Location

  • Canelo Pass to Patagonia

Length

  • 16.2 miles

Southern Trailhead: Canelo Pass

Access

This passage does not feel as isolated as the previous two, but it is seldom used. From the town of Patagonia, follow Harshaw Road (FR 58) east 14 miles to an intersection where FR 58 makes a 90-degree turn to the right. Avoid this turn and continue straight ahead (east) on FR 799. In 5 miles, cross Canelo Pass and continue about 0.5 miles down the other side to a large parking area on the left (west) side of the road. The trail toward Patagonia departs from the right side of a kiosk; the trail arriving from Passage 2 is on the left side of the kiosk.

From the town of Sonoita, follow AZ 83 south for 18 miles to a turnoff on the right for FR 799. Continue 2.9 miles to a parking area on the right that is marked with Arizona Trail signs.

Please note there is no public access to the AZT along Red Rock Canyon Road due to private property and a locked gate).

A map of all trailhead access points can be found here.


Northern Access Point: Patagonia

Access

Follow Highway 82 to the town of Patagonia. The trail travels right through town between Harshaw Road Trailhead and Temporal Gulch Trailhead. Public parking is available just off McKeown Avenue on the south side of the big park in the middle of town.

A map of Patagonia AZT trailhead access points can be found here.


Trail Route Description

From the Canelo Pass Trailhead the trail runs generally westward as it climbs over a 5,600′ saddle and drops into the upper end of Meadow Valley. It continues west through Red Rock Canyon, passing Down Under Tank and the Cott Tank Environmental Exclosure, before arriving at Red Bank Well. Turning north, the trail passes close to Gate Spring, passes Red Rock Canyon Road (private property to the west), and then continues through hills and oak and manzanita growth before dropping down to the trailhead on Harshaw Road (FR 58). From here the route follows Harshaw Road for 3 miles and ends at the Post Office in Patagonia.

NOTE: A new segment of Arizona Trail is being built in 2020 to remove the AZT from Harshaw Road and Temporal Canyon Road (Passage 4). As of December, 8.4 miles have been built from Red Rock Canyon and Hwy 82.

Click map to enlarge:


Difficulty

  • Moderate

Season(s)


Water

Water is intermittent and can be scarce, depending on rainfall in the area. Plan to bring your own water, but stock water may be available at Down Under Tank, Cott Tank Exclosure (up the canyon to the south of the trail), and Gate Spring (off the trail to the south about 100 yards). Red Bank Well generally has water, as it is an important cattle watering location, and uses a solar powered pump.


Notes/Warnings

  • WARNING: When traveling on Harshaw Road, beware of mining truck traffic. Use extreme caution when driving on Harshaw Road. Hikers and mountain bikers should travel as far off the roadway as possible, and equestrians should consider avoiding this area entirely.
  • WARNING FOR EQUESTRIANS: new cattleguards have been installed on Harshaw Road without wire gate bypasses, making the paved road between Harshaw Road Trailhead and the town of Patagonia impassible for equestrians.
  • Trail is designed for hiking, mountain bikes, and horseback use.
  • Cattle grazing occurs along this entire passage. Please close all gates unless they are intentionally wired open.
  • Mines are located near some of the trail routes and are marked. Please stay on the trail.
  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • Do not use Red Rock Canyon Road for access.

Resources

  • USGS Topographic Maps: O’Donnell Canyon, Mount Hughes and Patagonia.
  • Coronado National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.
  • AZT Patagonia trailhead map

For more information


Current Passage Info

How To Spend A Day In Quirky Patagonia, Arizona

Travel Awaits (March 12, 2021) by Cindy Barks Equal parts outdoor hotspot and artsy Western outpost, Patagonia, Arizona, packs an improbable number of fun attractions into its community of fewer than 900 people. Located about 18 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, charming Patagonia is among the communities known as Sky Islands (Sonoita, Elgin, and Patagonia) for their relatively high elevation and adjacent mountain ranges. While stories vary on how the nearby Patagonia Mountains got their name, one theory is that miners who had spent time in Chile and Argentina named the area after the famous mountains of South America. The story certainly seemed plausible to me after taking in the golden slopes and grasslands bordered by mountain peaks. From Tucson, Patagonia can be reached either by heading south on Interstate 19, or by traveling east on Interstate 10, and then turning south onto the Sonoita-Patagonia Scenic Road, Highway 83. A visit to Patagonia could be a day trip from Tucson, but a better idea is to spend several days exploring the Sky Island region and taking in Arizona Wine Country along the way. Things To Do In Patagonia Patagonia is often described as quirky, and the town more than lives up to the description...

Red Rock Canyon Road Closed to Public Access

Due to private property issues, there is no public access along Red Rock Canyon Road between Harshaw Road and the Arizona Trail. Please do not use Red Rock Canyon Road to connect the AZT back toward the town of Patagonia.
Avoid Harshaw Road

Avoid Harshaw Road

Arizona Trail users are discouraged from using Harshaw Road along the Canelo Hills-West Passage (#3) of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. This 2.8-mile stretch of pavement used to be a quiet rural road, so when the original Arizona Trail route was developed it was an acceptable route to avoid private land nearby. But over the past year the road has seen increased mining activity south of Patagonia, making the narrow road unsafe for passenger cars and especially dangerous for hikers and mountain bikers. Equestrians should not attempt this stretch of roadway, as there are numerous roadway constrictions where there is no shoulder, putting equines and riders at risk. The Arizona Trail Association is in the process of developing a new segment of the AZT that will bypass this area entirely, making the trail safer and more pleasant for all. The new trail alignment will connect Red Bank Well with Gardner Canyon through the Coronado National Forest and private land. We anticipate trail construction will begin in 2019. Between now and then, day users should avoid Harshaw Road entirely and thru-hikers and riders should use extreme caution along this stretch of road.

Stay On Trail

Take care to stay on the AZT in the 3-mile segment near Gate Spring; many illegal trails cross the AZT and can be misleading.

Flickr Photos

Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.

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