Agua Caliente Road

Buckeye, Arizona (Maricopa County)

Last Updated: 02/12/2020
3.3 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 41.97 miles
Highest Elevation: 1400 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Buckeye
Nearest Town w/ Services: Buckeye
Official Road Name: Agua Caliente
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Lower Sonoran Field Office
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Highlight: Agua Caliente Road
Located close to the southwest Phoenix Valley, Agua Caliente Road is a comfortable drive through the Lower Sonoran Desert that travels roughly 40-miles between Buckeye and the old town of Agua Caliente. Once you travel a few miles in, the remote desert experience takes hold, providing views of the Gila Mountains, Fourth of July Butte, Cortez Peak, and Yellow Medicine Butte, and all the while peppered with Saguaro and Palo Verde. Years ago, this area was so remote that a location named "Sundad" was built to house patients with Tuberculosis - they wanted to keep the contagion as far from the population as possible. Today, Sundad only has foundations left but is a must-do side trip offering some of the more unique desert art and homages in all of Arizona.



7 day forecast for Agua Caliente Road

Route Information

Technical Rating:

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Agua Caliente Road has a brief portion of pavement. The dirt portion begins here and you can't miss it. You will see Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant in the distance off to the northwest

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.257356, -112.809061

Starting Point: Buckeye, Arizona

Take MC85 west to South Turner Road and turn left. Travel 1 mile south and turn right onto West Hazen Road. Travel 1 mile to and left on South Wilson for .5 mile. Turn right onto Old Highway 80 and travel 11.9 miles to Agua Caliente Road on your right.



Trail Reviews (3)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail was pretty nice with good views of the desert. It was definitely remote and hot as it was A last minute decision to go for a trail ride in July! The family enjoyed Sundad and it’s history as that was the main choice to head that way. Agua Caliente Rd was an easy ride no major obstacles at all. If you want to get off the main path and see Sundad a 4x4 vehicle I will definitely recommend. As getting through the wash and up the hill you will need it.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trail should be open year round from what I gathered. This is a dirt road that goes on for miles and ends in, what appears to be, an old farm town. The trail is extremely easy, and I was able to keep a steady speed most of the way. I was able to air down about 10 lbs on my tires (for ride comfort) but this trail had no challenges. As a stand alone, this trail isn't worth the travel for me, as it's a 75 minute drive one way to the trail head start, however this trail leads to some cool branch of trails and to Sundad, which is insanely mysterious. Little is known about Sundad, but if you like eerie places, that's a good place to be! This trail can be done by nearly any FWD vehicle with normal clearance but if you enjoy the vast desert with nothing in sight for miles, this is a good trail. Personally, if you have out of state family in town, and they are amazed by the desert landscape, this is a good "Arizona Tour" style trail to take them on.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trail could almost be a 5 rating when including it with other trails in the area. As a stand-alone, it's not the most exciting, but it does bring you deep into the desert where you can really get a great remote feeling. This road also offers plenty of boondocking opportunities and some good side roads for camping. Sundad is the destination on this trip - be sure to check it out!

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: I'll be running this trail with my wife on Sunday, Are there any preferred routes or ways go to? I've been researching all the trail systems that connect....Any input would be awesome! Thank you in advance!
–Jon Sauber (04/17/2020)
–Todd (04/17/2020)

Writer Information



Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.