One of the coolest places in southern Arizona, Aravaipa Canyon has been so popular that the BLM instituted a permit system decades ago. Current permit system allows a maximum trip duration of only 2 nights/3 days. We went into the canyon from the West Trailhead a year ago and from the East Trailhead this year, both trips in early April. Here are some photos from last year's trip:
Of the two entrances, we prefer the West trailhead. Canyon is more spectacular in our opinion, and the camping 5 1/2 miles in is the best. However, it's one of the toughest 5 1/2 miles I've ever done. You're in the creek a lot, wading against the current. On the way out I counted 55 creek crossings. Going in from the East Trailhead has far fewer creek crossing and you can get to some nice camping after only a couple of miles of being on the official trail. However, you need a high clearance vehicle to go in from that side.
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