Passage #17 - Alamo Canyon

Picketpost Mountain from Picketpost Trailhead Location:  Tonto National Forest Boundary to Picketpost Trailhead

Length:  11.7 miles

Southern Access Point:  Tonto National Forest Boundary
- GPS Coordinates:  33.18106° N, 111.13717° W  
- Access: The closest way to access the north end of Passage 16 is to hike in on Alamo Passage from either Picketpost Trailhead (11.5 miles), or drive in on FR 4 from Superior (Mary Rd.) for 7 miles. CAUTION FR 4 is extremely rocky and only accessible with a high-clearance 4WD vehicle and a very confident driver. This will take you to where the trail crosses FR 4 and there is room to park and camp. From this point, you still need to travel south for 4 miles to a ranch gate that divides the two passages.

Northern Trailhead:  Picketpost Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates:  33.27184° N, 111.17643° W
- Access: From Florence Junction, drive east on US 60 for 9 miles. After mile marker 221, continue 0.5 miles and turn right (south) onto FR 231 (this point is 4 miles west of the town of Superior on US 60.) Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto FR 310. Continue 0.6 miles, and then turn right at a sign for Picketpost Trailhead. You will see the large metal AZT sign marking the trailhead in 0.1 miles. There is no vehicle access to the Tonto National Forest boundary from here.

Trail Route Description:  This passage begins at a gate just north of the Tonto National Forest boundary about 0.4 miles due west of Ajax Peak. From here the trail climbs briefly and then drops down into a drainage about 1 mile in. After crossing this drainage it climbs up to the high point for this passage at 3,780 feet. It then begins a gradual descent over roughly 2.3 miles until it arrives at FR 4.
After crossing FR 4 the trail continues west and turns north, contouring around several small drainages. At just over 8 miles from the beginning the trail makes a hard turn to the west and begins working its way around Picketpost Mountain. The trail wraps around to the west side of Picketpost and somewhat parallels the Alamo Canyon drainage. After crossing Alamo Canyon it reaches the end of the passage at the Picketpost Trailhead.

Difficulty:  Moderate

Season(s):  Fall, Winter and Spring (current weather forecast)

Dayhikers on the Alamo Canyon Passage Water:  There is seasonal water at Trough Springs, about a tenth of a mile north of where the trail crosses FR 4.


  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • The Tonto National Forest is closing the gate at Picketpost TH between dusk and dawn now. There's a site host there overnight so folks won't get locked in, but no late night arrivals.


  • USGS Topographic Maps: Teapot Mountain, Mineral Mountain and Picketpost Mountain.
  • Tonto National Forest map.

For more information, contact:

Current Trail Information:

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