South Mesa

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4/5 (3 reviews)
Bagdad, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 01/07/2023

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  • 14 waypoints
  • 44 photos
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Anderson Mesa is a large flat rocky juniper-covered shelf pushed up against the mountains of the Camp Wood area. One solitary road climbs its southern escarpment and slogs its boulder-strewn way north towards the tall pines and babbling brooks of the mountains. The trail was likely named South Mesa instead of Anderson Mesa since it goes south across the mesa from the historic Yolo Ranch. The adventurous driver is rewarded with superb views after climbing to the south side of the mesa. Take a minute and walk out to the edge of the caprock and enjoy the vastness below you. The next three miles of South Mesa require fortitude and attention as the trail narrows and tests your suspension, kidneys, and patience. The ride is ceaseless jostling as the driver constantly attempts to pick the less rocky line. Near the intersection with Conger Water, the road turns to more dirt than boulders and improves steadily as pines replace the junipers. The broad pine-dotted camping area is almost postcard-perfect, a nice place for a night or maybe just a picnic and time to stretch your legs. For its final encore, South Mountain becomes a bucolic treasure as it passes the pastures of the Yolo Ranch, with horses grazing on the left and cattle up in the pines to the right. Deer and turkey are plentiful here as well, so keep a keen eye peeled. The trail dumps you back onto Camp Wood Road, which offers passage to even more adventures.

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