Hiking the Hieroglyphics Trail in Gold Canyon with Kids. The Hieroglyphics Trail in Gold Canyon is a moderate 1.5 mile in and out trail (3 miles total) that has seasonal water. The water can range from pools to flowing water, especially after a rain. We visited in early January and it did not disappoint!
While this is not an easy hike, it is kid friendly due to the shorter distance. The path is marked, but can also be rocky, and there is light boulder climbing once you reach the pools. The path is also slightly uphill the entire time. With our group of six kids, ranging from ages 2-10, it took us an hour each way to hike. The 2 and 3 year olds walked some, and then hitched a ride in mom’s carrier.
Once at the water, look for the beautifully preserved hieroglyphics/petroglyphs on the canyon wall, and enjoy the kid sized cave! The water was so refreshing too. Pair that with a gorgeous valley view, and you have the perfect spot for a picnic lunch. We stayed for about 2.5 hours before hiking back to the cars.
Hiking the Hieroglyphics Trail in Gold Canyon with Kids
A few tips for hiking the Hieroglyphics Trail:
- there is little shade on the trail. Bring hats and wear sunscreen! Also plenty of water, and snacks. Always snacks.
- two port-a-potties are at the trailhead. Parking does fill up fast, so arrive as early as possible, especially weekends. We arrived at 9am on a Friday, and there was still some spots left. No fee to park.
- water shoes might come in handy at the water. Our kids went barefoot. Note that the rocks are slippery when wet!
- note that there will not always be water. Best way we’ve found to check, is to search for other photos posted on IG with this trailhead. Comment and ask if the photo is recent! It’s a beautiful hike either way. The trail continues past the boulders/water but is difficult.
- Gold Canyon is in the East Valley, and about 20 minutes east of the 202/60 intersection. Google Maps brought up the correct location for the trailhead.
- lots more hiking reviews on the blog!