Cliff Walk

One-way Distance: 2.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 1735 - 1872 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Apache Wash
Fee: none
Attractions: Desert scenery

The Cliff Walk trail is in the northern area of the Sonoran Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. The trail begins near the 1.6 mile point of the Badger Brawl trail where it follows the cliffs above the wash of Cave Creek for 2.8 miles before coming to an end near the Carefree Highway where it meets up with the Esplanade trail. Enroute it is crossed by a connector that runs from the Esplanade trail to the Badger Brawl trail.

This post is beginning at the end of the Cliff Walk trail where it meets up with the Esplanade trail.

The trail starts out by cutting across an upper bench of the wash.

Once across the wash it makes a gentle climb up to the cliff that runs above it.

At that point the trail travels along the cliff above the wash. You might notice a gambel quail in this photo. It was just one of a half dozen different species of birds that we noticed in the area.

Near the 1.3 mile point Cliff Walk is crossed by the connector that runs between Esplanade and Badger Brawl. It is just over a half mile to the Badger Brawl trail and maybe a quarter mile to Esplanade.

From there the trail passes beneath a powerline and continues across a flat open area.

There are 2 more short connectors that come up within the next mile that run over to the Badger Brawl trail.

Shady spots only come up a couple of times over the course of the trail.

Near the end of the trail it crosses a shallow wash and weaves itself through a nice brushy area.

After 2.8 miles of mostly easy going the Cliff Walk trail meets up with Badger Brawl and comes to an end. From here it is just over 2 miles to the Apache Wash trailhead. There is a spot along the way where you can escape out to the East Skip Rimsza Paseo trail, which is a concrete path, if you needed to. Besides a couple of trail runners and a handful of mountain bikers we saw one dude that was riding relatively fast doing laps on the Esplanade/Cliff Walk loop. As easy as both trails are that is probably a good way to still get an intense workout. Easy is a relative term that always depends upon what kind of shape you are in and what type of trails you are accustomed to and being from Colorado we were loving all the extra oxygen at this altitude. As far as the Cliff Walk trail goes if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.