Palm Canyon

Location: Between Quartzsite and Yuma, east of Hwy 95 in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

Difficulty: Easy.

Description: This short, scenic trip introduces you to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge – 665,400 acres of pristine desert and low, rugged mountains. The refuge is home to bighorn sheep, desert tortoise and other interesting wildlife. This trip ends at a small parking area with a few designated campsites. A short (1/2-mile), rocky hiking trail climbs steeply to a spot where you can see small native palm trees growing out of steep canyon walls. This is one of only two or three places in Arizona where palm trees grow naturally. All other palm trees in Arizona are transplanted. A graded gravel road suitable for all but the lowest-slung passenger cars. Rough washboard surface with a few small ruts. A four-wheel-drive side trip to Queen Canyon branches off from this road. A kiosk at the entry to the refuge has brochures with regulations and a map showing all the designated four-wheel-drive roads in the area. You must stay on numbered routes only.

Time & Distance: It’s 7.2 miles from Hwy 95 to the parking area at Palm Canyon. Takes less than 1/2 hour one way. Add time for the hike.

Trail Conditions: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Call (928) 783-7861.


Quartzsite WEATHER


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: Turn east off Hwy 95 between mile markers 85 and 86 onto Palm Canyon Road (about 18 miles south of Quartzsite).


View Palm 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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