Starting out at the Marshall Lake Road Trailhead, this 21 mile hike takes you into the southern part of Walnut Canyon and then brings you right out again to the western edge. Then as an out and backer, you get to do it again on the way back to the trailhead. The trailhead is an easy drive from Lake Mary Road and you’ll park within eye sight of Lowell Observatory. The first section of the trail has a couple rocky section followed by a long stretch of smooth pine covered trail.
Since the forest trail takes you down into the southern part of Walnut Canyon look forward to an aggressive hill climb (6630 ft. to 7167 ft.) at about mile 7.4. Before the climb, you’ll find some amazing rock formations along the treeless and exposed canyon floor. Once on top of the Canyon, the trail offers nice canyon views from mile 8 to 10 at the turn. Since we are out and backers, after a nice lunch break, you get to turn around and hill climb from the other side now.