Drive Time: 3 Hours Main Activity: Water Hiking Hiking Guide: Extra Fee Months Offered: Year Round Meal: Pack Food and Hydration! Park Pass Required: No
  • Overview
  • Trip Outline
  • Map
  • Booking

Take a ride with Private Jeep Excursions to hike and explore the wonders of Aravaipa Canyon. With towering cliffs, flowing water and a rich diversity of flora and fauna, Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness remains as one of Arizonas truly unique areas. Its 19,410 acres of designated Wilderness beckons adventurers who yearn for solitude and scenic splendor.

Aravaipa Creek flows year-round, an unusual phenomenon in the Arizona desert. Nurtured by this abundant water, large sycamore, ash, cottonwood, and willow trees flourish along the stream, flanked by other riparian vegetation. In the fall, a kaleidoscope of brilliant red and golden leaves contrasts dramatically with the surrounding Sonoran Desert landscape.

Water and Canyon Hiking

  • LENGTH: Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness is an 12 mile stretch of walkable wilderness, where you’ll trek through sand banks, across rivers, and explore a number of side canyons. Much of this hiking trip is exploring a beautiful canyon that is teeming with wildlife and running water.
  • NO TRAILS: Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness has no official trails inside the canyon. There are two major canyon entrance points to begin from: the Western Entrance (easily reached) and the Eastern Entrance (high clearance only). You hike in, meet up with Aravaipa Creek, and continue due East through the canyon, stopping where and when you want. There is freedom in this hike, but also more responsibility.
  • WATER HIKING: You have to cross the Aravaipa Creek multiple times, navigate changing sand banks, and sometimes deal with water at waist level. You must prepare properly for a water hiking excursion! Please refer to our Essentials for Hiking Guide. Appropriate water hiking footwear and backpacking gear must be brought with you for this trip.
  • MAP & GPS: You must download and color print and have with you the BLM Map of the canyon and it is highly suggested that you bring a dedicated GPS device besides using your cell phone.
  • PLAN: Plan on hiking one mile an hour. Watch your time and distance closely to plan your hike out. Get familiar with this hike and landmarks by studying the details here: Aravaipa Canyon Details

Turkey Creek Cliff Dwelling

There are cliff dwelling in this side canyon that can be explored if time allows. The Turkey Creek cliff dwelling is one of the most intact structures of its kind in southeastern Arizona. It was probably occupied for a few months each year by prehistoric farmers around 1300 A.D. These people, of the Salado culture, probably collected plants along Turkey Creek, grew corn, and hunted wild animals. Salado farmers disappeared suddenly around 1450 A.D.

Permits Required:

You must purchase your own permits in advance (weeks ahead of time) at $5 per person for use of this area online here: Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Permits

How to Hike Aravaipa Canyon

Aravaipa Canyon Day Trip



Time : 6:00 am


Meet in and Depart from Fountain Hills at 6 am. (Hotel Pick-up Included) Travel on-road 3 hours to the West Trailhead entrance. You are more then welcome to bring food, snacks, and drinks and eat in the Jeep during our travel up and back.

Arrive Aravaipa Canyon West Entrance

Time : 9:00 am

Orientation Meeting

Once we arrive at the West Entrance to the canyon we will have an orientation meeting to plan your hike in and your hike back out. All gear and supplies will be re-checked during this meeting.

Hike In

Time : 9:30 am

3 Hours to Hike In

Plan to hike in 1 mile per hour. The plan is to travel in 3 miles.

Lunch Time

Time : 12:30 pm

Take a Break and Refuel

At 12:30 plan to stop in a dry location to take a break, eat lunch, and refuel.

Hike Out

Time : 1:30 pm

3 Hours to Hike Out

Plan to hike out 1 mile per hour. The plan is to hike back out 3 hours. It is important to hike back out while you have daylight. Do not hike out in the dark!

Depart Aravaipa Canyon

Time : 4:30 pm

Head to Dinner (OPTIONAL)

Drive 1:20 minutes from Aravaipa Canyon to Superior to eat dinner. This is an optional stop as we must past through Superior to return back to Fountain Hills.

Dinner in Superior

Time : 6:00 pm


We can stop in Superior for dinner if you choose to. This is optional and up to you.


Time : 7:00 pm

Arrive Home (between 7pm-9pm)

Drive 1 hour from Superior back to Fountain Hills (or your hotel). We plan to arrive back in Fountain Hills at 7pm or around 9pm (if you opted to stop for dinner in Superior).

Printed Map and GPS Device

You must download, color print, and have with you this BLM Map of the canyon. It is highly suggested that you bring a dedicated GPS device besides using your cell phone for navigation.

  • Trip Name
    Departure Date
    Group (Min-Max)
  • Trip Name 1 to 4 People (no guide)
    Departure Date
    1 - 4 Pax
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $485.00 $0.00 /Group

    - +
  • Trip Name 1 to 4 People (with Hiking Guide)
    Departure Date
    1 - 4 Pax
    Available Seats: 4

    Group ( 1 - 4 Pax ) $535.00 $0.00 /Group

    - +