JEEP, OHV & ATV 
IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

Start with a 20-mile Sonoran vista across iconic Saguaro Cacti -- follow your choice of Forest Service Roads, Jeep trails or two-tracks through chaparral and pinyon-juniper hills to our high elevation forests of ponderosa pine, fir, maple and aspen.  Whether your chariot of choice is a Jeep, OHV or ATV – Gila County has well-graded dirt roads, 4WD trails, and rock-crawling 4X4 challenges. 


Gila County encompasses 4,800 square miles - more than half within National Forest crisscrossed by dirt roads, unmaintained two-tracks that lead to old mine claims – and granite routes for those with rugged rock shocks. Some trails access deep into wild landscapes, others hug mountainsides enroute to cobalt-blue lakes, abandoned silver mines - and pine forests home to elk, deer and turkey. Whether its a short out-and-back picnic,  or a multi-day journey - backcountry beckons with abundant camping. Sleep beneath a million stars – civilization feels faraway, but you’re close enough for help – if needed.  ​

 

Gas-up your 4x4 or OHV, check that spare tires are sturdy – bring your GPS, maps and plenty water -- and your sense of adventure for scenic trails and breathtaking scenery!

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Click on the buttons above to be directed to Jeeping Trails near each of these communities.

Globe, Arizona - Jeep, OHV and ATV Trails

 

Pipeline OHV Area - Immediately south of crossroads of Hwy 70/77

Parking here allows easy and spacious ramp unloading for the Quad or 2-wheeler in the cargo bed of your truck, or unloading a trailered side-by-side. From this convenient meeting and unloading spot, you’ll find access to the popular routes: several numbered Forest Service roads that lead north to the Pinal Mountains, or into foothills above Six Shooter Canyon. Don’t expect directional signs at the crossroads of Highways 70/77. Turn at the wide pullout on the west side of Hwy 77 southbound, immediately south of the intersection. There are no toilets or utilities - but there are picnic tables shaded by ramadas.  For more information contact the Tonto National Forest Globe Ranger District. 

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Pinal Mountains

Park and unload at the crossroads of Forest Roads 55 (paved) and 651 (unpaved) about 10 minutes drive south of Globe for access to the Pinals - one of the best spots for a scenic, or challenging,  ride or day-trip in your OHV/UTV/ATV. A wide dirt lot near the cattleguard here allows parking for multiple trucks with trailers; then drive scenic Forest Road 651 as it winds uphill through chapparal along the ridge between Kellner canyon and Russell Gulch, with panoramic views of the north face of the Pinal Mountains as you drive up,  and equally panoramic views of Globe-Miami, the Copper Hills and the Apache Peaks as you return.  Assuming, that is, you return the way you arrived!  FR 651 leads drivers another winding 10 miles to Signal Peak, but you can also take dirt roads that descend the south side of the range, to Dripping Springs - or the remains of ‘Doak,’ a boom-and-bust mining area. FR 651 has  picnic tables, fire rings and primitive campsites with Forest Service outhouse toilets at Sulfide del Rey, the Ferndell Recreation are, and Upper Rec Site near the Signal Peak radio tower array. There are no toilets or developed camp sites on the Madera Peak side of the Pinal range, but scenery here is well worth the ride.

Read more, courtesy of Arizona Highways

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Timber Camp, North of Globe

Another great spot to enjoy a few hours or riding, a full day -- or camp for a weekend. Timber Camp in the Tonto National Forest is about a half-hour north of Globe on Highway 60, heading towards Salt River Canyon - and Forest Service Roads that radiate from Timber Camp can take riders to Salt River Canyon’s south rim. Timber Camp has a day-use area (with parking lot outhouse!) where no fee is required; but make reservations at least three days ahead of time for the  $10/night campsites  by visiting Recreation.gov or calling 1-877-444-6777.  For groups, inquire about the Brundrett 1 & 2 group-use areas with amenities ranging from a dozen individual campsites (12 single occupancy, 1 double occupancy) to a spacious shade pavilion, picnic tables, fire grills and rings and two accessible vault toilets (100 person maximum); and parking for approximately 15 RVs or 25 passenger vehicles.

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Dripping Springs Valley

Located about 14 miles north of the town of Hayden on Arizona State Route 77, this sparsely populated valley has about 235 people - and access to the south-facing slopes of the Pinal Mountains and north side of the Dripping Springs Mountains. Century-old mining ruins, towering rock formations, fossils and pot sherds are just a few items on the checklist for most day-trippers who plan an OHV drive through the Dripping Springs Valley. For those into Grand Canyon State mining heritage, here’s a sneak preview of azbackcountryadventures.com’s  writeup about a trip to see the Cowboy Mine and the Vanadium Mine, both located on the south side of the Dripping Springs Valley -- which produced Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc, Copper and Vanadium. Read more

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

 

Payson, Arizona - Jeep, OHV and ATV Trails

Cabin Loop Trail

The trail passes through some of the most spectacular country in Arizona and you will encounter a variety of landforms, vegetative communities, and a number of springs and perennial water sources. It is important to remember that trails such as the Cabin Loop Trail provide the only access to the country in the early days. This and other trails were used and maintained by early Forest Rangers, ranchers and settlers. Livestock was driven up the Rim from the Tonto Basin and grazed during the summer up on the Rim. Portions of the trails are still used by ranchers for moving livestock. Historic accounts tell us that the old timers who made and used the trails blazed them to a height of 6 or 7 feet so the trails could be followed even after a deep snow.

Info Courtesy:  Alltrails.com

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Control Road (F.R. 64)

Don’t let the prosaic name fool you: Control Road north of Payson is a lovely historical route that runs below the Mogollon Rim — the dramatic ridge that defines the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Beginning near Payson, the meandering road rises and dips in and out of ponderosa pine forest for 23.4 miles, crossing seasonal streams and the East Verde River. It takes a little more than an hour to drive the well-graded gravel road, allowing time to enjoy some interesting stops and side trips that combine history, geology and a good dose of local color.

Info Courtesy:  Arizona Highways

Difficulty Level: Easy                                                                More Info >>

Cracker Jack Mine Trail

CrackerJack Mine Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for camping and off road driving and is accessible year-round.  The land is absolutely beautiful starting out in the forest pines with some snow in patches on the ground. The road is wide and well maintained. Drive a couple miles and the scenery changes into high desert with trees following along the East Verde River. River/creek crossings are present but most are dry in January. Once you arrive at a Y intersection north of the Contact Trick Tank, take the right and continue to follow F.R 209. This is the last quarter of the trail and the trail terrain completely changes. The trail narrows, rocks now appear and the level of difficulty changes from a 1-2 to a 5-7. Boulder ranges are plentiful ranging in sizes of 8"-14" with waterfall ledges 6"-12" in height. 
 

A Info courtesy: AllTrails.com

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

East Verde River Trail

Just a few miles west of downtown Payson, this moderate trail winds through the Tonto National Forest and along the scenic East Verde River. Not long and not overly difficult, this is a great trail to hit to quickly get out of town.

This is a great jeepin' trail.  Not to difficult but still demands your attention.  Great in the spring and fall (really anytime of the year), this trail is great for families looking to play in the water, have a pic nick or just drive some really pretty countryside.  

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Monument Peak Loop

Monument Peak Loop Trail is a 3.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels.  It starts out as a Jeep‐size trail to the north of a large open turn‐around area on the east side of Granite Dells Road, approximately 3.3 miles from the Highway 260/Granite Dells Road intersection.    There is some area for parking, although this area is often muddy.The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.  

Difficulty Level: Easy                                                                More Info >>

Peach Orchard Loop Trail

There is excellent views of the Matzatzal mountains to the southwest and lots of vegetation with pinon trees, junipers, scrub oaks, manzanita bushes, catci of all kinds.  Follow the road down past the Peach Loop trail connection on down the road some more. You cross a cattle guard that has been almost all filled in with dirt. Just a little past this the trail takes off from the road as a small trail but it is marked here. There the trail goes into a creek bed that looks like it is dry most of the time. It winds thru the creek until you get to some Cottonwood trees. This is where you pick up a forest road. Here it looks like it could have water sometimes. It has some really nice big cottonwoods and lots of shade. Then the road climbs up the hills up to the Payson Event Center. There is another junction where the trail takes off from the road that is a really steep and rocky trail. This hill is affectinaly known as the "Rocky Bitch". On the way you can see where there has been some prospecting and mining in the area. You pass an old ruin of some miners, all that are left are some walls. And then up the rocky trail some more. You top off at the top of the hill and then it is a smooth drive on down to the end of the trail. There is one more junction off the road that the trail had become before you end up at another metal gate. Here is the end of the trail.

Difficulty Level: More Difficult                                                More Info >>

Promontory Butte (F.R. 764)

This trail is very short and a great addition to Rim Road Trail and other trails in the area. Consider camping in order to spend multiple days on the trail. Roundtrip, Promontory Butte Trail will take less than an hour. The total mileage is about 8 miles. We’ve rated this trail a ‘6’ out of ‘10’. Several rocky and rough spots make high clearance a must. 4WD recommended but not completely necessary. This is a high elevation trail – use caution when snow and ice are present.

Info Courtesy:  azoffroad.net

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>

Pyeatt Draw

The Pyeatt Draw Trail is just outside of Payson, Arizona, nestled between the Diamond Rim and the much more majestic Mogollon Rim to the north, which rises to elevations of more than 7,000 feet. The trail sits surrounded by native ponderosa pines in the bottom of a ravine, where running waters have cleared it and shaped it over many geological years.  The Trail is very scenic and meanders through the Tonto National Forest.  Make no mistake this trail is not for beginners.  This is pretty rough country but if you know what you are doing, this trail is 4x4 wheelin' euphoria.  The weather here can vary widely over the calendar year. The summers may leave the trail dry, yet not dusty. Winter brings snowfall at this 5,400-foot elevation mark. Running this trail in the spring, you will find the last bits of runoff still pooled in the lower parts of the wash areas.  This is a very technical yet fun jeeping experience.  It was featured on Power Nation TV in 2017 - Watch video |  Click Here

Info Courtesy:  AZOffroading.com

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult                                                 More Info >>

 

Pine/Strawberry - Jeep, OHV and ATV Trails

Rim Road (F.R.300)

The vistas steal the show, but there’s a lot to see along Forest Road 300, which can be approached from the east, near Woods Canyon Lake, or from the west, just north of Strawberry. This listing is written from the west, and it begins with an uphill climb through a thick pine forest — the Mogollon Rim is home to the world’s largest stand of ponderosas. After 1.2 miles, FR 300 intersects what used to be the General Crook Trail, a historic wagon route that was used in the 1870s and 1880s to provide logistical support for General George Crook in the U.S. Army’s war against the Apaches.

From there, the gravel road winds downhill to an area of grassy meadows crowded with tall evergreens. It’s a beautiful place to pitch a tent. Hardwoods and spruce start mixing in after that. You’ll also start seeing the first of many worthwhile side trips: Potato Lake, Lee Johnson Spring, Kehl Springs Campground. Then, after 7.5 miles, you’ll get to the dead zone of the Dude Fire.

Info Courtesy:  Arizona Highways 

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult                                                 More Info >>

 

Roosevelt/Tonto Basin  
Jeep, OHV and ATV Trails

Gerald Wash Trail

The Tonto National Forest offers users the chance to experience desert four wheeling without having to travel too far outside the Phoenix valley. Gerald Wash trail is a remote area outside the Roosevelt Lake Recreation region. The trail winds up and above the region offering panoramic views of the surrounding desert. This trail is a great addition to other trails in the area, such as,  and  The trail offers a mild challenge for stock type vehicles while providing a relaxing scenic drive through the desert. You can choose to explore the local trails and end with a dip in nearby Roosevelt Lake. Be sure to pick up a permit  if you plan on visiting any of the lakes recreation sites.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

 

Young, Arizona - Jeep, OHV and ATV Trails

Cherry Creek

State Route 288, AKA ‘The Young Road’ leads 50 miles north to reach the Pleasant Valley and historic town of Young. Also known as the ‘Desert To Tall Pines Highway,’ AZ 288 is scenic, narrow, winding - and mostly paved;  but invites OHV adventurers with unpaved Forest Service Roads leading to Cherry Creek, Workman Creek / Aztec Peak (don’t miss panoramic views from the peak, and visit the fire tower when its open during the fire watch season); and lesser roads exploring Ponderosa Pine forested mountains and canyons of the rugged Sierra Ancha wilderness. The Salt River Bridge was built in 1939; the Young Road was added to the state highway system in 1960; and only recently was most of the highway paved. Read More...

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                       More Info >>