This hike is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. This hike is in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
This is a classic! Water, rock, water falls, pools, scrambling – this hike has the Palisade Trailhead and the Spencer Campground as the start/end points and can be done in either direction – with both directions a car or bike shuttle will be welcome (rather than a hike along the highway!) after a long day of hiking. Note that this is above the technical section of Palisade Canyon that is described in Arizona Technical Canyoneering.
- This hike is almost completely off-trail in rugged canyons, looking at the map it is (even having done it!) easy to underestimate the time this will take – this could easily take you all day! (Or longer… While it can certainly be done more quickly you might also want to factor in time to enjoy – this is incredibly scenic and the water is pretty inviting in places…)
- This is not slot canyon – but as with all canyons watch the weather and be aware of potential flash floods.
- There is some scrambling involved! Compared to many canyons this is fairly mellow – but this might be best avoided if a few occasional climbing moves are going to be a problem.
There is not too much to the route itself – basically you follow the canyons! The most gorgeous area is where the two canyons meet.
3200′ elevation gain and loss
While both the Green Trails and Southern Arizona Hiking Club Map show this area – and navigation for this hike mainly consists of walking up/down canyon I think it is better to have a more detailed map such as the USGS Mount Bigelow Quad.
2007 May Palisade Canyon – Spencer Canyon
2004 August Spencer to Palisade Canyon