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Butterfield Pass Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The short section of this trail that crosses Butterfield Pass has been adopted and maintained by the Boy Scouts of America as a community project. Their work includes signage and information boards along the route. Special Attractions: Rugged Vulture Mountains and Sonoran desert vegetation; Remains of the Mammoth Spar and the Big Spar Mines; Many side trails to explore. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."
--Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson, Backcountry Adventures: Arizona (Adler Publishing ).
We decided to take this trail as a side trip on our return from Phoenix.
Unfortunately, the trail has been closed by the BLM, according to the official closure notice posted at the eastern trailhead, to aid in the recovery of the area damaged by negligent off-road activities.
Equally as disappointing is that this trail has been closed since 2008 and isn't noted here.
We took three Arizona Avalanches (2003/2004/2007 stock) through the pass 1/14/06 Lower reaches were easily passable by car to water tank and the BSA has done a great job of signage and trail maintenance. Up over the pass the road starts to deteriorate and narrows so that you might expect the odd pinstripe down the side of your vehicle and gentle scrape on the underbody in places where the trail has washed out..
Cactus up at the top are superb and literaly are right on the edge of the trail and either side at one point. Amazing they survived all the stagecoach traffic.
All in all a nice day out from Phoenix
Nigel - AZ 03 AV www.ArizonaAvalanches.com
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