Gardner Canyon

Location: Southeast of Tucson.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Description: Many side roads in the area to explore, some are difficult. Visit historic Kentucky Camp. Popular ATV area. Stay on marked roads. Mostly easy except for one rocky hill. Suitable for high clearance stock SUVs. Can be muddy when wet.

Time & Distance: This loop is about 18 miles. Allow 2 to 3 hours.

Trail Conditions: Coronado N.F., Nogales Ranger District. Call (520) 281-2296.




Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.


Directions to the Trail: Take Hwy 83 south from exit 281 of I-10. Turn right 0.7 miles south of mile marker 38 on well-marked Gardner Canyon Road.


View Gardner Canyon in a larger map for even more DETAILS!


Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared for your next adventure.

Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of having your full-on bug-out-bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.

Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save the number to Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Their number is (602) 697-8306.


If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!




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One thought on “Gardner Canyon

  1. frydaddy says:

    5-21-2016 – Part of the Coronado National Forest, the road is well marked and easy to traverse, save for the one section that is not maintained. still, I found myself in 2WD the whole way. The trail is barely two hours long.

    For a longer experience, dog-leg right over the cattle guard at the end of these instructions then take a left on an un-maintained trail half a mile further (connection 785 then trail 4111 then 4104).

    For a beautiful view of the mountain, take a full right at the end of these instructions, then walk 100 yards past the end of that road.

    The park map is available here,

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