Forty-five miles southeast of Tucson on the east slope of the Santa Rita Mountains are the Greaterville gold placers, discovered by A. Smith in 1874. This was once a thriving mining area with gold panning, hydraulic sluicing (Using huge water cannons to erode the hillsides and filtering the run-off looking for nuggets). Unfortunately, there's not much left of the town, with the exception of a very photographic Cemetery at the end of the trail.
This is a very easy drive and is suitable for any vehicle with even moderate ground clearance.
Here's an example of the kind of hydraulic Mining they did here. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society.
7 day forecast for Greaterville Road / FR 229, Arizona
This is where the pavement ends on FR62 (FR62 Box Canyon actually starts back on the paved turnoff from AZ83, but the actual dirt road starts here). This is a left fork. There are a lot of signs here to guide you, including the one that says Greaterville Rd-Box Canyon Rd.
Head east on I10 from downtown Tucson, about 35 miles, to exit 281, AZ83. Head south (Right) down 83 approx 28 miles to between MP 42 and 41 and turn right onto the Box Canyon Rd (FR#62). The first 3 miles are paved (So don't be tempted to go straight onto the dirt road, (Old Sonoita Highway) but turn right at the 90-degree turn. If you see the sign with distance to Madera Canyon, (you are on the correct route) remain on the pavement. Continue until you see a fork in the road. Take the left fork onto FR#229. There is a sign that marks the road that is pretty obvious but if you crossed the cattle guard, you went too far and are on FR#62.
Land Use Issues
There are no gates that bar your way until the end of the trail. Then you are not allowed to enter private property.
There are no issues pending closure of this road because it leads to private residences.
I moved to Arizona in 1984 and bought my first offroad vehicle the next year. I had lots of adventures, seeking out the Old West on paper topo maps in my Toyota FJ40 and can say, fortunately, that I never had to walk home. In 2005 I saw the prototype for the FJ Cruiser, and in the middle of my FJ40 resto project, someone came into my garage with cash and bought it out from under me. (Some regrets) In 2008, I flew out to LA to pick up my FJ Cruiser, special ordered with the Offroad Package (Locker) and MT6. My area of operations has been Southern Arizona, from the New Mexico to California borders.
I have been an active member of AZFJ.org where I'm the top post contributor, and have many trail reviews posted there that I plan on enhancing, revisiting and documenting for this authoritative source. I have a login to Ih8Mud and fjcruiserforums but don't lurk there very much.
in my career, I've had the pleasure of traveling in Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia but never had the opportunity to wheel there. (bucket list). But, I hope my 30 years of Southern Arizona discovery, teaching and leading people into the backcountry will finally benefit a wider audience here on Trailsoffroad. There's nothing I enjoy more than finding a historic site, a little-used trail that had significance or the opportunity to take that one photo that defines what we do. (I stink but I'm willing to learn).
Oh..Added benefit...I'm the GIS analyst for a fire dept and as such have some skills in ArcGIS.