trail intersects the northern terminus of the Brittlebush Trail in the interior of the North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness.
ACCESS: Margie's Cove Trail is accessed by Margie's Cove West and Margie's Cove East trailheads. To access Margie's Cove West Trailhead, exit Arizona Highway 85 at Woods Road (see Map). Turn east from U.S. Highway 85 onto Woods Road, cross the cattleguard, and follow the primitive road to the left around the corner of the right-of-way fence. Continue north adjacent to the right-of-way fence one mile, and turn right onto the primitive dirt road (BLM Route 8001) heading to the east. This is the access road to the Margies Cove Trail, West Trailhead. A high-clearance, two-wheel-drive vehicle is suitable for this road.
There is currently no motorized vehicle access to Margie's Cove East Trailhead, due to a temporary vehicle closure on the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
FACILITIES: Margie's Cove West Trailhead includes day-use parking for ten vehicles, three campsites with picnic tables and steel fire rings, a vault toilet, and informational signage. Margie's Cove East Trailhead has day-use parking for five vehicles and informational signage.
MAPS: Margie's Cove Trail is not mapped; however, the route is depicted on the USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps "Butterfield Pass, Ariz." and "Cotton Center SE, Ariz." The remainder of the North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness is depicted on USGS 7.5- minute topographic maps "Margies Peak, Ariz.," and "Mobile NW, Ariz."
- Margie's Cove Trail receives the greatest use from October through April. At other times, the trail is little used. Always tell a friend or relative where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Drinking water is not provided at Margie's Cove West or Margie's Cove East trailheads, so bring plenty.
- The North Maricopa Mountains are prone to heavy rains and flash floods. Do not attempt to cross flooded washes.
- You may encounter rattlesnakes or other poisonous creatures; watch for them and be careful where you put your hands and feet. Do not harass reptiles - most bites result from people playing with, collecting or attempting to kill them.
- Fires are not allowed in the North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sonoran Desert National Monument
Monument Manager: Dave Scarbrough
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2929