Bloody Basin Road

4.6/5 (28 reviews)
Arizona has its share of historical monuments, but few have such a checkered past as the Aqua Fria National Monument. Bloody Basin Road offers visitors a chance to access this very unique region where Native American ruins are found right next to old stone cabins of the early settlers. With a name... Read More
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Highlights of Bloody Basin Road

Desert Category Icon Desert
Ghost Town Category Icon Ghost Town
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Rock Category Icon Rock
Sand Category Icon Sand
Highest Elevation
4983 ft
Shape of Trail
Out & Back
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
East
Official Trail Name
9269, 269
Nearest Town
Black Canyon City
Nearest Services
Black Canyon City
Management Agency
Agua Fria National Monument / Tonto National Forest
District
Cave Creek District

Overview

Arizona has its share of historical monuments, but few have such a checkered past as the Aqua Fria National Monument. Bloody Basin Road offers visitors a chance to access this very unique region where Native American ruins are found right next to old stone cabins of the early settlers. With a name like Bloody Basin, you would expect it to have a conflict-filled past. One of the most familiar conflicts occurred in 1873 when a group of Apaches was suspected of killing three men. Army Captain George Randall tracked them to Turret Peak, where the army stormed the camp at night. In the panic, some Indians jumped from the cliffs to their deaths. When the battle was over, 26 Apaches were dead. Bloody Basin is also home to the Horseshoe Ranch, founded in 1882 by William Mitchell. It would eventually become one of the largest cattle ranches in Arizona. At one time, the ranch’s cattle ranged over 30 square miles. Cattle grazing still takes place in the area, but most of the original property is now part of Aqua Fria National Monument. The area is large. Give yourself the entire day to explore this unique part of the southwest. The numerous side trails offer countless points to walk among the ruins and search the nearby rocks for petroglyphs. There are hundreds of examples of this ancient artwork littering the monument region. Look along cliffs or even on stray rocks in the meadows. Please do not disturb or alter these precious artifacts to ensure they remain for future generations. Sheep Bridge at the end of Bloody Basin Road, built in 1944 from surplus mine material, allowed local sheep herders to move their flocks safely across the Verde River. The Forest Service demolished the original bridge in 1987 and replaced it with a replica to provide access to the Mazatzal Wilderness. The bridge supports foot traffic only.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
28 Waypoints
86 Trail Photos
4 Trail Concerns
28 Community Reviews
1 Video
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