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Coke Ovens Professional Review and Guide
"See unique, beehive-shaped ovens near the Cochran Townsite. Steep climbs, tippy shelf roads and challenging rock obstacles. Stock vehicles should have high ground clearance and good articulation. Skid plates recommended. Very remote location. Don’t drive alone."
--Charles A. Wells, Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails (FunTreks).
The trail was- well interesting. I guess Im your typical weedend warrior with a new polaris rzr, however the trail to the ovens was not what I was expecting, methodical.
On the plus side I am twice the rider I was yesterday and all it cost me was a few chunks out of my ride. My wife didnt really have a good time but I could really appreciate the difficulty. It was a slow careful ride through some three and sometimes two wheel route through some "moderate" terrain (per the guide). Not a lot of water, a whole lot of shelf riding and a lot of bugs. Its one of those deals where I am glad we finished the ride, I am a better rider because of it, but I almost wish we could have taken a more pleasurable less stressful ride. But for me, anything short of completion is not an option. If I knew that the trails were so poorly marked I would have brought a spray can and marked some rocks for others. I paid the damn BLM, why no markers? Checking the map at every junction got real old. Took all of the 5 hours to go to all the way to the ovens and back. Bring a lot of water and dont park at the first flag pole, second one is much better, another
I had to stack some rocks on the way down the "waterfall" and I enjoyed the complexity of the steep shelf roads. To say that a stock 4X4 would be fine to the ovens is laughable, no way. We saw 2 atv's, and two trucks all day. (mothers day). Dont take this trail if you are afraid to ding your ride. If you are up for a challenge and have a buddy, this is the trail for you.
I have not completed the trail as of yet. The day we planed to go turned into a very wet day and I don't float well in flash flooded canyons. The shortened day was very enjoyable.
Trial was a challenge, scenery great. Coke Ovens worth seeing. Unfortunatly some criminals have defaced them. I would do the trip again.
This trail is allot of fun, but a stock vehicle would be a really bad idea. We have a wrangler jk with 6 inch lift and 33 inch tires and had no trouble, but we saw the trail was littered with car parts and scrape marks. At one point we were doing a head stand with our vehicle, just short of bottoming out on the front bumper. It looked like there were other ways in down by the rail road, but if you take the trails.com way in from the box canyon road your going to have to be very careful about tire placement. A stock vehicle would get torn up. We saw in the group in front of us there were 3 jeeps and 1 baha style custom build truck and it got just about destroyed.
Ran this trail in to the Coke Ovens, and then Box Canyon out to Florence, at night. It was rather easy, though the cloak of darkness definitely added another scale of difficulty.
The Coke Ovens are worth checking out, and a stock vehicle will have no problems getting to them, with some common sense and low tire pressure. Bring some friends, have a BBQ at the coke ovens and enjoy a nice sun-set.
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