Four Wheel Jeep Trails in Arizona
Arizona is famous for its Old West history, warm deserts and high-country trout fishing. Jump in a jeep and head out into the backcountry to see relics of yesteryear and scenic vistas punctuated by towering saguaros and rugged pastel hills.
Trails for every driving ability will give you time to enjoy the scenery or pit your skills against rugged terrain.
The Arizona desert may seem flat when you’re rolling down a leveled interstate, but get off pavement and you’re in for a thrilling rollercoaster ride over the desert’s many dips and furrows. Steep climbs up rolling hills include deeply rutted routes, stretches covered with pea-sized gravel, and rock crawling areas.
Near Phoenix, the Four Peaks riding area has trails traversing rolling desert or ascending over the peaks to Roosevelt Lake. In Southern Arizona, Charouleau Gap lies just north of Tucson on the foothills below Mount Lemmon with nearly 20 miles of trail stretching to Oracle.
The Middle of Nowhere
The Arizona Strip in northwestern Arizona is the least inhabited area of the state, but you can roll through scenic canyonlands to relish landscape seen by few. Unpaved rugged roads in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument cover a million acres in topography ranging from red buttes to forests.
Head to the northwestern edge of the Grand Canyon where you can gaze down at the canyon and the Colorado River from a sheer 3,000-foot cliff. The Toroweap campground at this site allows primitive camping.
In the High Country
The Mogollon Rim stretches across much of northern Arizona, housing pine forests shattered by rugged basalt and limestone outcroppings. Lakeside in the northeastern part of the state is home to the Maverick Motorized Trail running through the foothills of the White Mountains.
Catch it at the Sky-Hi Trailhead to run 50 miles of pine and juniper forests with scenic views of the mountains. The trail is well marked with orange blazes, and you can camp along the route. In northwestern Arizona, the Hualapai Mountain Trail traces old mining routes from Kingman to the pine forests at 6,500 feet. The Hualapai Mountain Trailhead has camping, cabins and a staging zone.
The Old West
The Bradshaw Mountains stretch from the Phoenix Metropolitan area north to Prescott, sheltering the remains of mining towns in their folds. One of the lone survivors, Crown King prospers as a remote tourist town with an old-fashioned saloon, inn and restaurant.
A rugged jeep trail leads from Lake Pleasant near Phoenix to the town. You can also enter from Prescott along the Senator Highway — a rutted, high-clearance dirt road. An easy route accesses the town from Bumblebee off Interstate 17.
In southern Arizona, head into the Dragoon Mountains along the Ghost Town Trail. Start from Tombstone and head along historic stagecoach trails to visit the once prosperous mining towns of Gleeson, Courtland and Pearce where many old buildings still stand.
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