Painted Bluff Trail #13

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This trail offers a variety of scenery and vegetation.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: All seasons
Information Center: Clifton Ranger District
(928) 687-8600
TTY: (928) 687-1807

General Information


Highway 191 north of Clifton for 19 miles; the trailhead is on the west side.

General Notes:
  • This trail is rocky with a few steep spots. Vegetation is sparse at lower elevations but a nice stand of Arizona cypress can be found near the beginning of the trail.
  • Carry plenty of water and treat any water you find before drinking
  • WARNING: do not enter any tunnels or caves!

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking

This trail offers a variety of scenery and vegetation. An interesting day trip would be to travel about 5 miles to Woods Canyon to see the petroglyphs on Painted Bluff. They are about 500 feet above the trail. At the beginning of the trail you pass an old, silica-rich rock pit that was once mined here and used in the smelter operation at Clifton.

Other interesting features found along the trail include collapsed mines, springs, pyrite (fool's gold), and Eagle Creek at the end of the trail. The last 2 miles of the trail are hard to follow due to the rocky surface.

Trail Log:

  • 0.0 US 191. There is a sign on the west side of the highway
  • 0.1 Old silica mine south of trail
  • 3.3 Saddle. South fork of Woods Canyon
  • 5.0 Woods Canyon
  • 5.5 (approximate). Elevation 6000!. There are petroglyphs on the face of the bluffs about 500! above the trail
  • 6.0 Pinto Springs
  • 8.9 Cottonwood Springs and trap
  • 10.1 Cottonwood Corral
  • 11.1 Lower Cottonwood Corral

USGS Maps: Clifton - 348NW

Elevation desc4,000 feet to 6,000 feet
Best Season: All seasons
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Horse Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
11.1 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4,000 feet - 6,000 feet