This lush area is outstanding for bird watching. Adjacent to the lower portion of the Salt River, a stand of mesquite provides welcome shade. Coon Bluff is a popular river-access point for tubers and kayakers floating the Lower Salt River

Views of the Salt River are amazing at this site, as the hiker is on a tall bank that overlooks the river. To the east are some nice cottonwood stands as well as several willows.

This is an exploratory hike at Coon Bluff. It’s exploratory since none of us has done it, however, the description found at Hike Arizona .com suggests it will be suitable for us:


Almost immediately after you leave the trailhead you will begin a steep, but short, climb up to the ridge that crests the hills leading north to Coon Bluff. Water runoff erodes the hillside trail, but it is easy to find with only moderate difficulty maintaining ones footing. Once atop the ridge it is a fairly flat trek across to the bluff. If you are fortunate, there will be an encounter with the wild horses.
The trail continues on to the Bluff itself and from here you can descend to the east for a visit to one section of the Lower Salt River Recreation area.


Distance:  3 miles

Time:  2-3 hrs.

Difficulty:  occasionally challenging but moderate overall

Trail:  a little bushwhacking but many game trails

Trailhead  Elevation: 1402 ft.

Elevation gain: about 300 ft..

Parking:  gravel lot w/ no facilities . . . but campgrounds nearby

Entry fees:  none unless camping

Dogs:  OK on leash


Always carry and drink plenty of water!

Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

Water shoes can be useful  around rocks and water.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.


From the west….. take Power Road north past the Granite Reef Dam and along Bush Highway until you see the turnoff for Coon Bluff Rd. Once on Coon Bluff Road, proceed about .4 miles to the parking area on your left. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking area.

Forest Service Permit is not required as long as you proceed no farther into the recreation site

Google says the trail head is

…50 minutes from the I-17 & 101… 48 miles

… 31 minutes from the I-10 & 51… 30 miles

… 25 minutes from the 60 & 101… 24 miles

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  • Casey

    It was fun but the hike wasn't very challenging.

    January 24, 2014

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