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4x4 Trails of Arizona Book

W

WayneK

FYI,

I'm including an e-mail description of a book I just purchased that I think is pretty good ($17.99 , 92 pages). NOTE: I'm not associated with the author or the book in anyway! I just thought you might like to check it our if you're an Arizona Wheeler.

I picked up a "4x4 Trails of Az" Vol. 1 at Popular. It looks pretty good if anyone wants to stop by and take a look at it. It has about 12 trails described, with a few photos, map, GPS coordinates, overview and a trail difficulty rating (1-5, 5 being toughest) for each trail. The trails are:

1. The Coves of Saguaro Lake
Trail Rating: 2/5 (coves 1&2); 4/5 (coves 3&4)
Time to complete: 4 hours
2. Cottonwood Camp Runs "The Rolls"
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 3 hours
3. "The River" Blue Point Bridge Area of the Lower Salt River
Trail Rating: 2/4
Time to complete: 1 hours
4. Bulldog Wash Portion of the Great Western Trail
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 3 hours
5. Silly Mountain
Trail Rating: 4/5
Time to complete: 20 min.
6. Box Canyon
Trail Rating: 2/5 (canyon); 1/5 (other)
Time to complete: 3 hours
7. The Coke Ovens
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 6 hours
8. Montana Mountain road (Forest Routes 650 and 172)
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 5 hours
9. Crown King: The Back Way from Lake Pleasant
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 5 hours
10. A Few Hours of solitude in the San Tans
Trail Rating: 4/5
Time to complete: 2 hours
11. Reno Pass
Trail Rating: 3/5
Time to complete: 5 hours
12. Apache Leap
Trail Rating: 3/5 (into Devil's Canyon): 4/5 (to rocky sluice)
Time to complete: 4 hours

For those of you that have done number #9 (Crown King the back way) here's a few comments to help you gauge this author's trail rating system.

"Why rate this trail a 3 (i.e. Crown King back way) when its really a 2? Not because its a helluva a long way and weather changes can really make things interesting. It is because of a few tricky rocky uphills that may cause a novice driver a little discomfort. After all, one newspaper writer described this trail as "the most bone jarring trail in Arizona". A hard core four wheeler would be quick to argue this point and so would I."

To further calibrate his trailing rating system he offers these pointers:

1 - Easiest; Usually a graded dirt road. Passable by a high clearance two wheel drive. Generally four wheel drive will not be needed.

2 - Intended for those with little or no experience and a stock 4WD vehicle. Four wheel drive traction will be required. Sometimes rough terrain will require low range. Typically these can be run in 4WD High.

3 - Intended for a driver with little or no experience driving a modified vehicle OR experienced drivers with a stock vehicle. You will most likely be using low-range. Modified vehicles should have skid plates and a lifted suspension or increased axle articulation. Stock tires work ok, those with increased diameter and a more aggressive tread pattern will do better.

4 - Requires a modified vehicle AND an experienced driver. Both elements are necessary! On a 4 trail you will experience obstacles such as rocks, ruts, off camber grades and difficult hill climbs. In addition to the modifications listed in #3, it is recommended that at least one axle in the vehicle have a traction adding device such as limited slip or a locking differential. These trails are run in 4WD Low.

5 - Hardest, don't even think about it with a stock vehicle or if you are inexperienced. You will be hating life and me as well! These trails require the ultimate in traction and wheel travel. In addition, body damage may occur. If you have a 3" lift (at least), skid plates, larger tires, traction aiding devices in BOTH differentials, and don't care if brush eats your paint at least your vehicle may be able to make it. You should be able to traverse a #4 trail with ease before attempting a #5.

He further notes: That the trails in this book were done in slightly modified vehicles. The Initial data was taken in a 1986 Ford F150 (Go FORD!). This truck had limited slip differentials in front and rear and was lifted 2 inches over stock. The tires were 32" x 12.50". The latter trails were run in a 1988 Jeep Cherokee with the front sway bar unhooked. This vehicle was basically stock until an "incident" on the Apache Leap trail. Now it sports a locking rear differential. The point is that these trails were run in comfort with slightly modified vehicles, not highly modified specialty trucks.

Wayne
 



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R

Rick

Wayne, do you live in AZ? Maybe we could get together sometime and run some trails.

I have done Crown king, Coke Ovens and the Montana Mountain Rd. from the book.

Several years ago I tried Silly Mountain in a 2wd Mazda p'up and got high centered on the diff. It was "silly" of me to try...

------------------
Rick Horwitz
explorer@4x4central.com
Editor
www.4x4central.com
 






A

AZExplorer

I have had the op to do the Coves, Reno Pass, the River, Silly Mtn, and Crown King. The "sweaty knuckle" award goes to that 1/4 mile Silly Mtn trail. My first time on off-chamber pea-gravel. This was before the city tried to "improve" the trail. I remember pacing for 5 minutes before gathering the correct amount of "Silliness". The darkness may have played a part in my delay. They left out the LaCanada river trail by Oro Valley. Body damage galore! So many trails, so little gas money :]
 






W

WayneK

Rick,

Yes, I leave in North Glendale. I'd be interested in doing some runs together, although I'm in the middle of getting some mods done that's kind of my top priority right now. I should be ready to roll within 2-3 weeks.

Wayne
 












F

f-64

Hello, My name is Bob. I am a new user and just wanted to contribute to this discussion.

In regards to the Crown King trail out of Lake Pleasent, I was with a 4x4 club about 4 years ago and made that run in my daily driver which is a stock 91' 4door 4x4 Eddie Bauer {white}.

Actually I had no problem at all but I sure would not do it alone.

The 91' has 137000 mi and is still running great.

By the way I am at 43Av and Bethany Home Rd.
Regards, Bob
 






W

WayneK

Well it looks like I'll have the new gears/tires and front posi-traction in by tomorrow (7/13). So, I should be available to start taking it offroad again asap (unless some break-in period is recommended). I'd be interested in doing some quick, i.e. not a lot of time, trips right away even though it is a little bit hot right now. By quick I'm thinking a 5-6 hour trip with an early start. By the way, we are practically neighbours, I'm over off of 51st Ave. and Bell Rd.
 






Rick

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Sounds good Wayne, for a real quick trip, I head up 83rd ave, climb the hill at the end of the road then wind up out on 99th ave, then you can head down Jomax and mess around in the Agua Fria.

For a longer run, the area around Table Mesa rd. is excellant. Just outside of town and lots of trails to check out.

------------------
Rick Horwitz
explorer@4x4central.com
Editor
www.4x4central.com
 






W

WayneK

Rick,

Thanks, I'll probably give the 83rd Ave. suggestion a try after work some afternoon since its so close. This will let me become re-acquainted with my vehicle again to see if it handles quirky in anyway. Although, I'm not sure about "messing around in the Agua Fria" this time of year with all the rain we've gotten recently. I suspect the ole' Ariz. saying about "calling a dry wash a river and a river with water in it a flood" holds true right now and we'd probably have to say that the Agua Fria is flooded! :)

Later,
Wayne
 






ntrpriz

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Hey guys. Im in the Gilbert Area. I would love to join you on an outing, depending upon the timing. I have a stock 94 XLT. I bought it about 6 weeks ago, and I still need to learn where the best areas are for a stock newbie!!!

Thanks
 






Rick

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W

WayneK

Rick,

Good suggestion, I went off after work last Thursday and went up 83rd Ave. Had to lock the hubs in within 15 min. of leaving work so I guess that is pretty close. I found out that when I'm driving down at a step angle into a wash and have to make a turn I'm getting a little bit of tire rub from the front tire that has the rear part of the tire into the wheel well. The rubbing occurs at the back of the front wheel well. I'm hoping that a little triming off of the bottom-rear part of the front wheel wells will clear this up.

The new gears make a noticable difference! No more having to ride the breaks going down a steep rocky stretch. Just put it in low-range and first gear and let it crawl down in idle!

I think I'm ready for a little better run now then just a test drive.

Later,
Wayne
 






Rick

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Sounds good Wayne.

I'm ready for a run, but it will have to wait until next week. We are going to Flagstaff this weekend for a ham radio swapmeet at the Coconino County Fair Grounds.

Give me a call when you want to get together.


------------------
Rick Horwitz
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Editor
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Rick

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Hey Wayne, when are we going to get together for a run? Give me a call 602-896-8813.

Any other Arizonans want to get together for a day run sometime? Let's hit the trail!

------------------
Rick Horwitz
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jallen

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Re Crown King via Lake Pleasant Trail .
So I'm heading from Scottsdale up to Prescott with an elderly relative and we have all day so I say " Why don't we take this scenic route I heard about which will probably take an hour or two longer." He foolishly said "Fine" so we set out in my 92 XLT and after a few false starts,( where is Cow Flats anyway?) eventually got on the trail. I had to turn up the stereo to blank out the hammering noises and occassionally turned off the air for more power at the wheels. Those bare rock descents and climbs out of gullies were exciting!. Much 3-wheeling. The elderly relative wisely insisted on walking/climbing some sections on foot rather than ride with me. When he saw the extreme attitudes achieved, had to reach for his heart pills. Could have used a couple myself but he wouldn't share.
Met lots of serious 4x4 equipment and bikes along the way. Everyone we met told us it was only five miles to Crown King and we'd never make it. We did. Also rescued four travellers enroute including a snow-stuck couple at the top. We didn't get to Prescott until well past dark and rewarded ourselves with big steaks and adult beverages at the Palace on Whiskey Row. The elderly relative observed that the stiff neck which had bothered him for some years seemed to have been cured by the violent whipping from side to side.
A couple of days later I was having coffee at Young's Farm in Dewey with Gerry Collins who owns the BumbleBee Ranch on which the Crown King trail lies. He couldn't believe we'd made it and declared that he wouldn't even try, even though it was his trail. Not bad for a couple of Canadian greenhorns.
I also like to take the road from Cherry to Mingus or down by Allen Springs tom Cottonwood for easier trekking in that area. Gluk!


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ExplorGM

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WaneK-Still with us?

Wane,
Where did you get the book Arizona Trails? Can I find it in your average book store or is it sold on line?
Rick
 






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