Charouleau Gap

Oracle, Arizona

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5 Reviews
4 out of 5
Fun, challenging and scenic. One of the most popular hard-core runs in the state. A must drive for any serious four-wheeler. Crosses the Santa Catalina Mountain range in the Coronado National Forest. For serious four-wheelers only. No stock vehicles. Lockers or winch recommended. Extreme articulation needed for deep washouts and gullies. Climb several steep hills with loose rock. One water crossing is deep during rainy periods. One rock obstacle called “The Step” often requires assistance. Aggressive drivers may break parts. Trail is very long and remote. Route-finding is difficult at the end. Go with a group and be prepared for surprises.
Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

by Charles A. Wells (FunTreks)

Fun, challenging and scenic. One of the most popular hard-core runs in the state. A must drive for any serious four-wheeler. Crosses the Santa Catalina Mountain range in the Coronado National Forest. For serious four-wheelers only. No stock vehicles. Lockers or winch recommended.

Extreme articulation needed for deep washouts and gullies. Climb several steep hills with loose rock. One water crossing is deep during rainy periods. One rock obstacle called “The Step” often requires assistance. Aggressive drivers may break parts. Trail is very long and remote. Route-finding is difficult at the end. Go with a group and be prepared for surprises.

©  Charles A. Wells/FunTreks. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Oracle
Distance: 20
Trail Type: Shuttle
Vehicles: ATVs and Motorcycles
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: 5 to 7 hours or more
Local Contacts: Coronado National Forest, Safford and Santa Catalina Ranger District
Local Maps: Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer; USGS Tucson; Coronado National Forest map
Driving Directions: Directions to Charouleau Gap

Recent Trail Reviews

4/30/2016
0

Great Trail, one o my favorites. This trail has a little bit of everything.


1/1/2009
0

Local favorite. Tricky when icy, though. after 3rd river crossing, UTV's may not make it.


3/16/2008
0

Rough trail! Probably the most difficult we have taken our LR3 on to date. We got as far as the downhill just before the water. We parked off to the right side here, then walked to the water. It was to late in the day to continue and we met up with a group of people that were coming through from the other side who said they got stuck, had to use a winch, etc... Thy were a group of three mod trucks and a dirt bike and we were ALONE without a winch. Decided to play it safe, walk down and then turn back. One couple on ATVs said the gap is very very narrow, and very steep and not only can we get stuck but will get very scratched up. This spot we stopped at is about 1/3 through the trail. I think it was about 7.5 miles in. I would have loved to have gone farther on this trail if we were with other vehicles, like the Land Rover dealer trips! This would be a great ride to go all the way to the water to picnic, play, then turn around. That last bit before the water would be the most challenging section, but walking it down & up told me the LR3 would have navigated that too. Next time we will go earlier in the day and take it all the way down at least through the water. Very challenging & fun! The Land Rover LR3 performed flawlessly. Great views up a very step "hill" to see the backside of the Biosphere off in the distance.


3/16/2006
0

We ran this trail over the course of 2-days, camping about 2/3 of the way through. This trail is easily doable in a stock truck, as 'The Step' has two bypasses now. Almost any vehicle with 33" tires and a rear locker can make it up 'The Step' though, however, a strap is recommended to avoid rolling over backwards in shorter wheelbase vehicles. There are lots of cross-axle ruts to lift your tires and test your flex. The Escalator is a very long, steep, loose-rock covered up-hill section, very sharp right turn at the top, keep your speeds down. Keep a considerable distance between vehicles on the way up so you don't get a rock through the windsheild. Great scenery, fun trail. Very remote.


7/12/2004
0


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Activity Feed

May 2018