HS290 - True Grit - Parker

Parker, Arizona (LaPaz County)

Last Updated: 01/18/2018
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Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 7-10
Length: 0.58 miles
Highest Elevation: 745 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Parker
Nearest Town w/ Services: Parker
Official Road Name: HS290
Management Agency: BLM
District: Lake Havasu Office


Highlight: HS290 - True Grit - Parker
Whether you are an extreme 4x4 enthusiast or looking for an epic rock crawling destination, the True Grit off-road trail near Parker, Arizona has it all. With many towering ledges and waterfalls, extreme off-camber turns, freakishly deep v-notches, and the proximity to the Desert Bar, there is nothing this off-road trail doesn't have if you are wanting something extreme and exciting. The next time you are in the deserts near the Colorado River, and you are looking for something that will test your skills and vehicle, check out True Grit and experiencing what a true difficult offroad trail is all about.


Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Highly Modified 4X4 (Big Lift, Locker(s), Larger Tires)
The trail is full of intense obstacles including a large 10+ waterfall, and several extremely off-camber points.

Technical Rating

Rocky or undulated road surface. Rocks and less than 54" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 54" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 10' foot. Tire placement not good. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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True Grit isn't just another western off-road trail near Parker, Arizona. This 4x4 trail is full of intense obstacles waiting to destroy your vehicle and your ambitions. You should expect large waterfalls over 10 feet, large rocks over 4 feet around to get hung up on or break, deep v-notches in the waterfalls wanting to roll you over, and an extremely off-camber turn that is likely to destroy the driver’s side of your vehicle. The canyon is also extremely narrow meaning there is only one line in a lot of spots and no room to walk around the vehicle.


1. True Grit - HS290 (Southern Trailhead) (0 mi)
The trail starts off of Cienega Springs Road and heads to the north down a steep canyon.
2. Dropin Waterfall (Bypass on Right) - Stay to Left After Obstacle In Wash (0.2 mi)
Just feet up the trail is the first obstacle. This 5-foot tall waterfall has a unique feature to it, that is it has a moderate sized rock sticking up right in the center peak making it hard to drop in without getting high-centered or better yet breaking off driveline components. If you don't have the ground clearance you might have to stick a tire up high on the bank and try not to roll over as you proceed down this extreme gatekeeper. If the waterfall is too much, there is a bypass to the right just before the obstacle. ***Please note, if you can't do this one obstacle, you shouldn't attempt this trail since this might be the easiest of all the obstacles on the trail.*** At the bottom of the waterfall, the bypass reconnects from the right in the wash. To continue on the trail stay left and head up the
3. 10-Foot Tall Waterfall (Tailpipe Destroyer) (0.4 mi)
The first required obstacle you climb on True Grit is this 10-foot monster waterfall that just towers over everything in the area. It is likely some people will turn around just from the first impressions. The waterfall itself has two lines. You can try to climb the vertical ledge on the left or take the line most people do which is on the right. But be warned, it is extremely steep reaching 60+ degrees meaning you can rollover on this. It also is so steep that if you back down you will likely destroy any tailpipe hanging out the back of your vehicle. Only vehicles with good approach and departure angles can do this obstacl
4. 3-Foot Ledge In Corner (0.4 mi)
Even though this obstacle is small in comparison to the many others on this trail. This one usually gets people hung up because you have to s-turn into it. What happens is your rear end gets hung up on the rocks below that are sticking up. Many people have to back up and reposition several times before making this.
5. 4-Foot V-Ledge (0.4 mi)
The next obstacle on this trail is a 4-foot v-ledge that is extremely dug out on the top. Be careful of the overhang, it could break an axle.
6. Off-Camber Turn (0.4 mi)
Likely the obstacle that is going to cause you to leave paint behind, this off-camber hill / tight turn will likely make you uncomfortable or ruin your day. About halfway through is a small ledge that causes the vehicle to lift to the left easily pushing you into the wall. But if you get to high, it could also roll you over onto your lid... It is okay to backup and try a different line here. Just a couple inches can make a huge difference.
7. V-Notch Waterfall (0.5 mi)
The second largest waterfall on the trail, this roughly 6-foot waterfall also has an extremely deep v-notch in the middle and requires you to turn as you go up it. Be careful of your rear tire placement or you might end up on your side.
8. Final Waterfall (0.5 mi)
Almost at the end of the trail is the final waterfall at roughly 4-5 feet. This is the only waterfall on the trail that is pretty straight forward. Just go up to the left.
9. True Grit (Northern Trailhead) at Top of Duke and Duchess (0.5 mi)
Not to far up is where True Grit and Top of The Duke and Duchess meet. In this spot is a small flat area large enough for a small dispersed camping group. To exit the area, turn right. If you would like to go run The Duke or Duchess, head to the left.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Parker, AZ

Take Cienega Springs Road 2.5 miles from Highway 95. The turn off is to the north and can be found at Waypoint 8 on the Cienega Springs Road trail review.


Unlike many of the trails in the area, this trail has a medium size flat area perfect for a small sized group that is looking for dispersed camping that only 4x4's can get too. Since a off-road vehicle is required to get back to this spot, tent camping is the only option. There is two ways to get to this spot. Thru this insanely hard trail or around through Top of The Duke and Duchess. Parker Arizona's deserts are some of the last great desert frontiers. Full of dispersed camping, you can't go wrong with setting up a tent just off the trail and enjoying the solitude. But if you are thinking dispersed camping just off the trail is popular in this area, it isn't. Most people when traveling to Parker prefer not to camp in the desert but along the Colorado River which is only a short distance from most of the trails in the area. Even though there isn't much dispersed camping along the river, there is plenty of campgrounds that have every theme, accommodations, unique camping style. While there, you should also think about renting a boat or jet skit to cool off after a long day of fun wheeling in the Colorado River.
Camping: HS290 - True Grit - Parker

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Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.