El Oso Road

Payson, Arizona 85541

El Oso Road

El Oso Road Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"For the most part, this long trail is suitable for passenger vehicles in dry weather. However, there is one section, a 0.5-milelong stretch immediately east of the Mud Springs Trailhead, for which high-clearance vehicles, preferably 4WDs, are required. The day the trail was surveyed there was a VW Beetle abandoned on this stretch of trail. The unfortunate vehicle suffered major damage to its undercarriage and was hopelessly stuck on the embedded rocks.

The driver was lucky enough to catch a ride with a passing vehicle, but only after he had spent the night along the trail. Special Attractions: Very scenic ridgeline trail with excellent primitive camping spots; Remains of the El Oso and Jolene Mines; Optional 7-rated detour. 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."

El Oso Road Trip Reports

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This was a nice sunday morning drive out to Roosevelt Lake. The majority of the trail can be handled in a car..I actually saw a few out there. About 1/2 way a higher cleareance vehicle is required to cross some of the creeks. Stock SUV or pickup would be fine. Lots of ATV's & Dirtbikes so you need to be aware. Never had to turn on 4WD. Over all pretty good trail would do again.

El Oso Road Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
3 hours
Year-round, best October to May
2,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,000 feet
Top Elevation
Tonto National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Adams Mesa, Mine Mt., Four Peaks, Tonto Basin, Theodore Roosevelt Lake; BLM Theodore Roosevelt Lake; and others
Local Maps

Trail Log