Coronado National Forest

Powers Garden Trail

The Powers Garden Trail follows an old road built by a pioneer family that farmed, ranched and mined in Rattlesnake Canyon shortly after the turn of the century. The Power family eked out a frontier-style livelihood in this remote land until 1918. Then, three members of the family were involved in a gunfight with law officers on a gold claim they were working 5 miles up Rattlesnake Canyon from Powers Garden. Although John Power was killed, his two sons, Tom and John, along with family friend Tom Sison, escaped into the mountains and became the object of one of the largest manhunts Arizona had seen to that date (See the page on Powers Garden in the History section of this Guide). The cabin where it all happened is not along the Powers Garden Trail, but on the West Divide Trail #289 about a half mile south of where the Powers Garden Trail joins it.

The original boundaries of the Galiuro Wilderness were drawn to exclude the road the Power family built to their ranch and mine. In 1984, when a new Wilderness bill was passed by Congress, those boundaries were redrawn so that the area the road passed through became part of the Wilderness. Today, Powers Garden Trail exerts a strong attraction on those interested in experiencing the remoteness and solitude of deep wilderness. Except for a small house the family built at Powers Garden, a few grazing developments, and an occasional airplane flying overhead, there is little here to come between you and nature.

After dropping down Powers Hill, Trail #96 stays within Rattlesnake Canyon for the rest of its length. Rattlesnake Creek itself is dry much of the year, but the vegetation along it is still typically riparian. You?ll find Arizona sycamores, cypress and walnut here, in addition to several desert dwelling species of oak. Mountain lion and black bear are plentiful in this out of the way place too, as are other desert species including the raccoon-like coatimundi.

Extremely remote wilderness
Desert riparian area
Historic setting
Notable scenery
Access to other trails

Season: All year
Length: 8.9 miles
Elevation: 4,660'-5,280'
Rating: More difficult
Use: Moderate
USGS Map(s): Kennedy Peak

A topographic map and compass should be part of your equipment when visiting here.

A high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to drive the last 11 miles to the trailhead.
8.4 miles of this trail are within the Galiuro Wilderness.

Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness. See the Wilderness section of this guide for more wilderness rules and ethics.

Before using this trail, call the Safford Ranger District for current trail conditions which can vary with season, weather and maintenance status.

Safford Ranger District
Toni Strauss, District Ranger
711 14th Avenue, Suite D
Safford, AZ 85546
(928) 428-4150

(928) 428-2393 FAX


From Safford drive west 13.5 miles on US 70. Turn left (west) on the Klondyke Road and continue 32 miles to its junction with the Aravaipa Road. Turn northwest here and drive 3.5 miles to the old Powers Garden Road (FR 96). Turn south on this 4-wheel drive road and drive 11 miles to the trailhead. Additional access is available from Deer Creek and High Creek.