Log Corral Trail

Fountain Hills, Arizona (Maricopa County)

Last Updated: 07/07/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 8 reviews )
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Highlights

Highlight: Log Corral Trail
Log Corral Trail is a very challenging off road trail that leads you to the very remote eastern shore of Lake Bartlett. This beautiful trail has something for everyone, hard technical rocky obstacles, water crossings, hill climbs and opportunities to test your flex. The trail follows a very picturesque small creek, climbing up to a high ridge that overlooks Lake Bartlett the ultimate destination. The end of the trail offers a very remote access to camping, fishing and enjoying a great sunset along the lake.

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail has a few rocky sections that may require a locker. There are large slippery boulders that cause high centering. There are a couple rock ledges that may require a spotter. The brush is very tight and tough on this trail. The sand can be very loose and very soft. Do not go alone or travel the route if there is the potential for rain.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
5
DIFFICULT
OPTIONAL
6
DIFFICULT
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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Description

After reaching the trailhead off of Highway 87, there is ample room to air down and prepare for the trail ahead. The trail follows Log Corral creek and Sycamore creek with several water crossings along the way. A short distance down the creek you will turn sharply northwest and follow the narrowing creek and canyon. Look for the Log Corral trail marker sign at the entrance to the canyon. As you head up the canyon the terrain will get progressively rougher as you reach the most difficult section of the Rock Garden and the Waterfall obstacles. Caution is required here - as body damage and breakage commonly occurs. A good lift, at least 33" tires and lockers are recommended. After completing this section of the trail the road will climb up an uneven trail with lots of opportunities to test your flex. The top of the ridge offers great scenery and a good spot for a lunch break. Once over the ridge you will descend down into a large wash that crosses FR 393 and eventually ends at the shore of Lake Bartlett.
Do not attempt in the rain!!

Waypoints

1. Log Corral Trailhead (0 mi)
After exiting Highway 87 and heading west there is a large dirt area to air down and secure any loose items and prepare for the trail ahead. From here you will be heading southwest following Log Corral Creek.
2. Right to Log Corral Canyon (0.9 mi)
After traveling .9 miles south down Log Corral Wash you will cross Sycamore Creek and take a hard right heading back northwest following the narrowing canyon on FR 3456. There are also signs marking Log Corral Trail.
3. Left Turn to Rock Garden (1.53 mi)
Follow the narrowing wash road along FR 3456 for another 1/2 mile further with several water crossings. This section follows a narrow section with tight clearance and could be impassable due to flooding after rain. This will mark the beginning of the hardest section of the trail and will require spotting and tight maneuvers up and around a progressively more difficult large boulder field. This section of the trail can change frequently depending upon the recent conditions so be prepared for large rock obstacles with potential for body and undercarriage damage. The hardest obstacle of this section does have a less difficult but still very technical bypass. 3" lift, >33" tires, and lockers are recommended.
4. Waterfall Obstacle (1.68 mi)
Just after the rock garden section you will come to the hardest obstacle on the trail, the waterfall obstacle. This obstacle climbs a steep series of rock shelves up the creek that usually has water in it and can be wet and slippery. Again this section of the trail can frequently change and for this obstacle large tires, a lift, and lockers are recommended, however this obstacle has a fairly easy bypass that you can take to the left of the waterfall.
5. Log Corral (4.98 mi)
Continue about 3.25 miles west along FR 3456 along a narrow wash that slowly widens and begins to climb up to the highest point on the trail, Log Corral. As the road starts to climb the hill the trail has many off camber spots that will test your flex. The right line is easier and the left line will likely max out the flex of most rigs so lockers would be recommended to take the harder route. This spot climbs to an old log corral and runs high on a ridge and offers your first views of Lake Bartlett to the west. It is a great spot to stop for lunch or a cold drink before continuing down to Lake Bartlett.
6. FR 393 Intersection (8.27 mi)
From the high ridge at Log Corral continue west descending to mile marker 8.27 and the intersection with FR 393. The road gradually gets easier and follows an obvious wash all the way down to the shore of Lake Bartlett. Continuing south on FR 393 will take you around to the front side of the damn and the Verde River, however it is closed from January to June due to eagle nesting. Continuing north on FR 393 is a long, twisting and often tilting trail that eventually runs into Highway 87.
7. Bartlett Lake (9 mi)
Continue following the obvious wash west as it descends down to the shore line of Lake Bartlett. There are many small coves that you can camp in but access will depend upon the time of year and lake water level. Great dispersed camping and fishing are available but no services at all so come prepared. From here you can continue back the way you came along FR 3456 or return to Highway 87 via FR 393 which should not be considered a short cut. Although it doesn't have as much technical difficulty, it is a very long, challenging and remote trail that takes just as much if not more time to get back out to Highway 87.

Directions to Trailhead

From the intersection of Shea Blvd. and Highway 87 head northeast towards Payson on Highway 87 for 24 miles. Just after crossing a bridge over Log Corral Wash turn left heading west across the highway.

Camping

Dispersed
Once you reach the shore of Lake Bartlett there are plenty of opportunities for great camping, super views and some good fishing. If the lake is full it may be difficult to access some of the shore camping spots, however if the lake it down then it becomes much easier to simply drive along the shore until a you find a good camping spot. There are no services available in this area so if you are camping come prepared.
Camping: Log Corral Trail

Land Use Issues

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Trail Reviews (16)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Has anyone run this trail recently, within the past month or two? Trying to get an idea of the condition before making the long drive out to the trial, thanks!
–Jason (12/01/2021)
A: Got my answer from a recent review.
–Jason (01/03/2022)
Q: It seems as if mostly jeeps make this run! I have a 2019 can am x3 max 4 seater w/32" tires and 72" wide. Is this trail doable for an this aveage driver and this vehicle?
–James Peters (05/31/2020)
A: You shouldn't have any issues with your can am. There are boulders and a ledge at Waypoint 03. With your ground clearance and careful tire placement, it shouldn't be an issue. I have guided many vehicles, besides Jeeps, without lockers and smaller tires through this section. Your narrow width will be an advantage throughout the route.
–Bobby Nelson (05/31/2020)
Q: Would a stock rzr be ok? Or should I wait for a lift and winch?
–Matt (03/06/2019)
A: I believe that this trail would be possible in a Rzr. The hardest sections that require high lift for a vehicle could be avoided or drove around due to the smaller size of the Rzr. However, water frequently runs through the small canyon and the rocks/boulders can change often so you should be prepared to turn around if necessary. There are several sections with large steps to climb over and no other way around. Not sure the clearance of your vehicle but you should expect that you will rub. The hardest parts of the trail are very near the start so it would be easy to walk back. For a Rzr the other section to worry about is the long hill climbing up to the high point at log corral. That track has deep, long, washed out ruts. With a wider wheelbase it was easy to span the wash outs and climb up but with a narrow wheel base you have a much higher risk of not spanning the width of the wash out and rolling. There are several different tracks up that hill of varying difficulty but the condition is highly variable dependent upon weather. After the hill at Log Corral the Rzr should have no difficulties, just be careful if the lake is down and don't get stuck in soft lake bottom mud, it is very remote and no one will be coming by to pull you out. Overall it is possible but be prepared to turn around, and you can be sure that you will rub on rocks and cause some damage, but be especially cautious climbing the big hill. Also, I would avoid this if it has been raining a lot some of the water crossings would not be possible in a Rzr, too deep and lots of big unseen rocks.
–Bill Loux (03/08/2019)

Writer Information

Bobby Nelson

Mapping Crew - Arizona

While living in the Midwest, I developed a passion for searching out new trails and hidden spots. That passion continues to this day in the beautiful southwestern United States. My wife and I are full-time RVers who travel from region to region, exploring every nook and cranny we can find. While we're getting to know the locals, we gain insight into these areas then pass on that knowledge to our subscribers. We truly enjoy traversing long, beautiful back-country routes with epic campsites, but we equally enjoy pushing the limits on challenging rock crawling trails. Our rig was built to do everything, and that's what we hope to share with our subscribers. Please visit our website https://www.xploremor.net to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube. Xploremor YouTube
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