2.8 Miles

140 feet

Pretty Easy

A+ Views

Walkin’ Jim Trail Hike Overview

The Walkin’ Jim Trail hike excels at solitude, views, Staghorn cholla, and wild burros. This is an excellent trail close to Lake Pleasant. Do yourself a favor and hike this!

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 2.78 mi
Max elevation: 1877 ft
Min elevation: 1783 ft
Total time: 01:10:13

Map for the Walkin’ Jim Trail

Alltrails has a great map of this hike for you. Check it out here.

Parking

From the W Carefree Highway (74), turn on N Castle Hot Springs Road. 2.3 miles from the turnout to Scorpion Bay, you will see gravel parking lots on both sides of the road. The Walkin’ Jim Trail Hike starts from the northwest corner of the lot on the right-hand side of the road. There is a gate that you will need to unlatch and walkthrough.

Walkin’ Jim Trail Hike Notes

On this day we planned to drive to Crown King to off-road in the Bradshaw mountains. However, I17 didn’t want us to do that. There was a brush fire earlier in the day the traffic was backed up for miles.

We looked at a map and said let’s go towards Wickenburg to avoid the traffic. I randomly found this article from a Scorpion Bay rental company about the best hikes in the area and am so glad I did!

The Walkin’ Jim Trail turned out to be awesome. This type of trail is exactly what I l think of when I think of a ‘real hiking trail.’ It’s hard to describe but think a single wide gravel/rocky path that weaves in and out and up and down washes. Sometimes you are in the creek bed, sometimes you are next to it. And there are cairns.

There were also great mountain views, a gazillion Staghorn cholla (learn more about the different types of cholla in this great video tutorial), and wild burros. It was neat to see the burros but also worth mentioning that there was a lot of burro poop. And I mean A LOT. It was sort of impressive how much poop there was. But if you hike around where burros live you are bound to see poop.

It was really hot when we were there and we only hike 3 miles total. You can turn this into a shorter or longer loop.

So, is the Walkin’ Jim Trail Hike worth it?

We are 100% going back here when it isn’t so hot. This is a fantastic area! We will be back Walkin’ Jim Trail!

Photos that will make you want to go there:

Get more inspired to get outside:

9 Pro Thru-Hiking Tips from a Triple Crown Thru-Hiker

I met with Dan Herr, a Triple Crowner. Here are his top 9 pro thru-hiking tips. He warns that doing one wil make you want to do more.

PCT 2023 Training Hike

My First PCT Training Hike I got my first PCT 2023 training hike in about 2 months out from my start date. One of my primary goals of thru-hiking the PCT is to not die of being sore (learn more about why I'm taking an extended backcountry vacation here). I'm glad I...

PCT 2023 Thru-Hike Countdown

PCT 2023 Thru-Hike Countdown My PCT 2023 thru-hike is rapidly approaching. Get excited with me. This is going to be my best summer ever! Learn more about my why for hiking the PCT here. Here is the countdown to my April 12, 2023 start date. When & WhereIt's all...

Why I’m Hiking the PCT – Listening To That Little Voice In My Head

Why hike the PCT? Taking 6 months to walk for hours per day with a heavy pack, sleep on the ground, go to the bathroom outside, eat dehydrated meals, and not shower for days seems absolutely nuts to many people. Why would anyone choose this? Hiking the PCT is deeply...

Hike to the Lookout, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Why hike to Tom’s Thumb with you can hike to the Lookout? The views are even better, the trail is fantasic and there are less people!

Dispersed Camping Fire Control Road (NF-64), Payson, AZ

The dispersed camping along Fire Control Road (NF-64) in Payson, AZ, is great! There are quiet sites with great views. Read more here!

Piestewa Vs Camelback? Which Should You Hike?

Piestewa vs Camelback? Not sure which one you should hike? Read this article to help you decide. Hint: they both have pros and cons!

Natural Tunnel Via Dirt Road Trail Hike, South Mountain Preserve

Hiking to the Natural Tunnel via the Dirt Road Trail starts out lame (you’re on a dirt road) but quickly turns into a sweet hike. Learn more!

Latigo Chuckwagon Loop Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Latigo Chuckwagon Loop Hike is the best hike starting from the Brown’s Mountain trailhead. It is not as busy and has great views!

Sunrise Trail Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Sunrise Trail Hike has a lot to offer: some elevation but not too much, SUPERB views, and not too far outside the city! Read more here.