Spanning 9,951 acres of wild space a few miles west of Lake Pleasant, Hells Canyon Wilderness Area offers a quick way to escape into an untamed swath of desert that’s more paradise than purgatory.
LENGTH: 5 miles out-and-back
ELEVATION: 1,800 – 1,920 feet
BEST SEASON: October – April
Castle Creek Trailhead
From Interstate 17 in Phoenix, take the State Route 74 exit 223 (Carefree Highway) and go 11.4 miles west (toward Wickenburg) to Castle Hot Springs Road which is signed for Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Follow Castle Hot Springs Road 5.4 miles to the stop sign at the park’s north entrance. Turn left and drive 5.4 miles to a cattle guard past milepost 25 and park in any of the dirt turnouts along the road. Castle Hot Springs Road is graded dirt suitable for carefully-driven sedans. Part of the road crosses Castle Creek which may be impassable after storms.