Jackson Cabin/Muleshoe Ranch Road

Willcox, Arizona (Cochise County)

Last Updated: 05/09/2021
5 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 28.42 miles
Highest Elevation: 4850 feet
Duration: About 6 hours, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Willcox
Nearest Town w/ Services: Willcox
Official Road Name: 691
Management Agency: Coronado National Forest
District: Safford Ranger District


Highlight: Jackson Cabin/Muleshoe Ranch Road
Jackson Cabin / Muleshoe Road is one of those iconic trails for which the reward of the journey rivals that of the destination. The Nature Conservancy maintains the riparian areas at the beginning of the trail and has graciously allowed access to these wonders. You will see amazing views of rock cliff faces, mountain vistas, desert springs, seeps, and abundant plant life where springs have pushed up from below, nourishing abundant wildlife such as coatimundi and deer javelina, and a wide variety of watchable birdlife. The views of the rhyolite rock formations along the western face of the Galiuro Mountains could very well challenge the scenery experienced in the canyon country of southern Utah. The start of this trail is about 110 miles from Tucson. It's a long day to get to the end, but it's certainly worth it, for the payoff is a 100-plus-year-old cabin teeming with history. Bring your tent, bring your camp stove, bring your ice chest because this is a fabulous place to turn into an overnight adventure. In fact, the position of the sun on the way in (afternoon setting reds) and the way out (morning freshness) completely changes the views and makes this almost two different trips.


Route Information

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1. Trailhead: Three Links Road - Airport Road - Muleshoe Ranch Road Intersection (0 mi)
Turn left (north) This major intersection of three wide dirt roads, Three Links Road, leads up from the San Pedro River Valley, Airport Road, which leads east from the Cochise County Airport, and Muleshoe Ranch Road. This is a triangular intersection, and depending on your direction of travel, it is equally accessible from the eastern or western shortcuts onto Muleshoe Road. The road ahead is wide (50+ feet) and smooth as there are significant cattle operations that likely maintain it. The ranches you will encounter include the Warbonnet, Winchester, Antelope, and Muleshoe at the end of the smooth section.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Wilcox, Arizona

Head southeast from Interstate 10 Exit 340 at Rex Allen Drive, turn right on Bisbee Avenue and head south for about 1 mile (past the high school - Home of the Cowboys!). Turn right onto Airport Road, up and over the interstate turn left at the Airport Road, which becomes Cascabel Road/Airport. Follow this for several miles (17.3 from your start point) until you reach Three Links Road/Muleshoe Ranch road intersection.



Land Use Issues

Parts of this trail cross over the Muleshoe Ranch which is private land managed/owned by the Nature Conservancy. It's important that you sign in at the beginning of the FR691 portion as not doing so makes you a trespasser. The Nature Conservancy maintains this road as open to sportsmen under an agreement with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. There are no permits required other than the initial sign-in.

Trail Reviews (5)

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Writer Information

Jim Long

Mapping Crew - Arizona

I moved to Arizona in 1984 and bought my first offroad vehicle the next year. I had lots of adventures, seeking out the Old West on paper topo maps in my Toyota FJ40 and can say, fortunately, that I never had to walk home. In 2005 I saw the prototype for the FJ Cruiser, and in the middle of my FJ40 resto project, someone came into my garage with cash and bought it out from under me. (Some regrets) In 2008, I flew out to LA to pick up my FJ Cruiser, special ordered with the Offroad Package (Locker) and MT6. My area of operations has been Southern Arizona, from the New Mexico to California borders. Unfortunately, the FJ Cruiser burned in a fire in August 2020. Now I'm building up from the ashes, literally, salvaged parts from the FJ are going on my Lexus GX470. SO, that's what's coming out next. I have been an active member of AZFJ.org where I'm the top post contributor, and have many trail reviews posted there that I plan on enhancing, revisiting and documenting for this authoritative source. I have a login to Ih8Mud and fjcruiserforums but don't lurk there very much. in my career, I've had the pleasure of traveling in Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia but never had the opportunity to wheel there. (bucket list). But, I hope my 30 years of Southern Arizona discovery, teaching and leading people into the backcountry will finally benefit a wider audience here on Trailsoffroad. There's nothing I enjoy more than finding a historic site, a little-used trail that had significance or the opportunity to take that one photo that defines what we do. (I stink but I'm willing to learn). Oh..Added benefit...I'm the GIS analyst for a fire dept and as such have some skills in ArcGIS.
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