Rocker Panel Pass

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4.3/5 (10 reviews)
Fountain Hills, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 07/07/2021
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Trail Information


Rocker Panel Pass is a difficult rock crawling trail within the Tonto National Forest. Drivers will experience the best scenery this area has to offer with views of Mt. Ord, the Four Peaks Wilderness Area, Sycamore Creek, Weaver's Needle, and the Superstition Wilderness Area. The earlier sections of the trail offer a reprieve in the summer months where the water is cool and the shade is plentiful. A big portion of the areas flora can also be found here including paloverde and mesquite trees, saguaro cactus, teddy bear cholla cactus, prickly pear cactus, ocotillo shrub, brittle bush, and the jojoba bush. The trail has a numerous large boulders and rock ledges that require a modified vehicle and a good spotter.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

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Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (10)
Rated 3/5
Visited: 11/18/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Insanely difficult, heavily modified vehicles only
Visited: 11/05/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

We just ran RPP today. TRAL has apparently done some trail work in there because the carsonite signs were all in place and legible. We easily found our way through the first section of the trail. The rock crawling portion of the trail has gotten more technical. There are more chances for body damage and broken glass. We ran winch line today but had a blast.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/16/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

It’s definitely hard. Especially if you have a long wheel base like a four door Jeep. 2 doors can easily make it through. But overall, killer and fun.
Visited: 03/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

3 Rockers ran this trail on a nice Sunday in March and it definitely lived up to its name! Be advised of two closures: the whole Sycamore Creek area closes with little notice from Christmas throughout January on weekends to prevent mass events organized to burn Christmas trees. The second closure is from the end of FR160 to the Verde River, approximately 5 miles or more past the marked trail on TOR. The signage here says it's closed from December-June for bald eagle nesting. I could not find a mention of this closure on the Tonto NF site but there is a small box on the posted maps that just warns of a "seasonal closure". The road looked like it had been closed longer than three months and the sign at the end was well faded. There are several signed and mapped trails that look like they will make it to Log Corral trail and we tried two of them but both petered out. The first one was the longest and most promising but seemed to devolve into a dirt bike trail and we gave up too early. Not all of the trails seem to be marked on the posted map but they do have numbered signs. The deviations were worth it because we discovered a rattlesnake and a Gila Monster plus some amazing views and scenery. I think lockers are required on the Rocker Panel Pass obstacle and your rock rails will definitely get a workout as you use them to pivot on some of the rocks. Going back out the way we came was even more sketchy and not for the faint of heart.
Trail Review: Rocker Panel Pass - Robert Johnston
Trail Review: Rocker Panel Pass - Robert Johnston
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Visited: 07/07/2021

Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.

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