Sunflower Mine Loop

Fountain Hills, Arizona (Maricopa County)

Last Updated: 07/07/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 5.92 miles
Highest Elevation: 5403 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Fountain Hills
Nearest Town w/ Services: Fountain Hills
Official Road Name: FR201,FR25A,FR3721,FR201A
Management Agency: Tonto National Forest


Highlight: Sunflower Mine Loop
Sunflower Mine Trail is a combination of a couple trails that make for a great day in the Arizona desert. The trail works its way through a lush and rocky canyon leading to Sunflower Mine also known as the National Mine. It operated from 1913-1965 mainly producing Cinnabar which is used in the production of mercury and the extraction of gold. The mine also produced smaller amounts of gold and silver before finally closing for good in 1985. The ruins at the mine used to be much larger then they are now. In 2014 most of the structures were removed leaving only a small portion of the original operation. In my opinion the real draw is the trail itself. It offers welcome shade while you're mildly rock crawling your way through Sycamore Wash. You get to push yourself and your vehicle with numerous optional obstacles along the way. The shelf roads may be narrow but they offer incredible views of the surrounding canyons. Be sure to pack for an all day trip because this trail just might surprise you! ATTENTION: THE BRIDGE IS CURRENTLY FLAGGED FOR CLOSURE FOR REPAIRS AT Waypoint 6. The bridge can be used but travel at your own risk!


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Start (3.8 mi)
Stay to the right on FR25A, traveling north uphill at the "Y" junction. You will continue uphill to the narrow shelf road above. To the left is FR25 which dead ends after a short distance but within a short walk to the Arizona Trail that traverses the region.

Directions to Trailhead

ATTENTION: THE BRIDGE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REPAIRS AT Waypoint 6. From Mesa, AZ travel north on hwy. 87 for roughly 45 miles exiting left, west at the brake check area after mile marker 222. It is the Sycamore Creek exit (FR626), across from the Mount Ord entrance. You continue down the paved road until turning right at the first main dirt road, Old Beeline Hwy. you immediately cross a cattle guard and find staging on the left and right, shortly down the road. Coming from Payson traveling south on Hwy. 87 for roughly 30 miles until coming to the right exit at the brake check area mentioned above. The current GPX track includes the short road FR626 to the trailhead and the connection of FR201 and the trailhead.



Land Use Issues

ATTENTION: The bridge can be used but travel at your own risk! THE BRIDGE IS CURRENTLY FLAGGED FOR CLOSURE FOR REPAIRS AT Waypoint 6.

Trail Reviews (12)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Does the trail still wrap around? (Is it a loop trail)
–mario (09/26/2018)
–Tyler French (11/04/2018)
–mario (09/27/2018)
–Bobby Nelson (09/27/2018)
Q: 11/20/2017 - any word on the bridge being re-opened? It's been alot of years since I last ran this trail and I don't recall there being a bypass for the bridge.
–Rob Woodward (11/20/2017)
–Steven Hartman (04/23/2018)
–Bobby Nelson (11/28/2017)

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 to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube. Xploremor YouTube
For individual use only, not to be shared.