Swansea Pumping Plant Trail
Continue exploring the Swansea area as you make this short, yet more difficult trip to the site of the pumping plant that helped deliver water to the town on the Bill Williams River. The trail leaves from Swansea which requires completing the 23 mile trail first.
Where to go:
The starting point for this trail is at the end of Swansea Road, 23 miles past Bouse. To get to Bouse from I-10, take Vicksburg Road north for 8.0 miles. Turn left onto AZ-72 and follow it for 19.6 miles to Bouse. Turn right on Main Street, then left on Rayder Ave. Rayder becomes Swansea Road. Staging and an information kiosk are available to the left at the fork. Follow directions for Swansea Road.
From the main townsite of Swansea, proceed north downhill from the mine tailings. After 0.2 miles, the trail forks, stay left. Right is Railroad Canyon Trail which leads back to Midway. The road remains relatively wide as you pass several more ruins on the left. Stay right after the ruins as another trail joins from the left. Stay left at 0.4 miles where the trail forks again. After crossing a few washes, stay right at 0.8 miles at an information kiosk.
The trail continues northeast becoming rougher and lesser traveled. Stay right on the more traveled road at 1.2 miles. Shortly after, the trail enters a wash and crosses it several times. At 2.2 miles you come to a 4-way intersection. Turn sharp left. Shortly after the turn, make a right off the main road at 2.3 miles and follow a good sized wash north. Condition and line may vary in the wash depending on how long ago it rained. The trail leaves the wash at 3.2 miles as it makes a long right turn along the base of a hill. The wash, now off to the left is very rugged, narrow and scenic.
The trail re-enters the wash at 3.6 miles as it descends downhill. From here till the end, the trail follows the wash as it passes through a beautiful canyon with tall hills on either side. Pick the best line through the wash and use caution if there is any water or rain forecast. The trail ends at a gate and turnaround area at 4.9 miles. Continue hiking north past the gate to see the pumping plant. The pumping plant is off to the right in some thick vegetation approximately 150 feet past the gate. The Bill Williams is further down the wash. It may or may not be flowing depending on the time of year. Return to Swansea via the route you came.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
This short spur trail is only about 5 miles one way but will take 1-2 hours to complete. It provides an additional area to explore after getting to Swansea. We’ve rated this trail a ‘5’ out of ‘10’. Some sections are rough and narrow, especially the descent into the final wash. A good chunk of the trail is in a sandy wash bottom where conditions vary and deep sand is common. Vehicles doing this trail should have high clearance and 4WD. Airing down may be necessary for heavier vehicles.