The White Canyon Trail traverses through the White Canyon Wilderness Area
. Along the trail one will see many topographical features, including White Canyon itself and several side canyons, as well as the Rincon, a large escarpment overlooking the Gila River valley to the south. Riparian vegetation, Sonoran desert, and chaparral are the dominant vegetation types in the area.
The White Canyon area is enjoyable year-round since each season provides opportunities to enjoy the unique features of the wilderness area’s landscape, however fall and spring provide the most comfortable temperatures.
The trailhead is located approximately 70 miles southeast of Phoenix, 45 miles southeast of Mesa, and about seven miles south of Superior in Pinal County.
From Phoenix, travel east on Highway 60 to the Florence Junction, continue east to Superior, then travel south on State Route 177 to Battle Axe Road.
From Tucson, travel north on Oracle Highway (Highway 89) to Oracle Junction, then northeast on State Route 77 to Winkelman, then north on State Route 177 toward Superior. From State Route 177 at about 1/2 mile south of mile post 159, turn west onto a dirt road (Battle Ax Road) toward Walnut Canyon and White Canyon.
Opportunities include, hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, geology and nature study, primitive camping, hunting, photography
Desert bighorn sheep were introduced in the vicinity in 2003 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The herd is reproducing and occupying suitable habitat, and may be sighted in the rugged uplands.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
No permits are required for private, non-commercial use. All motorized and mechanized use (including mountain bikes) is prohibited within the wilderness area.
A high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended to reach the trailhead leading to the wilderness area. Roads in the area are frequently washed out by summer rains and flash floods, always proceed with caution.
The trail is unimproved and not accessible to persons with limited mobility or other impairments without assistance.
Camping and Lodging
Primitive camping is allowed on public lands. A small, primitive camping area is available near the trailhead. No facilities are available on-site. Lodging is available at hotels in nearby towns of Florence, Superior, and Kearny.
Food and Supplies
Basic food and services are available at nearby towns of Florence, Superior or Kearny.
The nearest emergency care is available in Globe at the Cobre Valley Community Hospital.
Battle Axe Road crosses private land; Arizona State Trust land is found adjacent to the Wilderness. Please respect private property rights by not stopping on private and state lands unless a permit is obtained from the Arizona State Land Department. A recreational permit from the Arizona State Land Department is required for recreational use of State Trust Lands and a license is required for hunting or fishing.
Tucson Field Office
3201 E. Universal Way
Tucson, AZ 85756
Phone: (520) 258-7200
Fax: (520) 258-7238
Field Manager: Vi Hillman
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., M-F