Southern Pipeline Trail
New River, Arizona (Maricopa) Technical Rating: 1-4
Last Updated: 09-06-2016
Permit Required - Click Here
Die Hard, Table Mesa Area, AZCO Mine Road, TMRA 9994, TMRA 9991, TMRA Pipeline Trail, Powerline Trail
State Trust Land
Southern Pipeline Trail Highlights
Officially known as El Paso Gas Pipeline Rd., this off-road trail goes north to south on the western side of New River. The trail is also a route for the El Paso Gas Pipeline and fiber cables that are also buried along the route. This is a great trail for overland adventures, but also has some mildly challenging obstacles along the way. It can also provide an alternative route for high clearance vehicles who want to avoid a shutdown or heavily congested I-17.
Technical rating: (1-4) 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 southern trailhead is the easiest to get to as it's just two miles north of Carefree Highway on New River Road.
The northern trailhead can be reached form the Table Mesa Recreation Area's Old Mine Road (also refereed to as Powerline Trail), via Windmill Trail; once part of an older route for Table Mesa Road.
The northern trailhead can also be accessed from the southern tail of Table Mesa Road off of Rock Springs Road. This requires going through a gate just to the west of the frontage road on the west side of I-17 exit 236.
The Crap Shoot trail also intersects near the norther end of this portion of Pipeline Trail.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
33° 57' 59.04"N
112° 8' 19.82"W
GPS Exchange File:
The trail is fairly straight with some mild hills, most of which also have bypasses. It can be done in almost any stock 4x4 vehicle, while still offering some mildly fun challenges. The southern half of this off-road trail offers two parallel routes, one that is rutted and bumpy and the western side being very smooth allowing for higher speed travel. The northern end is more hilly, and the southern end is very open and flat.
There's an optional obstacle at the northern end (just before entering the mining operation that is off-limits) call Chalk Hill that can provide some excellent rock crawling opportunities for more built up vehicles.
1: Pipeline & Table Mesa Rd. Intersection (0.0mi)
Turn south onto Pipeline Trail at this intersection with Windmill Trail and Table Mesa Road. This will be a right coming from Windmill Trail, or a left if coming from Table Mesa Road via Rock Springs Road.
Heading north you'll end up running into a mining operation, and that section of the trail is technically closed; though unmarked as such. You can also get to Chalk Hill by heading north to just shy of the mining operation.
4: Gasline Rd. Intersection (3.6mi)
Continue straight through this intersection. You can also turn east to head into New River.
5: Pipe Intersection (8.1mi)
Continue Straight through on Pipeline Trail. The intersection is with an unnamed road that you can take east to New River Rd.
6: Saddle Mountain Rd (9.7mi)
Continue straight on Pipeline Trail. Saddle Mountain Rd will take you into New River to the east, or to Lake Pleasant to the west.
7: Old 87th Ave Intersection (11.0mi)
Turn left to get off Pipeline Trail, because if you continue south you'll run into fenced off private property. This is the Old 87th Ave that connects Pipeline Trail to New River Rd to the east or Powerline Trail and Lake Pleasant to the northwest.
9: Chalk Hill (0.1mi)
A optional obstacle for those looking to test out their built up rigs.
Don't head any further north from here as you'll end up trespassing on an active mining operation.
One of the funner parts of this trail, on the north end, are closed due to a mining operation.
This is State Trust Land, and requires a permit to be on. See the Permit link above for details.
Also be sure to check with the Maricopa Counties air quality web-site to make sure that aren't any alerts. If PM-10 levels get too high, use of dirt roads is discouraged within the area.
Camping and Lodging
There's no camping spots along Pipeline Trail, but you can find camping close by in Table Mesa Recreation area; For more details see the BLM's web page.
There's also lodging opportunities in Carefree, New River, and Black Canyon City. You can also find plenty of hotel choices further south in the Northern Phoenix area.