- Tonto National Forest Boundary to Picketpost Trailhead
- 11.7 miles
Southern Access Point: Tonto National Forest Boundary
- GPS Coordinates: 33.18106° N, 111.13717° W
- NOTE: This trailhead is not directly accessible by vehicles. See adjoining passages for access.
The closest way to access the southern end of Passage 17 is to hike in from the Picketpost Trailhead (11.5 miles), or drive to the historic town of Cochran (follow Cochran Road south from the Florence-Kelvin Highway to the Gila River), cross the Gila River carefully, then hike north on the Arizona Trail for 9.3 miles. Forest Road 4 (Telegraph Canyon Road) is currently blocked south of the town of Superior due to mineral exploration activities. There is currently no way to access the Arizona Trail from this rugged jeep trail.
Northern Trailhead: Picketpost Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates: 33.27184° N, 111.17643° W
From Florence Junction, drive east on US 60 for 9 miles. After mile marker 221, continue 0.5 miles and turn right (south) onto FR 231 (this point is 4 miles west of the town of Superior on US 60.) Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto FR 310. Continue 0.6 miles, and then turn right at a sign for Picketpost Trailhead. You will see the large metal AZT sign marking the trailhead in 0.1 miles. There is no vehicle access to the Tonto National Forest boundary from here.
Trail Route Description
This passage begins at a gate just north of the Tonto National Forest boundary about 0.4 miles due west of Ajax Peak. From here the trail climbs briefly and then drops down into a drainage about 1 mile in. After crossing this drainage it climbs up to the high point for this passage at 3,780 feet. It then begins a gradual descent over roughly 2.3 miles until it arrives at FR 4.
After crossing FR 4 the trail continues west and turns north, contouring around several small drainages. At just over 8 miles from the beginning the trail makes a hard turn to the west and begins working its way around Picketpost Mountain. The trail wraps around to the west side of Picketpost and somewhat parallels the Alamo Canyon drainage. After crossing Alamo Canyon it reaches the end of the passage at the Picketpost Trailhead.
- Fall, Winter and Spring
- Current weather forecast
There are no reliable water sources on this passage.
- All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
- The Tonto National Forest is closing the gate at Picketpost TH between dusk and dawn now. There’s a site host there overnight so folks won’t get locked in, but no late night arrivals.
- There is no longer access to the Arizona Trail from Forest Road 4.
- USGS Topographic Maps: Teapot Mountain, Mineral Mountain and Picketpost Mountain.
- Tonto National Forest map.
For more information
- The Passage Steward
- Tonto National Forest, Globe Ranger District, 7680 S. Six Shooter Canyon Road, Globe, AZ 88501 (928) 402-6200.
Current Passage Info
Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.