| Home | Warning | Gear | Books | Photography | Hikes | Links | Flora & Fauna | Etiquette | About Me | What's New |


Martinez Canyon

Summary: Martinez Canyon is an easy out and back hike up a gravel strewn wash to an old ranch. Along the way you'll pass a short section of narrows and a natural arch. The hike is located northeast of the town of Florence.
Directions: From Phoenix, drive east on Highway 60 to Florence Junction and head south on Highway 79. After crossing the second set of railroad tracks (just before the prison), turn left on Price Road which begins as well graded dirt as it passes through a few cotton farms. About 10 miles from the highway, the road enters a wash and becomes somewhat rougher. At the 11.8 mile point, you'll pass the Last Hope Mine (name is written on a water tank) which will be on your right. The author drove a few hundred yards past the mine to a rough dirt road on the right, then took this road in a short distance to park next to a fire ring.
GPS coordinates for this spot are:
UTM 480539mE, 366447mN
Road Conditions: High Clearance Vehicle
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~11 miles, can be longer or shorter though depending on when you turn around
Date Hiked: December 2003
Weather Conditions: Overcast & windy
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: Martinez Canyon is located behind and immediately east of the Lost Hope Mine. There is a minor drainage between the car park and the canyon that you'll have to get around. From the car park, walk down the hill into the closest wash. Follow this drainage down towards the mine. As you near the mine, work your way left into the main drainage of Martinez (you'll recognize it by the fact that the canyon is wide and gravel strewn with no vegetation in the stream bed that would require bushwhacking). Turn left and begin hiking up Martinez Canyon (you'll soon pass UTM 480935mE, 3664356mN if you're in the right place). It's easy walking as you work your way up the dry wash. After 20 minutes or so, you'll enter a short stretch of narrows. They are not terribly deep or sheer walled, but they're nice enough. Another 10 minutes up canyon you'll see an arch located in an upper cliff band on the right. Above this point you'll pass though some pretty desert scenery with high walled cliffs and buttes. There are a few minor washes that enter from one side or the other, stay in the main drainage (Martinez) at these junctions. As you continue up canyon, the surrounding mountains diminish to rolling hills and the hike becomes somewhat less interesting. Eventually you'll reach a spot where a jeep road crosses the wash; above this point the canyon enters a more rugged section flanked by unique box shaped buttes. At about the 5.5 mile point, a jeep track will enter the drainage from the left. If you follow this road a short distance, you will come to a cowboy camp (think: graffiti, broken beer bottles, bullet holes, trash etc.) at an old ranch and corral (UTM 483989mE, 3668562mN). Return the way you came, or continue your exploration up canyon.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author completed the hike to the old ranch and back at a moderately brisk pace in 4.5 hours..
Maps: A map of the hike can be found here - 517KB.
Books: None
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

The short low narrows.

Natural Arch.

Box shaped butte. Ranch building.