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Trail Toy

5/22/21 Cave Creek to Sheep Bridge & New River Canyon-Moderate-Near Carefree & New River-Day Run

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Posted (edited)

Cave Creek to Sheep Bridge near Carefree, AZ:

Join me for another fun day of off roading.  This is a leisurely 42-mile (one way) ride from Cave Creek heading roughly north on Cave Creek Road (FR 24), more or less parallel to the Rio Verde River. This road is the main thoroughfare road that is the kick-off point for dozens of trails and lots of opportunities for adventure. The goal is to get to the historic Sheep Bridge over the Rio Verde.


This trail is a fairly easy dirt road for most of the way but the last 8 miles down into the Verde River are a long, rough, bumpy ride. Most stock SUVs would be able to make it to the bridge but high clearance is recommended. There are many water crossings that are usually dry along the way, but in rainy conditions this trail should be avoided. Also, this is a very remote area and if you break down it is a very long distance back out to civilization.

 

Once you reach the Sheep's Bridge area there are lots of fun adventures to keep you busy. In the mass of reeds on the north side of the river bend by the foot bridge there is a hidden hot springs to warm up on winter days. On the ridge line peak to the NW there are the native american ruins to explore. There are ample opportunities for hiking the Verde River and it's a popular swimming hole in the warm summer months. There are also many opportunities to fish.

 

New River Canyon near New River, AZ:

Connecting Table Mesa Road and FR 24, FR 41 can be a quick 19 mile trip or a full blown all day adventure if you take all the side roads and connecting trails. The beautiful landscape of the Tonto Forrest is top notch as you follow the trail through and over the mountains. Most of the trail is a calm, sandy and rocky road, but there are a few spots where four-wheel-drive may be required. While the river bed is dry most of the year, a heavy rain can change the difficulty drastically with the dried mud holes turning into sloppy mud pits and the river crossing rising to a couple feet deep. Overall, this uncommonly traveled trail is a must do if you're around the Phoenix area and enjoy getting away from everything and enjoying the incredible scenery.

 

  • Technical Rating for both trails: 3 (MODERATE)
  • More info/pics here: trailsoffroad.com - Cave Creek to Sheep Bridge
  • More info/pics here: trailsoffroad.com - New River Canyon

 

REQUIREMENTS:

  • A high clearance 4x4 with a low range transfer case option, suitable front & rear recovery point, aggressive 30"+ or larger A/T or M/T tires.  Recommend aftermarket skid plates, rock rails and sway-bar disconnects
  • Ham radio on 462.700 Mhz 
  • GMRS channel 21
  • Rigs & drivers must meet all the typical state/federal legal requirements for on-highway vehicles (license, insurance, registration, seatbelts, lights, etc.)
  • A State Trust Land permit is required

 

Itinerary:

  • This will be a bit of a long run (estimated 86-88 miles) taking most of the day (estimated 8-10 hours) so getting started early is important.  We'll run north on Cave Creek Rd. to Bloody Basin Rd., then to Sheep Bridge via Bloody Basin Rd., then back the way we came until we get to New River Canyon.  At that point we'll head west on New River Canyon until we get to a dirt lot on Table Mesa Rd. at the I-17
  • @gearhead will not be running the New River Canyon section so anyone else who wants to skip that part can follow him out
  • Meet up time will be 7am, depart by 7:30am.  Meet up spot will be where Seven Springs Rd. turns from pavement to dirt: Map
  • Gas up beforehand, 1 full tank should be plenty, I think, but it would be a good idea to bring extra.  There's a Shell in Cave Creek 11 miles from the meet up spot: Shell gas station

 

Sign-Up limited to 6 rigs:

  • I may up the rig limit if more potential attendees want to skip the New River Canyon section and follow Mike out.

 

1- @Trail Toy Leading

2- @Stacey and Scott (Spending the day at Sheep Bridge) 

3- @shellback91 (Not running the New River Canyon section)

4- @gearhead (Not running the New River Canyon section)

5- @curbjumper (Doing entire run)

 

Reply to this thread and I'll add you to the list, thanks!

Edited by Trail Toy

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Just from past experience (3 runs), plan for about 10 hours for sure ;) 

 

You're in for a treat! It's a gorgeous drive and the river/bridge are really cool. There are a few areas where you can drive straight down to the water and picnic on the "beach". There is also a natural spring near the bridge that someone bricked up into a "hot tub", though I've never found it.

 

If you leave by way of Bloody Basin Road towards the i17, you'll pass through one of the largest ranches in the USA (tons of cows everywhere) and be treated to some spectacular views of the basin as you climb the rim of Hutch Mesa.

 

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Add us please

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Put me down as tentative please.

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Sign me up please.  thanks!  

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do you have GPS coordinates handy for the meetup? When I click on the ink I do not see a pin. 😞  It's an early start coming from my neck o' the woods so I am trying to figure out a couple of things.

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If you zoom in after clicking on the link you can see where the pavement ends, right where that dirt road t's off.  I'm kinda dumb when it comes to google maps, dropping pins and the coordinates, sorry. 🙄  If I right click my mouse I get this: 33.900545779830914, -111.82450617753732, hopefully this will help? 😟

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Posted (edited)

Well, not so dumb anymore, lol!  I figured out how to drop pins on Google maps. 😎

Edited by Trail Toy
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4 hours ago, Trail Toy said:

Well, not so dumb anymore, lol!  I figured out how to drop pins on Google maps. 😎

441336381_goodjob.jpeg.ca3cb39290cd758b84a47c6a6318cf8b.jpeg 

😃

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Put me down as going but not running New River, I will follow @gearhead out.

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