FR 36 Copper Creek Cabin

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5/5 (3 reviews)
Black Canyon City, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 07/07/2021
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The American Southwest is rich in Native American History but very few locations allow off-road enthusiasts the opportunity to drive right up to ruins like you can in the Aqua Fria National Monument. Roughly 40 miles north of Phoenix, this little known area has some of the best preserved Indian and early settler stone ruin sites. The earliest inhabitants were people that lived in the region between 1250 and 1450 A.D. They created an intricate network of over 450 mass dwelling sites that are spread out all over the area. The monument was created to protect the ruins, the beautiful Aqua Fria River and its tributaries. As noted in the presidential proclamation on Jan. 20, 2011 “The monument contains one of the most significant systems of late prehistoric sites in the American Southwest.” FR36 is an old access trail to a now retired Forest Ranger work site for Tonto National Forest. The stone building is beautifully preserved and there are even a couple other hidden structures in the immediate area. The region is large, give yourself the entire day to explore this unique part of the southwest. The numerous side trails offer countless points to walk among the ruins and search the nearby rocks for petroglyphs. There are hundreds of examples of this ancient art work scattered throughout the monument region. Look along cliffs or even on stray rocks in the meadows. Please do not disturb or alter these precious artifacts to ensure they remain for generations to come.

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Trail Reviews

5/5 (3)
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Official Crew
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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.
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Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/25/2021

Tonto National Forest officials will close the state’s largest national forest due to ongoing extreme fire danger beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 25. The forest is implementing this forest closure as a precaution to protect the health and safety of the public, employees and firefighters by reducing the risk of human-caused fires. No one is allowed in the closure area, including Forest Service personnel, unless they are responding to a wildfire or other emergency or patrolling to ensure enforcement of the closure. The order shall remain in effect until July 31, 2021 or until rescinded, whichever occurs first. Residents or businesses using roads in the restricted area to the extent necessary to access their private property are exempt.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/21/2021

Great little cutoff. You can find the abandoned Copper Creek Mine administration office here. Great place to explore.

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