|Highest Elevation:||4083 feet|
|Duration:||About 3 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Other Shapes|
|Best Direction to Travel:||West|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Carefree|
|Official Road Name:||FR 468|
|Management Agency:||Tonto National Forest|
The Big Maggie May Off-Road Trail is a very easy, short 4wd route worth a couple of hours of exploration to see historic mines and frontier cabin remains. The offroad trail makes an excellent short side trip for anyone following the Cave Creek to Sheep Bridge 4x4 Trail or exploring the Table Mesa Area. The Y shaped trail first takes you to an old mine tunnel extending a short distance into the mountain before reaching a flooded section. Continuing back to the fork in the road and heading the other direction will take you to the remains of an old mining cabin. The cabin previously had walls incorporating living trees but recent Cave Creek Complex fire has destroyed most of this old cabin, although it still makes a very pleasant place to camp and explore.
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.Read more about our rating system
Follow FR 24 north to the intersection with FR 468 and the beginning of the trail. FR 468 will branch off to the left and head north running parallel to FR 24 for a while.
Follow FR 468 generally west as it descends into a wash. Do not take the road heading south through the wash as it leads to a locked gate. Instead turn north continuing to follow FR 468 on the west side of the wash.
Continue following FR 468 as it climbs out of the wash and turns back to the west until you hit a fork in the road. The right fork is FR 940 and heads back to the abandoned mine. The left fork is the continuation of FR 468 and heads to the miner's cabin. Follow the right fork along a narrow shelf road being careful of the washed out section right before the mine shaft.
At the end of the shelf road at mile marker 2.56 you will see the abandoned mine in the cliffs to your left. The mine tunnel is along the bottom of the cliff and only goes back a brief way before it is filled with water. The road continues for a short distance, getting rougher, and eventually just disappears. After exploring the mine, return the way you came to the fork at Waypoint 3.
Follow the the trail back to the fork in the road and continue left this time on FR 468 until trip mile marker 4.35. At this point there are two options. The easiest option takes a hard right turn, crossing the wash and heads west on the north side of the wash. This road looks newer and more traveled although it doesn't appear on most forest service maps. The other option heads left up a steep hill and continues west on the south side of the wash. This trail appears to be less used and is more difficult. Both trails merge again a short distance down the wash.
Continue on FR 468 until the trail terminates at the old miner's cabin. There are some short spider trails and other tracks through the washes leading up to the tops of the hillside for some additional exploring while you are there.