Jim Long

Mapping Crew - Arizona
Trail Reviews: 8700 points
Questions Answered: 750 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Overlanding
My Garage:
  • 2008 Lexus GX (Stock lift, 30" tires)
I moved to Arizona in 1984 and bought my first offroad vehicle the next year. I had lots of adventures, seeking out the Old West on paper topo maps in my Toyota FJ40 and can say, fortunately, that I never had to walk home. In 2005 I saw the prototype for the FJ Cruiser, and in the middle of my FJ40 resto project, someone came into my garage with cash and bought it out from under me. (Some regrets) In 2008, I flew out to LA to pick up my FJ Cruiser, special ordered with the Offroad Package (Locker) and MT6. My area of operations has been Southern Arizona, from the New Mexico to California borders. I have been an active member of AZFJ.org where I'm the top post contributor, and have many trail reviews posted there that I plan on enhancing, revisiting and documenting for this authoritative source. I have a login to Ih8Mud and fjcruiserforums but don't lurk there very much. in my career, I've had the pleasure of traveling in Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia but never had the opportunity to wheel there. (bucket list). But, I hope my 30 years of Southern Arizona discovery, teaching and leading people into the backcountry will finally benefit a wider audience here on Trailsoffroad. There's nothing I enjoy more than finding a historic site, a little-used trail that had significance or the opportunity to take that one photo that defines what we do. (I stink but I'm willing to learn). Oh..Added benefit...I'm the GIS analyst for a fire dept and as such have some skills in ArcGIS.

My Garage (1)

2008 Lexus GX

Lift Size: Stock
Tire Size: 30"

My Trail Reviews (15)

(within last 6 months)
El Camino del Diablo (02/03/2021)
In preparation for the 2021 visit to El Camino Del Diablo, I watched the new Range Pass video. It's very good. You'll need to watch it ON their site to get credit toward your range pass, but here it is in case you are wondering what ECDD is all about. All Areas Permit for 2020-2021 This permit is required for general recreational access to all authorized public areas of the CPNWR, BMGR-W (Marine Corps), SDNM Area-A, and BMGR-East (Air Force): Area B, Bender Springs, and Ajo Air Station. Permittees are required to follow the stipulations and rules of the permit, and are required to check-in upon entering the area via the iSportsman app. If unable to check-in via the app, try contacting the appropriate land managment agency depicted on the downloadable maps/brochures, and shown below. Groups of 10 or more vehicles require a special use permit. Members of official institutions conducting official studies or activities also require a special use permit. Contact the land manager for the area you plan to visit: BMGR-E--Luke AFB Range Management Office, Public Affairs at 623-856-7216 or 623-856-1758 for more information. CPNWR HQ: 520-387-6483 BMGR-W--MCAS-Yuma: 928-269-3115 SDNM Area A--BLM: 623-580-5500
Redington Pass (01/30/2021)
Short visit today. Road is rougher but still passenger car passable. Hiked the scorpion trail and found some new ruins. New forest entry sign pointing out that this area is "Redington Pass". Nice plug for Friends of Redington pass too.
Kofa Manganese Road (01/17/2021)
Ran this trail after a connection from Hoodoo Wash. Headed south to the point where Engesser Rd trail takes off from and found a premium campsite down in the wash. Kofa Manganese road actually continues west from intersection 62 as you can drop down into the wash and turn right up the wash toward the mines. One day maybe we'll head back out there and extend the trail. We headed back north from there and ran all the way up through red pass and onto the Powerline road. (Essentially running it backward). This was challenging in a few spots for my GX470, especially on the south end, where driving in and out of the Hoodoo wash proved tricky. You have to be careful on this road as you can be running hot straight and normal on a flat and then suddenly there is a 3' drop into drainage. You don't want to bend a spindle out here. We encountered a Red helicopter surveying the mountain sides at about 60' above terrain. Then there were two cessna's flying in tandem running along either side of the road, again, low altitude. Ran into a bunch of deer hunters as it was archery mule deer season. Mostly in side by side type vehicles parked here and there. Plus a big group of UTV drivers was stopped at the Cravey Well, which had a full tank of green tasty wildlife soup water in the corralled off drinking trough. It was a beautiful day for being on the KOFA.
Swansea Townsite, Parker AZ (01/17/2021)
Spent the night out here in Swansea in the T.J. Carrigan Campsite. There are 5 campsites sprinkled around the town, three with shade structures over the picnic table. The Swansea road was really torn up by the Parker 425 Race that happened on the 15th & 16th. Huge swaths of gravel pushed up to make high speed turns, and about every wash was deep gravel. There were deep worn tracks in the trail until you reached the Bouse cutoff intersection. Even the first few miles of pavement from 95 in Parker had potholes big enough to bend a spindle (some as deep as 18"!). These changes made this trail much more interesting than it was before. I'm sure the dirt Swansea Town road will be graded billiard table flat like it was before after the races. There was also a new gas line crossing the road just before you climbed up the mountainside. There is also a new section of pristine pavement at the border of the Indian reservation on Shea Rd. Just past here was the spectator and pit area for the race. There were abundant plastic porta potties all along Shea. The town has a walking trail with plaques to read about the buildings which I didn't notice in 2016 when I created this trail. I have to go back because I ran out of exploration time.
Wilbanks Road (01/16/2021)
Ran this last weekend (MLK day weekend) and I'd have to agree 100% with Todd's assessment. This was the first real challenge I threw at my Lexus GX470 and there were some spots where I had to back up, drop into LowFWD, and try to get up, just losing traction. (I have BFG 33's AT) tires. I had to use the Center Diff Lock to finally get up, after backing up and taking a more momentum run at it. There are a lot of boulder scrambles on this trail, and the gravel wash is deep and would suck your passenger vehicle in. BUT, being the ultimate KOFA experience trail is on the mark. The rating is spot on. We started off from Kofa Cabin on the north end and headed south in the Alamo Wash, which was astounding. You have to keep the momentum up or get stuck in the deep gravel. I was getting more and more concerned at the amount of boulders I had to climb over/around in order to complete this. My GX470 is basically stock except for the 33" AT tires. No Armor, no rock rails, no bumpers made me wince at the thought of caving in my rocker panels. But that didn't happen and it was an excellent experience. I think this is right up there with one of my favorite trails. I do think that running it from North to South is a better direction as it gets progressively harder until you hit the Big Horn pass, if you go the opposite way, it starts out hard, then gets easier and easier. If you run it early in the morning like we did, you can see a Ventana (Window rock) on one of the rocky precipices ahead). 1st photo shows it. There are actually two windows up there.
Kofa Cabin - Jasper Springs (01/16/2021)
Ran this trail from 95 to the Kofa Cabin. This is an awesome scenic trip with a very easy travel surface over most of it. There were lots of spots to stop and take pictures of the beautiful mountains. The jasper spring was not hard to locate as it's 10' from the side of the road. and is not inside a thorn fortress. It's inside a pipe corral on the edge of drainage. It's a concrete box with a locked steel hatch. (the 9th photo is the spring box). The drinking trough was down inside the drainage and difficult to get to. The road got tricky here though (Going west-east) because you have a shelf to climb. But the Lexus handled it. We stopped and camped at the Kofa Cabin (Not inside of it) and were astounded at the number of vehicles that traveled by. There were trucks going by 1 hour after sunset, and deer hunters traveling by at 04:00. If you are looking for peace and quiet, I would camp at one of the other spots. Be advised that this cabin is pretty well stocked with stuff, (beds, chairs, table) and a logbook. I wouldn't recommend sleeping inside it though as we saw some mouse droppings in there. I particularly liked the 1/2 drunk bottle of whiskey & 3 versions of the bible side by side up on the top shelf! Signed the book for posterity. Morning Dutch oven biscuits made the whole experience complete. We headed back to the Wilbanks road and took that south to the Hoodoo Wash.
Charouleau Gap / FR# 736 (09/20/2020)
USFS will open this trail tomorrow, 9/21/2020.
Chimney Rock (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Continental Copper Access (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Italian Trap (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Red Tank (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Rice Peak FR# 29 (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Mount Lemmon Control Road (09/19/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Redington Pass (09/18/2020)
The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Mount Lemmon Control Road (09/08/2020)
USFS Infrastructure project includes Upper FR38 AZ Coronado 030505 Reconstruct Upper Control Road NFSR 38 Conduct a LiDAR survey of Upper Control Road NFSR 38. Information obtained will assist with hydraulic analysis on drainages, reconstruction of prism, and surfacing on 6 miles of road to achieve a reliable secondary egress route off Mt. Lemmon to area residents. Reconstruction will occur in 2022.