White Canyon Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

White Canyon Wilderness can be found in Arizona, a little bit southeast of Phoenix. This wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and has been established since 1990. Among the wildernesses in the United States, White Canyon is quite small in comparison. It consists of just under 6,000 acres of deep canyons and rugged terrain. When visiting, you will be surrounded by the orange and red naturally colored walls of cliffs and canyons that are up to 800 feet tall from base to summit.

There are also a variety of different trees and plants throughout the wilderness as well. Occasionally this area of Arizona will experience monsoons, creating waterfall-like phenomenons over the rim of the canyon. Visitors enjoy watching the wildlife and black bears can be commonly seen roaming around.

Many people enjoy hiking, mountain bike riding, and enjoying a delicious picnic during their visit to White Canyon Wilderness. If you are planning a visit for multiple days, there are plenty of nearby campgrounds that provide lovely places for a restful night's sleep. This area of Arizona is also known to have amazing stargazing opportunities come nightfall.

RV Rentals in White Canyon Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

When planning your visit to White Canyon Wilderness, there are a few transportation points to keep in mind. For starters, if you're driving, you may experience a few tolls, depending on where you're coming from. Once you're in Arizona, Highway 60 will practically bring you straight to White Canyon Wilderness. Hop onto 177 and you'll arrive in no time.

Next, the area can be a bit hard to navigate for larger vehicles. There aren't too many sharp turns, but because of the unique terrain, it is encouraged that large vehicles such as trailers and RVs take the drive a bit slower than compact cars. Once you enter White Canyon Wilderness you will leave paved roads at the entrance. The area is comprised of gravel and rocky landscape.

There are multiple ways to get around once you've arrived. Many people travel on foot, while others enjoy mountain biking. Motor vehicles of any kind are restricted in White Canyon Wilderness. If you do plan on taking part in quite a bit of walking during your stay, it is best to invest in a pair of high-quality hiking boots. Trust me, your feet will thank you.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in White Canyon Wilderness

Campsites in White Canyon Wilderness

Reservations camping

Lost Dutchman State Park

Lost Dutchman State Park offers White Canyon Wilderness visitors a place to rest their heads. Reservations can be made for RV and tent campers online or by calling the Arizona State Parks Reservation desk. It may be important to note that there is a nonrefundable reservation fee. Due to this campground being in the desert there are occasionally fire restrictions, be sure to check with the park before lighting a fire.

There are 138 campsites there, 68 of them having electric and water hookups for RVs. Every campsite is equipped with a fire pit, grill, and picnic table. Camping here you will be surrounded by towering rock formations that get painted beautiful shades of red and orange during sunrise and sunset. Campers who stay here enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Lastly, Lost Dutchman State Park is a beautiful place to stay if you fancy yourself a night of stargazing with your loved ones.

First-come first-served

Pioneer Pass Campground

When it comes to nearby camping, Pioneer Pass Campground is another option that visitors of White Canyon Wilderness can enjoy. It's relatively close to the wilderness and is quite a peaceful place to stay. This campground has a variety of dispersed campsites throughout the area that can host several people at once. Whether you're in a tent, an RV, or a hammock, you are able to camp there on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pioneer Pass Campground is nestled near Pinal Mountains, providing you gorgeous views during your stay. There are 23 campsites in total and each of them is equipped with a fire pit, a grill, and a picnic table. This campground has a rustic and primitive feel to it. It may be important for some people to know that there are many tarantulas, scorpions, and snakes in the area. If you can get past the creepy creatures, this is a beautiful place to stay.

Upper Pinal Campground

Upper Pinal Campground is another beautiful place you can stay during your visit to White Canyon Wilderness. You're able to access this campground from the road via vehicle or foot, as well as by boat from the nearby river. Tents, RVs, and dispersed camping is allowed here. It is incredibly secluded and will give you the peace and quiet you may be looking for on your trip. It is important to note that the entrance road can be a bit rugged and may require a higher clearance vehicle.

The campsites here are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are three designated campsites and each of them has a fire pit, a picnic table, and a grill. Even though there are no trash cans available, there is a vault toilet for your convenience. Upper Pinal Campground is open year-round and is best for people looking to camp under tall lush trees in the heart of nature.

Seasonal activities in White Canyon Wilderness

In-Season

Biking

When visiting the White Canyon Wilderness, many people enjoy a bit of mountain biking during peak season. Because White Canyon Wilderness has fairly rugged terrain, it is the perfect landscape for mountain bike enthusiasts. There may not be any dedicated trails, but you can bike all throughout the area.

This is the perfect activity for the adrenaline junkie in your life! Be sure to pack a helmet and any other safety gear you feel you might need during this activity.

Climbing

Another activity for people who enjoy being active outdoors is rock climbing. White Canyon Wilderness offers a variety of different cliffs and canyons that are ready for you to climb. You will have to bring your own rock climbing equipment as there is not a rental shop nearby.

It's important to make sure you look at the weather as well as the sun schedule to make sure that you're rock climbing in peak conditions.

Picnicking

Whether you're visiting White Canyon Wilderness for the day or you're staying for an extended period of time, picnicking is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Pack up your favorite meal and eat with your camping crew while being surrounded by the beautiful nature and landscape of White Canyon Wilderness.

It's important to note that there is a No Trace Left Behind Act that is in place there. This is simply to make sure you don't leave any food or trash behind to help keep White Canyon Wilderness in great condition for future visitors.

Off-Season

Photography

Taking pictures is more popular now than it has ever been before. Many people take photos to post on social media and share them with their friends and followers. Whether you're interested in doing just that or you want to remember your trip to White Canyon Wilderness, photography is a great activity that anyone creative can enjoy. You also don't need a fancy camera, you can simply use the one already built into your smartphone or kick it old school by bringing a disposable camera!

Wildlife Viewing

A big part of the wilderness experience is the thrill of potentially seeing wild animals in their native habitat. When you're visiting White Canyon Wilderness there are a variety of different animals that you may see.

Some of the more commonly-seen critters are desert bighorn sheep, black-tailed jackrabbits, tarantulas, scorpions, and even a rare appearance from a Gila Monster. If you like birdwatching, make sure to pack a pair of binoculars to see all of the birds flying overhead.

Hunting

Arizona is unique in comparison to other states because it allows hunting all year round. It doesn't matter if you're a local or visitor, you will need the proper licenses and permits in order to hunt at White Canyon Wilderness. You'll also want to be aware of which areas hunting is permitted and restricted.

Some of the game in the area are antelope, turkeys, black bears, deer, and elk. If you do decide to hunt in the area, please pick up any shells or casings from your weapon.

Find the perfect campsite.