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
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
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
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
Pack a lunch and snacks
Bring plenty of water for yourself and your guests
A camera, etc.
Sign-Up limited to 6 rigs:
1- @Trail Toy Leading
2- @Stacey and Scott
Reply to this thread and I'll add you to the list, thanks!