Agua Caliente Road

3.3/5 (7 reviews)
Buckeye, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 01/25/2023

Trail Information


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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

3.3/5 (7)
Official Crew
Rated 3/5
Visited: 01/25/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

While camping at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Campground, we explored a few trails in the area, making a loop back to the campground, Saddle Rd, Woosley Peak and Signal Mountain Cutoff, Woosley Peak and Signal Mountain Wilderness Trail, Agua Caliente Road, Saddle Potholes, and Fourth of July Wash. We only ran this trail from Waypoint 4 to 16, and the road was nicely graded and smoother than I-10 on the way here. It was a nice road that got me to the next trail on my loop, Saddle Mountain Potholes.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 01/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

This is a wide road and any 2WD drive vehicle can do this trail. Sundad is a must to go and see, the history is sad, but pretty cool spot.
Official Crew
Rated 3/5
Visited: 02/07/2021

I have been on this road now several times over the last two months while creating new trail guides for the area. Nothing has really changed in terms of the technical or rough scale. As always, the eastern end is a bit more crowded. If you start just at sunrise, you are sure to have the road to yourself.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 11/28/2020

Ran this trail as part of a group run from Woopsie trail then over Arva Caliente trail to this road then ultimately to Sundad. This trail is wide open and dusty which makes it hard to see some of the turns that can sneak up on you. We turned off at Sundad and spent some time there. I would recommend 4x4 with some clearance on this part. The remains of the town are interesting to say the least. Be sure to wander around and check out the "rock art" all over the place, it is pretty cool stuff. We left and went back north to WP 1 to get out. A word of caution here, there were groups side by sides out here when we were there. This trail is very dusty and with no wind/breeze visibility was limited at times. I came across a group of SxS's stopped 4 wide across the road and I almost hit them. I am sure our Jeeps could be hard to see too so caution by everyone is probably best on a dusty day. Overall not an exciting road(not really a trail in my opinion) alone but good when using it to get to other trails and areas to explore. Would recommend at for that.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/03/2020

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.

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