- 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
Passage 17 begins at the southern boundary of Tonto National Forest and continues north toward Picketpost Mountain. The trail follows a well-maintained singletrack through a classic Sonoran Desert landscape with towering saguaro, rugged mountains, and rocky canyons. Springtime brings an abundance of wildflowers to this region, and seeing Alamo Canyon in full bloom is breathtaking.
The trail weaves in and out of drainages and traverses across lush hillsides along a gentle downhill grade. Picketpost Mountain dominates the landscape in the northern half of this section, and catching it at sunset is a truly spectacular sight!
- Fall, Winter and Spring
- Current weather forecast
There are no reliable water sources on this passage. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.
- 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.
- Map of Passage 17
- 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.