Hiking Project Logo

Brins Mesa - Soldier Pass Loop

 4.5 (13)


8.0 Miles 12.9 Kilometers

978' 298 m


-978' -298 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (10°)

5,066' 1,544 m


4,500' 1,372 m


Shared By John Maurizi


All Clear 61 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud History

Getting forecast...

A loop hike that includes all of Brins Mesa Trail and Soldier Pass Trail.

John Maurizi

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers


This loop starts from Dry Creek Road (152), also known as Vultee Arch Road. To access the Brins Mesa Trailhead from the side requires a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. There are some amazing views from atop Brins Mesa and as you enter Soldier's Pass.

Need to Know

Start early in the morning. There is a lot of sun exposure so bring a hat, sun block, and plenty of water.


For this loop, I started this from Vultee Arch Rd. to W. Park Ridge Drive. In this direction, the trail starts off flat and crosses a dry creek bed several times. The trail is relatively easy to follow. This section passes through junipers that offer some shade. Eventually, the trail begins to climb exiting the creek bed and junipers. After about one mile, you'll have great views of the surrounding red rock.

The top of the mesa is really a pass as you are surrounded by higher elevation red rock. After passing a large peak near the trail on the right, the route begins to descend steeply. This would be a very difficult section if you hike in the reverse direction. Short switchbacks take you down the bottom where the trail levels off again as you approach the trailhead at W. Park Ridge Drive.

Just before the parking area, on the right, you'll see Cibola Pass Trail. Turn right here and follow the trail for about a half mile until you reach the junction with the Jordan Trail. The two trails merge so just continue straight. After about another half mile you'll reach the Soldier Pass Trail. You can't miss this as it has constructed stone cairns and signage. Turn right here.

Soldier Pass Trail begins to climb gradually for about .25 mile when you reach Devils Kitchen, a sink hole with a large block of sandstone balanced on the side. About another .25 mile up the trail, you'll pass a series of seven potholes carved in the sandstone by water runoff.

The trail continues uphill and begins to get steeper. After about one mile from the trailhead, you can see Soldier's Pass Arch. Because of the open country, this remains in view for another half mile as the trail begins to get very steep. The Arch is difficult to spot but at mid-day you can clearly see light shining on the ground behind the arch. Access to the arch can be gained from the Brins Mesa Trail.

The trail begins to even out and turn to the right where it will end on the Brins Mesa Trail. Turn left and follow Brins Mesa Trail back to the trailhead on Vultee Arch Road.


You & This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Your Check-Ins


Dec 7, 2018
Jamie Campbell
Nov 25, 2018
Gillian Scarborough
Nov 11, 2018
J Kortrey
Walking to Bruin Mesa
Oct 12, 2018
Jennifer Hoskins
Jul 9, 2018
Dave Milowicki
Excellent hike. Started at 0630, perfect weather. Had rained the night before. Only passed one couple on the loop. 7.4mi
May 3, 2018
Jonathan Greever
Apr 29, 2018
Taylor Coull
did the loop around starting on brins mesa heading up and around. it was beautiful no matter which we looked. soliders pass was not as well footed…
Apr 21, 2018
Bryan Brown
The approach (from the paved lot) was awful (very crowded and jeeps and ATVs constantly passing). Once on the trail, twas great; the mesa is beautiful

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 13 votes


  4.5 from 13 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Arizona


273 Views Last Month
3,760 Since Jul 7, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking