Looks like the wife convinced me to visit the friends in Phoenix/Scottsdale. I am researching the Apache Trail for some 4-wheeling adventures. The maps I have found online are not so detailed. When I get to AZ I'll find a good map but wanted to get an idea from some locals about some good trails near enough to Scottsdale for a day trip or overnight camp, weather permitting. Maybe the best sight to see in the Apache Trail area:
- Tonto National Monument
- Cliff Dwellings
- Fishing this time of year?
Fishing is tough this time of year. I fish Apache, Canyon, Sahuaro, and Roosevelt quite often. Deep and slow is the answer. Dropshotting soft plastics and going deep with small spoons (crippled herring luires) works fairly well. Crappie fishing picks up in late Feb and starts going nuts at Roosevelt in late March (God, I love it!!!!). They just stocked Saguaro with trout....the big bass will go for trout imitations.
The Apache trail route from Canyon to Apache is a nice road with great scenery. You don't really need 4WD. Problems start to arise, however, when you meet a big rig coming the other way. It can get a little tense.
I heard that that area is beautiful, my buddy goes up there all the time, he always invites me to go, but he has a job where he gets three days off per week. I would like to go, but for now Ill settle for Perkinsville
Apache trail is incredible.. I've run it about 6 times now. Fairly easy to get to. Take hwy 60 east from Phoenix. Watch for the Hwy 88 exit. Go north on 88.. Hit up the nearest gas/diesel station, as there are no services where you are headed. You'll pass the ghost town of Goldfield. 88 will start as a twisty paved road and then change to gravel/dirt after the ghosttown of Tortilla Flat. After Tortilla Flat, the road gets twistier and narrow in spots, but is always graded. It is passable via passenger car. Once you hit Fish Creek hill, there is a 10% downhill grade with a ~1500ft sheer cliff on one side. Be careful.
Once you reach Roosevelt dam, you are at the end of the trail.. keep going and you'll intersect 188. Turn south on 188 and go a couple miles to get to the Tonto National Monument.
To get back to town, you have four choices.. North or South on 188, back down the Apache Trail, or up and over the Four Peaks trail. It is passable by any high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle, but be aware that there may be snow up on the top. Do not run this one unless you have maps and a GPS because route finding can be difficult at times and it is a fairly remote trail. The four peaks trail is pretty rough and slow going, but the views of Four Peaks mountain and the phoenix valley as you come down the mountain are spectacular.
Being an avid offroader, I know of a few other easy trails in the area, but wouldnt advise running them without a guide or good GPS system. I had to use my GPS extensively to find my way out of the trail system east of Roosevelt lake. There is a lot of spectacular scenery out there though.
Have fun! The scenery here in Arizona is what keeps me here.
'99 Ford F250 SD 4x4 CC SB PSD
'95 Nissan Pathfinder - offroad rig.
I shoulda posted about my trip a couple weeks before we went but it was spur of the moment. I headed into Apache trail and saw that there were many trails but I didn't get a GPS for Christmas this year. I didn't find any good maps, the folks we visited just moved into their house, etc...I can't wait to get back out there and really spend some time exploring. And this time I'll go with a couple of other 4x4 capable rigs.
I did get to install some off road lights while the girls drank coffee and chatted. Our friends have a nice garage. Meanwhile I'll be hiding in the eastern deserts of California and Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.