China Dam/Tule Homestead

4.3/5 (7 reviews)
Anthem, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 07/07/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

This is a very fun day trip close to Phoenix that explores the historical mining areas north of Lake Pleasant in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains. The trail is an offshoot of the main back way to Crown King trail, where there are many other side trails that can be explored. This trail takes you to the China Dam that was built in the late 1880's for hydraulic mining operations on Humbug Creek and then continues on to an old mining homestead deep in the mountains on Tule Creek. Be sure to know your route since it is very easy to get lost and road conditions can change frequently due to weather.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (7 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/26/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I’m new to off-roading and the difficulty description seemed pretty accurate. There are very scenic areas and definitely recommend this trail. For reference, I have a stock Gladiator Rubicon and didn’t have any issues going through the rougher parts of the trail.
nate
800
Status: Open
Visited: 02/05/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This entire area is a lot of fun to explore, and I would highly recommend getting out and exploring on foot as well. Walking in Humbug creek when it’s lower/dry is always an interesting experience, and east of waypoint 8 gets you away from the weekend ATV crowd racing up and down the main dirt roads. The descent down and climb back up on waypoint 8 is a lot of fun, but caution should be exercised. Cell service is bad to begin with in this area, but if you have trouble in the bottom or past this point on the trail you are hiking to get help. I’ve easily driven this trail over a dozen times, and I have repeatedly seen the descent from the west side cause problems for inexperienced drivers.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
62800
Status: Open
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.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
62800
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/23/2021

Due to extremely high fire danger, exceptional drought conditions, resource availability, and increased fire activity, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Arizona State Land Department will implement closures to State Trust Land throughout Arizona. These closures are also in conjunction with our USFS partners. As of 8am on June 25, 2021, closures will be implemented on state-owned and managed lands in all 15 counties. All state-owned and managed lands are closed to entry for recreational purposes, including hunting, camping, and off-road vehicle use. Target shooting and fireworks are prohibited year-round. AZ State Land Closures Notice
Status: Open
Visited: 05/09/2021

We ran this trail yesterday. It was a lot of fun. The area is pretty and the views are absolutely gorgeous. We went to China Dam first. Its pretty cool to see and to walk through the tunnel. Instead of taking the trail back, we took the wash around and followed a trail that connects back up to the route going to the Homestead. If you take this route, the climb out of the wash is definitely off camber and a fun climb out. My Jeep crawled out of it with little effort. Our friends were in a Yukon XL and a Toyota Tacoma and they climbed out as well with little issues. The Tacoma rubbed the rear a little. There are fun obstacles on the trail but nothing crazy. The homestead is a nice preservation of a time past where the minors owned the mountains out there. Enjoy!!!

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