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“Surprising Find in the Desert”

Hieroglyphic Canyon Trail
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Gold Canyon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Until I hiked here I had no idea the desert could be so GREEN. There are so many cacti and bushes that for once brown is not the dominant color. The trail is moderate difficulty with a steady uphill but nothing drastic at all. My dog and I did just fine. The real trail ends in an area covered in boulders. You can either sit on some of the rocks you come to initially, or you can easily climb over them to get right up next to the petroglyphs. The drawings themselves are right above scenic pools of water- yes, even in the desert without any recent rain there were pools. They were a little buggy up close but mostly fine. Apparently you can hike beyond this area but I didn't try to. This is a place to go and sit and enjoy some nature. Great place for a picnic too! Remember to face away from the petroglyphs for a while and look up to see the balancing rock. Cool little town to drive through to get to it too- tons of signs pointing the way, you can't get lost driving in. Also can occasionally see downtown Phoenix from the trail- pretty cool!

Thank mkweselak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (93)
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All reviews
"easy hike"
in 17 reviews
"great hike"
in 14 reviews
"loose rocks"
in 4 reviews
"mile round trip hike"
in 4 reviews
"small pond"
in 4 reviews
"take your time"
in 5 reviews
"moderate hike"
in 5 reviews
"parking lot"
in 5 reviews
"bottle of water"
in 3 reviews
"nice walk"
in 2 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 2 reviews
"end point"
in 2 reviews
"gradual climb"
in 2 reviews
"popular hike"
in 2 reviews
"cooler weather"
in 2 reviews
"uneven ground"
in 2 reviews
"your eyes"
in 2 reviews

88 - 92 of 93 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2014

I did this walk with a four year old and a ten year old. They each had no problems with the walk, despite the occasionally rocky terrain. The walk is slightly uphill, but close enough to flat. The views are great and get better as you walk along.

We did the hike in an early Spring, so there were lots of flowers. In the summer, this would be very hot and exposed.

Several people mentioned seeing rattlesnakes, but we didn't get to see any (rats!). We did see a roadrunner, some songbirds, cactus wrens, and lots and lots of lizards.

The best part is the canyon at the end with petroglyphs in great condition that you can observe from close-up. No one has destroyed them, which is probably a testament to the character of people who are willing to hike a couple miles.

Also, there are a couple small caves near the end of the hike that my boys had a great time exploring.

Thank PLCallo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

This hike was a beautiful desert hike!! It is 3 mile around trip so just perfect for a family. I have 3 kids ages 11-5 and they did this trail just fine!! It is a path but it has loose rocks all over it. So be careful! Not too steep but just right for a nice workout. The petroglyphs are awesome to see and explore that area! My kids loved climbing all over the rocks and we even took a nice nap in a little rock cave!! We will definitely do this hike again!!

2  Thank Janb1537
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

This is a nice easy well maintained trail. Volunteers are always working on it. I stop and throw rocks off as is feasible with my wife wanting to get there and back! It would not be a good bike trail but the Lost Goldmine Trail using the same trailhead is excellent, atleast for an experienced biker. It is perfect in early April with the cactuses flowering and isn't too hot. Use sunscreen and bring atleast 16 oz of water, more if you go any later in the spring. There is little to no shade on this trail. One trail in and out so it is impossible to get lost. There is not enough water to cool off in, but it adds to the beauty of the petroglyphs. Bring a snack and enjoy it at the top of the trail. Please do not deface the petroglyphs.

2  Thank DougTMesa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 March 2013

I don’t usually think of Arizona as green, but this trail is very green in the spring. The trail is rough, but not steep; our grandsons (8-12) made it easily. There is little shade, so bring sun screen and lots of water. The pools and the petroglyphs from which the trail gets its name are beautiful. Don’t expect to have it all to yourself; this is a very popular hike about half an hour from down town Phoenix. There are not toilet facilities nearby, the closest one we could find was the at the Walgreens on Highway 60. If you don’t want to have to find a bush, you had beater go before you go.

6  Thank Professor-Zero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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