AZCO Mine Road
Black Canyon City, Arizona (Yavapai) Technical Rating: 2-4
Last Updated: 12-02-2016
Upper Terminator TV3 , Lower Terminator TV2, Old Black Canyon Highway, Black Canyon OHV Trail, Table Mesa Road - West, Little Pan Mine Road, Tip Top Mine, Table Mesa Recreation Area, Indian Fort, Table Mesa Recreation area, Arizona, TMRA 9991, TMRA Pipeline Trail, Collateral Damage - TV6, Top of the World - Arizona, Moores Gulch
Black Canyon City
Anaconda TV4, Die Hard, Black Canyon OHV Trail, Black Canyon Creek, Arizona, TMRA 9994, Southern Pipeline Trail
BLM / Table Mesa Recreation Area
AZCO Mine Road Highlights
The main attraction of AZCO Mine Road is that it gives access to many other more exciting trails throughout the BLM's Table Mesa Recreation Area; an area managed by the Hassayampa BLM Field Office. This road leads to a wide variety of trails designed to be enjoyed by a variety of outdoor enthusiasts. It includes areas for motorcycles, ATV's, and full size modified off-road vehicles. At the northern end of the road is the AZCO Mine which today is a large area for dispersed primitive camping.
Technical rating: (2-4) Easy
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.
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Directions to Trailhead
The easiest way to access AZCO Mine Road / BLM 9999 Trail is from Table Mesa Road on the west side of I-17. However, this requires a State Trust Land Permit (see the "Access issues" section below) as you will be crossing State Trust Land to get to it.
AZCO Mine Road is mostly a well-maintained road that runs through the middle to northern parts of Table Mesa Recreation Area; one of the more popular off-road areas in Arizona. The southern portion of this dirt road is a hard packed and relatively smooth surface. The further north you get the dirt gets a little looser with some washes and a river crossing. Still most vehicles with decent clearance can manage the full length of this road during fair weather.
Unfortunately part of the trail is currently blocked off near the Aqua Fria River, meaning you cannot drive all the way through. The norther portion is still accessible via the Little Pan Mine Road.
1: Table Mesa Intersection (0.0mi)
This is the southern end of the trail. It connects to Table Mesa Road, which at this point is on State Trust Land, requiring a permit to continue South or West. Heading North will take you into the Table Mesa Road Recreational Area.
2: Staging area (0.2mi)
This staging area is easily accessible and just north of the well maintained Table Mesa Road. it's a good place to park a trailer and a tow vehicle, or as a gathering spot before heading out on one of the great Table Mesa Road trails connected to the AZCO Mine Road.
3: Little Pan Mine Road Southern Intersection (0.6mi)
Taking the right (northeast) fork to stay on AZCO Mine Road (9999), or the left (northwest) fork to turn onto the Little Pan Mine Road (9998). There's also a popular hill to shoot into for target practice at this intersection; just be aware that it's about the only place right next to this road where shooting is allowed. There are other areas for shooting, but they require leaving the road for a short distance.
4: Moore Gulch Shooting Area (1.7mi)
Here you'll cross Moore Gulch. If you want to turn into the gulch, you can find a good spot to shoot into the dry river bank.
5: 9982 Intersection (2.0mi)
Continue Straight ahead to stay on AZCO Mine Road. You can also turn right (east) to connect to 9982 which will take you north through some very windy and skinny roads to Old Black Canyon Highway on the southern end of Black Canyon City.
Continuing North from here will take you to a section of the road that is on private property, and currently the owners aren't being very friendly with the recreational users.
6: Twister & Agua Fria (2.5mi)
Here is were the Twister Trail used to be accessed from, but today that trail is on private land and blocked from public access. The other end of Twister was accessed from Rock Bottom (also now on the same private land) a wash that breaks off from Old Black Canyon Highway / 9998.
You once could cross the Aqua Fria river just past this point, but it is currently blocked by the private property owner, just on the other side.
7: Agua Fria & Private road (2.7mi)
This area is a section of private road that also requires crossing the shallow Agua Fria River. A gate blocks a side road that heads to the old mining town of Gillett which was once part of the Old Black Canyon Highway. Unfortunately in early 2016 the private property owners blocked off this section of the road indefinitely; unless the access dispute can be resolved between them and the BLM and Arizona Fish and Game Department. You can still access both ends of the trail via the connecting trail Little Pan Mine Road.
8: Little Pan Mine Road Intersection (2.9mi)
Turn right (north) to stay on AZCO Mine Road. Going straight (west) will put you onto the Little Pan Mine Road (9998).
9: Collateral Damage (3.3mi)
Continue forward on AZCO Mine Road, or turn right here to connect with the Collateral Damage (TV6) trail; considered to be a very difficult trail.
11: Lower Terminator Southern Intersection (3.9mi)
Stay straight on AZCO Mine Road. Turn right to head onto Lower Terminator; one of the more difficult trails in Arizona.
12: 9984 Intersection (4.1mi)
Continue straight on AZCO Mine Road or turn left (south) onto 9984 that is also part of the Black Canyon Trail system. This will take you south to Cottonwood Gulch, just north of Little Grand Canyon. You can also connect to the BLM 9985 Trail which is basically just a partial dirt road loop around this area to assist in accessing the hiking trails and dispersed camping areas.
13: Upper and Lower Terminator Intersection (5.1mi)
Stay on the main road to continue on AZCO Mine Road, or turn Right (north) to access the southern end of Upper Terminator's or the southern end of Lower Terminator.
14: 9959, 9958, and 9999 intersection (5.6mi)
This is the northern end of AZCO Mine Road. 9959 is to the west. 9958 and Black Canyon Trail is to the north. You can also find the northern end of Upper Terminator just north of here on 9958, and a little further north to the old AZCO Mine that is now used as a large area for primitive camping.
The section of the trail nearest the Agua Fria River has been blocked off by the property owners indefinitely, but there's really not much to do on this trail in that section anyway, and it can still be accessed by taking a detour via the Little Pan Mine Road.
If accessing this road from the south, you will cross State Trust Land. Be sure to check out this link for more information about the required permit.
Camping and Lodging
Table Mesa Recreation Area includes primitive dispersed camping and staging spots throughout. For more details see the BLM's web page
You can also find plenty of hotel choices half-an-hour to the south in the northern Phoenix area. There's also the Mountain Breeze Mote within Black Canyon City.