Backcountry Adventures: Arizona
by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson (Adler Publishing )
© 2006 Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson/Adler Publishing . All Rights Reserved.
This trail is listed in the Massey and Wilson AZ guide for stock SUVs; however, the trail has, apparently, deteriorated since their visit. A stock Jeep Wrangler maybe, although I don't know how bad the trail becomes past our stop. Soon after entering from Hwy 82, there is a narrow shelf road made up of nothing but up to 10" rocks with deep ruts. We had to back down with our Grand Cherokee (not fun). I have experience driving back trails, so stopped to walk ahead or we might have encountered serious problems getting out.
I originally discovered this through the Backcountry Arizona Adventures book and the first time I went I had trouble finding the start of the trail. I entered the way the book suggests by starting in the main downtown area of Patagonia and driving East and South around the back side of the hill. My GPS kept trying to direct me to a road that didn't seem to exist and when I ignored that direction it still pointed inward to a way that I couldn't find. After not going far enough, and then going too far, I finally found the "Road not maintained for passenger vehicles" entrance. The entrance looks quite steep and has loose rocks but I saw a 15-passenger van from the U of A that had entered from that direction and they were making it ok although somewhat slowly. Once you get past the entrance at either side its pretty easy going and has a few side trails that can be explored and a few mines that are interesting. The end near highway 82 is much steeper, longer and more rocky than the entrance on the other side. I have done the trail 4 times, twice in each direction in our stock Jeep Wrangler.
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