Palm Canyon Trail

Drive along this easy but incredibly scenic road into the heart of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The trail ends at a parking lot where you can hike into Palm Canyon, the only place in Arizona where palm trees grow naturally.

Last Known Status: Open Trail type: Out & back Length: 14 miles roundtrip Approx. time: 1 hour Traffic: Heavy
Permit Needed: No Current Info: Kofa NWR (928-783-7861) Nearest City: Quartzsite Elevation: 1343'-2133' Best Time: Fall-Spring

Where to go:

From Quartzsite, head south on Highway 95 for 19 miles. Follow the signs and turn left onto the unpaved Palm Canyon Road. If you’re coming from Yuma, you’ll head north 60 miles on Highway 95, then turn right onto Palm Canyon Road.


Trail Description:

Head east from Highway 95 on the wide, dirt road. You’ll be able to see Palm Canyon looming in the distance. Expect some washboards but the trail remains flat and smooth for much of its length. The trail has nice dispersed camping & RV camping on the numerous flat spots. An interesting geoglyph can be found off to the right at 2.8 miles. Continuing east, the trail splits as it enters Kofa National Wildlife Refuge at 3.3 miles. Stay to the right where an optional dirt road heads left for Kofa Queen Canyon (also scenic and worth exploring, but not included in our description).  

Continuing into the NWR, be sure to follow Kofa rules & regulations. The trail gently climbs but remains fairly uneventful till the end. The views improve constantly as you approach Palm Canyon. The road ends at a parking lot at 7.1 miles. Be sure to take the quick and easy hike about half a mile into the canyon. You’ll be able to see palm trees growing naturally up near the canyon walls when you look north at the end of the trail. Return the way you came or explore numerous additional trails and camp in the area.  

Notes & Trail Ratings:

Summary/Trail Ratings: The only thing easier than this trail is pavement. We’ve rated it a ‘1’ out of ‘10’ since all kinds of vehicles can complete this scenic drive. If you want more of a challenge, take the side trip to Kofa Queen Canyon, but be aware that the trail is closed after several miles. Round trip, the drive to Palm Canyon and back is about 14 miles and should take less than an hour. Allow more time for the hike.


Page last updated: 12/31/2018