The narrows of Kaiser Canyon near Wickenburg, Arizona

Kaiser Canyon


Mileage: 6.3
Elevation gain: 1205 feet
Time to complete: 3-4 hours
Stars: ★★★
Difficulty: 2/5 (Ratings explained)
Sandy, easy obstacles

Located along US Route 93 between Wikieup and Wickenburg, Kaiser Canyon gives you the opportunity to explore some pretty narrows, soak in Kaiser Hot Spring, and visit Burro Mine all in one adventure. If you’re feeling extra energetic, you can take the old road up to the top of a peak for a great view up and down the canyon. As a three-star hike, it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area, but don’t make a special trip.

Trail Description

Kaiser Hot Spring Parking

Just a short distance after you turn off the highway, you’ll come to an obvious parking area for 2WD vehicles. If you do have 4WD, you can drive a little farther under the bridge to park down there.

Kaiser Canyon Narrows

Make your way down into the main wash, and then follow it upstream to head toward the narrows. The walls close in almost right away, and if you look carefully, you can see a tiny arch up on the left side. (Note: be sure not to confuse the main wash with the small wash that runs next to the parking area.)

Most of the way, it’s easy walking through sand, but occasionally, you’ll come across an obstacle that should be pretty easy to overcome.

An obstacle in Kaiser Canyon, Arizona
Climb up this small dry fall to continue

If you get to this large boulder, you can either do some climbing to get up on top or go back a short distance to find a bypass route on the left side.

An obstacle in Kaiser Canyon, Arizona

Not far beyond this point, at about 1 mile in, the canyon begins to widen and most people will want to turn around at that point. However, according to Todd’s Desert Hiking Guide, those who continue will find a riparian area and potentially be able to locate Kaiser Spring.

Once you return to the parking area, you can continue travelling down canyon to visit Kaiser Hot Spring. The hiking to the hot spring is easy since it’s just a flat, sandy wash.

Sandy wash to Kaiser Hot Spring in Arizona

At 0.7 miles, an old road comes in from the right side and continues with you the rest of the way. When you see fresh tread marks, you’ll probably be wondering why you didn’t just drive. We were, but it turns out the road gets pretty hairy in some spots.

Kaiser Hot Spring

When you get to the hot spring at 1.4 miles, you will know it. Some fellow hikers have made some “improvements” to the area. There were three tubs when we went, two of which were lined with unsightly blue tarps and filled with cold, algae-filled water. Ew.

However, the main pool was clean and warm. Even though it was a cool December day, it didn’t feel much like hot tubbing weather.

Kaiser Hot Spring in Arizona
Kaiser Hot Springs

A short walk around the corner will bring you to the confluence with Burro Creek, which usually has water.

Cross the creek and pick up the old road again to visit Burro mine, just 0.4 miles from the hot spring.

If you find yourself climbing and climbing a steep road with no mines in sight, you totally missed it like we did. You made it unnecessarily hard on yourself, but since you’re up there, climb the small rocky peak for an awesome view up and down the canyon.

View of Burro Creek in Arizona

Take your walk of shame back down to that first, obvious pull out along the road and look closer at the wall in front of you to find the mine entrance.

Burro Mine

The main entrance to Burro Mine is at the first pullout along the road on the right. If you don’t see it at first glance, look harder. The mine goes about 80 feet back into the mountain and has a TON of bat guano. So gross, but we did not see any bats when we shined our lights up onto the mine ceiling.

View from inside Burro Mine in Arizona
From inside Burro Mine

If you continue up the road and explore a bit at each pullout, you can find at least two more mine shafts, but neither goes very far into the mountain.

When you get back down into the canyon, you can continue up the creek to visit a box canyon, according to Todd, but we were satisfied and returned to our vehicle. If you venture beyond my path, please comment and let me know how it was!

Map & Directions

Location Wikieup, Wickenburg, Arizona

Google Maps Kaiser Hot Springs Parking

Fees/Passes None

Trailhead Facilities None

Download KML or GPX

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Disclaimer Outdoor activities have inherent risk, and we will not be able to tell you all the risks you may face. You are responsible for your own safety, so prepare as well as you can and know your limits. Follow this guide at your own risk. And have fun!

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