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If you're looking for a true wilderness backpacking adventure, Aravaipa Canyon is the destination for you. Only 50 people are permitted to enter the 19,000 acre wilderness daily, so seclusion is not a problem; having to leave after a day or even three days is. Much of this guided hiking tour is in Aravaipa Creek, so be ready to get your feet wet. This is also a great trip for beginning backpackers looking for an easy hike.
This isolated canyon in southern Arizona is a bastion of untouched natural beauty and a Natural Conservancy site with over 7,000 protected acres, so you'll be able to experience the canyon in its pure state. Aravaipa is completely undeveloped; there are no campgrounds, signage, well-defined trails or other facilities in the canyon. But, on this backpacking tour, you will be surrounded by the native riparian vegetation, including cottonwood, ash, willow, and sycamore trees.
Aravaipa is best known for its bird species. Over one hundred fifty varieties of native birds have been seen in the canyon. The cacti, which populate the canyon's rocky outcrops, are an ideal home for woodpeckers and owls. Other desert dwellers who make their home in the canyon are mile and white-tail deer, coyotes, coatimundi, and javelina. High above the canyon, desert bighorn sheep peer down to observe you progress. The Aravaipa Creek is home to seven varieties of native fish. This is one time you don't want to forget your camera!
A guided hiking tour through Aravaipa Canyon will provide you with a truly unique experience, a chance to visit the beautiful desert canyon in an exceptionally natural state, a easy hike into the wilderness, the opportunity to observe native plant and wildlife firsthand, and the singular experience of treading through the history of Arizona's native peoples.
*Route Variation - Our specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability.
The hike starts a few hundred yards from Aravaipa Creek, but allows us to hike through a beautiful part of the Sonoran Desert. We will hike upstream for about 8 miles to our first night of camping, across from Hell Hole Canyon. Hell? More like heaven! You will find yourself dwarfed by towering sandstone cliffs. If time allows, we will take an afternoon hike into Hell Hole Canyon following the stream into a narrow canyon. You may even spot a Gila Monster.
Today we start the day with a day hike to the East Entrance of Aravaipa Wilderness. If Hell Hole Canyon was not explored on the first day, we will do that today, as well as investigate the ruins at Turkey Creek. After we get back to camp, we will pack and move our way back down stream about 4 miles to the Horse Camp Canyon area. Today’s hike will be about 12 miles depending on the amount of exploring we deciding to do.
Au revoir, Aravaipa! Before we pack up camp, we will spend some time exploring Horse Camp Canyon. From there, it’s all downstream… literally. We should be back to the vehicle between noon and 2:00PM depending on our explore time, bringing us back to Phoenix no later than 5:00PM.
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Trip Cost Per Person
- Round-trip transportation from the Fairfield Inn Scottsdale North (Phoenix area).
- All permits, fees and taxes.
- All food and snacks-meals prepared on the trail by your guide.
- Double occupancy tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, trekking poles. A single tent is available for an additional $50.
- A certified, medically trained guide that will lead you safely on your journey.
- An unforgettable experience!
Our prices do not include guide gratuity (15% to 20% of the tour price is recommended).
Booking and Cancellation Policies
A deposit of 50% of the total trip price is due upon the booking of a trip. The balance is due no later than 60 days before the date of departure and will be charged to the card on file unless otherwise specified. If you decide to cancel your trip for any reason, the following fees apply and are due to Just Roughin' It at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation.
91 or more days $0
61 to 90 days 25% of trip cost
31 to 60 days 50% of trip cost
0 to 30 days 100% of trip cost
We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover any and all monies paid out for your trip. Travel insurance companies will cover all your non-refundable fees and have several packages and different price levels depending on how much coverage you need.
Upcoming Trip Schedule
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Not seeing the dates you want? Send us a "make reservation" anyway and we'll see what we can do. Please note that some destinations and activities are not available certain times of the year, but we have lots of amazingness to share with you other places!