Jim Long

Mapping Crew - Arizona
Trail Reviews: 8100 points
Questions Answered: 650 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Overlanding
My Garage:
Nothing in garage
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 Trail Reviews (35)

(within last 6 months)
Charouleau Gap / FR# 736 (09/20/2020)
USFS will open this trail tomorrow, 9/21/2020.
Rice Peak FR# 29 (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.
Redington Pass (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.
Italian Trap (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.
Chimney Rock (09/19/2020)
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.
Last Dollar Road (07/19/2020)
Took this route on the way home from Ouray pulling my trailer (Easy Peasy). It was awesome to see the road is in great shape, but not as awesome to see so many abandoned backpack tents set up on the sides. There were a great number of campers out at waypoints 5 & 6. I did this from Ridgeway to Telluride (So backward from the trail guide). Made the obligatory "Aspen Tunnel" stop for a picture. I watched lear jets taking off from the Telluride airport at a lower elevation than I was watching them from!. I'm a little surprised that there's not a waypoint for the "Ross Ranch" from True Grit, which has been undergoing restoration. But maybe that is not on what is considered the official "Last Dollar Road".
Silver Basin (07/15/2020)
Ran this trail during the cancelled FJ Summit 2020 week. It was pretty obvious that the forest service had improved this trail a bit. The obstacle that leads to the waterfall on the road section has been filled in so it's not even a challenge. (In fact, I didn't even realize I had crossed it until I was up on the watery shelf). The road is now very well marked with vertical "Silver Basin Jeep Road" signs complete with arrows. This leads me to believe that this trail is becoming more popular, and in fact, I ran into several vehicles on the way back down the hill. I had to engage my locker near Waypoint 15 since the scree was soo loose. (Of course, I didn't air down which was part of the problem). And as luck had it, I ran into the up-hill vehicles in that exact spot. The steepness of this trail can not be overemphasized. There are portions of the road where the grade is a fairly high percentage. (Garmin basecamp said one section was 146% which is impossible because you'd be rolled over on your roof. ) but needless to say, all my do-dads flew off my dashboard. The lake at the end was down about 4' and the size was about 75% of normal. Still beautiful and amazing up there near the top of the world.
East Fork Cimarron River (07/11/2020)
Camping for days! There are sooooo many good spots along the river on this road. On Monday evening, there was a pair of 4 wheel, gypsy style trailers parked at Waypoint 1, complete with a large herd of sheep grazing nearby. In the morning, these furry critters were replaced by beef grazing on the same browse. The classic western struggle between sheep and cattle. It was pretty crowded on a Tuesday afternoon, which was a little surprising, but I guess everyone knows about this passenger car accessible area. There were still available places to camp along the road. The scenery is the lure for running up this road, as you can see in some of my attached photos. This is well worth the time to go up and check out.
Owl Creek Pass (07/11/2020)
Owl creek pass currently is in "beyond" great shape, and easy for any kind of vehicle (Or bicycle). The graders were up scraping the 858 road the next morning. I camped in the "True Grit" field campsite. Lots of curious tourists stopped by for visits. This spot was so serene that I was able to load up my power box, laptop, and get lots of photo editing done. I spent quite a bit of time walking across the field, looking up at Chimney Rock, just like John Wayne did when he held the reins in his mouth, his colt in one hand and his Winchester in the other as he rode across the field. You can see the rock that his horse dropped him in front of as Ned Pepper shot it out from under him. This is a great, though faux historical, site to spend time in.
Middle Fork Cimarron River (07/10/2020)
Drove up alongside the beautiful Cimarron river which is divided into 3 forks. The East and Middle come together near the start of this trail, the West fork drains into Silver Jack Reservoir. This is basically a graded wide road that travels up and up and up, passing by some very good camping areas. It's much more camping for the masses until you get to Waypoint 4, then it kind of thins out into more private dispersed camping. There's a single pot pit toilet right at Waypoint #3, of a kind I hadn't encountered before. Looked very nice on the inside but rustic on the outside. I played a little in the river, which is right alongside the road at Waypoint #4. The water was as clear as glass. There were a TON of cars parked at the end at the trailhead. Some from as far away as New Jersey, but most from Colorado. I guess the word is out on this trail.
Rimrocker (07/07/2020)
We were very worried about the ROC fire that closed the Rimrocker road just past the Buckeye Reservoir. We drove 2 mile road to Buckeye Reservoir day one because we were advised to avoid the section between there and Moab with trailers. We had a great camp spot at the group camp at Buckeye Reservoir. Day 2 we pulled our overlanding Trailers all the way to Montrose. It was a long but not hard, day. I followed the trailsoffroad guide on paper backward (west to east) and missed a couple turns because the roads looked equally traveled. There was no gas in Nucla and we had to make a side trip to Naturita to find gas. (Even there only two of 9 pumps were giving gas). I'll do this one again without a trailer so I can go from MOAB to Montrose. This shortcutted about 50 miles. No water at all in the Tabagauche river crossing. Greatest part was descending into and climbing out of the Dolores River Canyon. Printing out the .pdf map from https://rimrockertrail.org/trail-maps/ and the .pdf Trails offroad Trail Guide helped immensely. Between the Buckeye Reservoir and the Dolores River, there are numerous forks that will be encountered and it could be hard to decide which way to go. (But they eventually rejoined the main road). Keep a sharp eye out for the brown and green RR signs. They will help.
Chiva Falls (06/27/2020)
❗️ GO! – Evacuate❗️ This is a combined message from the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

As part of the Ready, Set, GO! process, the area below is now in the “GO!” state and is being evacuated. If you are in the area below, EVACUATE NOW. Safely move away from the Catalina Mountains. Do not delay leaving the area.

The evacuation zone is the Redington community bordered by the county lines on the north and east sides. The western and southern boundaries do not follow any specific road. Please refer to the interactive map at http://bit.ly/PCBigHornFire for specific details. If you are in this area, you are in the GO! area.

Redington Road will be closed at the end of the pavement.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be going door to door to make contact with those affected residents who may not have received the message.

This might be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify everyone if conditions rapidly deteriorate.

    Additional messaging will be sent as the situation changes. Small animal sheltering will be done at Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 North Silverbell Road in Tucson. Questions from residents in the area should be directed to 351-FIRE (3473) Bighorn Fire information can be found here: http://www.pima.gov/Bighorn
Red Tank (06/27/2020)
❗️ GO! – Evacuate❗️ This is a combined message from the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

As part of the Ready, Set, GO! process, the area below is now in the “GO!” state and is being evacuated. If you are in the area below, EVACUATE NOW. Safely move away from the Catalina Mountains. Do not delay leaving the area.

The evacuation zone is the Redington community bordered by the county lines on the north and east sides. The western and southern boundaries do not follow any specific road. Please refer to the interactive map at http://bit.ly/PCBigHornFire for specific details. If you are in this area, you are in the GO! area.

Redington Road will be closed at the end of the pavement. FR371 closure prevents any access to Red Tank Trail.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be going door to door to make contact with those affected residents who may not have received the message.

This might be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify everyone if conditions rapidly deteriorate.

    Additional messaging will be sent as the situation changes. Small animal sheltering will be done at Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 North Silverbell Road in Tucson. Questions from residents in the area should be directed to 351-FIRE (3473) Bighorn Fire information can be found here: http://www.pima.gov/Bighorn
Italian Trap (06/27/2020)
❗️ GO! – Evacuate❗️ This is a combined message from the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

As part of the Ready, Set, GO! process, the area below is now in the “GO!” state and is being evacuated. If you are in the area below, EVACUATE NOW. Safely move away from the Catalina Mountains. Do not delay leaving the area.

The evacuation zone is the Redington community bordered by the county lines on the north and east sides. The western and southern boundaries do not follow any specific road. Please refer to the interactive map at http://bit.ly/PCBigHornFire for specific details. If you are in this area, you are in the GO! area.

Redington Road will be closed at the end of the pavement. THUS preventing Any Access to Italian Trap FR 37

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be going door to door to make contact with those affected residents who may not have received the message.

This might be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify everyone if conditions rapidly deteriorate.

    Additional messaging will be sent as the situation changes. Small animal sheltering will be done at Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 North Silverbell Road in Tucson. Questions from residents in the area should be directed to 351-FIRE (3473) Bighorn Fire information can be found here: http://www.pima.gov/Bighorn
Redington Pass (06/27/2020)
❗️ GO! – Evacuate❗️ This is a combined message from the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

As part of the Ready, Set, GO! process, the area below is now in the “GO!” state and is being evacuated. If you are in the area below, EVACUATE NOW. Safely move away from the Catalina Mountains. Do not delay leaving the area.

The evacuation zone is the Redington community bordered by the county lines on the north and east sides. The western and southern boundaries do not follow any specific road. Please refer to the interactive map at http://bit.ly/PCBigHornFire for specific details. If you are in this area, you are in the GO! area.

Redington Road will be closed at the end of the pavement.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be going door to door to make contact with those affected residents who may not have received the message.

This might be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify everyone if conditions rapidly deteriorate.

    Additional messaging will be sent as the situation changes. Small animal sheltering will be done at Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 North Silverbell Road in Tucson. Questions from residents in the area should be directed to 351-FIRE (3473) Bighorn Fire information can be found here: http://www.pima.gov/Bighorn
Continental Copper Access (06/15/2020)
The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

OFFICIAL USFS Closure:
AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

*While not completely within the closed area, the start point is in a restricted zone. Consider this closure.

The bighorn fire has closed the roads up Mount Lemmon. The town of Summerhaven is under a SET to prepare for an evacuation order. (as of 6/15/2020) This fire has grown about 1-2 thousand acres per day and the weather is not doing anything to slow this down. (Hot and windy).

Mount Lemmon Control Road (06/15/2020)
The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

OFFICIAL USFS Closure:
AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AT THIS TIME FR 38 shows as "RESTRICTED". Consider this a closure.

The bighorn fire has closed the roads up Mount Lemmon. The town of Summerhaven is under a SET to prepare for an evacuation order. (as of 6/15/2020) This fire has grown about 1-2 thousand acres per day and the weather is not doing anything to slow this down. (Hot and windy).

Chimney Rock (06/15/2020)
The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

OFFICIAL USFS Closure: (Updated July 4th, 2020)
AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-023

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-023

The Coronado National Forest has closed this trail as it could be in the path of the Big Horn Fire. Here is the closure order and map. The road is labeled as FR 4438 on the map.
Rice Peak FR# 29 (06/12/2020)
The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

OFFICIAL USFS Closure:
AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

The bighorn fire has closed the roads up Mount Lemmon. The town of Summerhaven is under a SET to prepare for an evacuation order. (as of 6/15/2020) This fire has grown about 1-2 thousand acres per day and the weather is not doing anything to slow this down. (Hot and windy).
Charouleau Gap / FR# 736 (06/07/2020)
The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

OFFICIAL USFS Closure:
AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

The bighorn fire has closed the roads up Mount Lemmon. The town of Summerhaven is under a SET to prepare for an evacuation order. (as of 6/15/2020) This fire has grown about 1-2 thousand acres per day and the weather is not doing anything to slow this down. (Hot and windy). The fire edge was only about 1 mile from the trailhead of FR 736 and the neighborhood just to the south of the TH has been evacuated. BUT, the fire will have to pass through a significant amount of values at risk to get here to the Trail. I have not seen the official closure but it is probably not a smart idea to get trapped on this trail right now. All of the other roads up Mount Lemmon are closed right now.

Once this fire gets onto Samaniego Ridge, it will run right over the geographic gap/saddle. Please wait until Monsoons tamp this down (And fill the car wash back up) before you run this trail. Don't become a rescue problem.

Catalina State Park is closed to camping right now.
Owl Creek Pass (06/07/2020)
San Juan NF reports: Owl Creek Pass - Partially open, but still plenty of snow. Gates open Use caution in traversing the snowy areas.
Owl Creek Pass (06/01/2020)
As of 06/01/2020 Owl Creek Pass – OPEN to overlook on the west side
Owl Creek Pass (05/28/2020)
Owl Creek Pass -Open to top but gate closed (As of 05/28/2020 per the San Juan National Forest.)
Rucker Canyon (05/19/2020)

Camped out here during memorial day weekend. Even though this is 3 hours away from Tucson, it's only 30 miles from Douglas. This was evident that most dispersed camping spots were occupied. We were lucky and found a spot across the road from the dam. The Rucker group campsite at the start was closed by the USGS for COVID19, as well as the Forest Camp. The Cypress campground is probably permanently closed due to massive flood damage.

When we first arrived we went all the way to Forest Camp, but it was closed for the social distancing rules. There was a group of men with spotting scopes looking up on the cliffs. They said they spotted a black bear up there. That set the tone for ultra-careful food storage protocols all weekend.

The campsite near the dam was actually pretty good, with a really spectacular up canyon view that really changed all day based on the position of the sun. (Sunbeams poking out between the hills in the early morning, and the afternoon sun lighting up the cliffs). The open sky made the milky way jump out at you because there are no light sources anywhere near that penetrate the canyon.

It turns out Rucker canyon road *74E, is a pretty nice Mountain bike ride as well. But if you are starting from Forest camp, you will have a long uphill climb to get home.

There was quite a bit of Law enforcement activity in the canyon this weekend. We were visited by no less than

  • The US Border Patrol
  • The Arizona Game and Fish
  • and The US Forest Service

All were inquiring about our propane campfire since the forest is under Stage 2 fire restrictions. A fire that can be turned off is legal. There were a USBP horse trailer and 5 Tahoes that went screaming up the canyon. The AZ Game and Fish officer said that they got a sensor hit up on the mountain trail. They were on a mission for about 5 hours.

We finished up our trip with a stop at Old Camp Rucker which is just a short way east of the 74/74E intersection. Discovered some new spots I hadn't seen before, like how problematic the trading post/saloon was, and the planned hospital foundation (That never got built).

Several photos of the damage at the cypress camp are attached. All in all a great place to go when you want to get away from everyone. *Except holidays.

Chimney Rock (05/15/2020)
Took a few rigs along for a wonderfully splendid day out on the Chimney rock trail. There is a new bypass carved out next to the obstacle @Waypoint 21. I was so upset I forgot to get a picture of it. The bypass is immediately north of the main granite obstacle (3 paths) and is simply dirt bulldozed track up and over the hill, completely missing the fun. The bypass is easily 2WD. The rest of the boulder scramble required from that point on is still in place and the hill climbs on the east end seemed a little more rocky exposed. Sorry the video is the opposite aspect ratio, everyone forgot their action cams and cell phones ruled the day.
Redington Pass (05/02/2020)
The media reported this morning that the road will be intermittently closed because of a (possibly human-caused), brushfire at Mile Marker 6.
This is at approximately Waypoint 10 above. Please use caution in this area and be prepared for a closure at any time.
Kvoa Tucson PCSD responds to MP6 Fire
Redington Pass (04/22/2020)
Redington Pass Road (FR371) has become a popular destination during this COVID 19 lockdown. So much so that it has caused problems for the Search and Rescue folks, blocking access because of too many parked cars. PCSD Search and Rescue (@PCSD_SAR) tweeted at 0:05 PM on Sat, Apr 18, 2020: Rescue at Tanque Verde Falls. Unfortunately rescue crews can’t access the scene due to the large amount of vehicles blocking the road. If vehicles can’t pass due to your parking, don’t park there. #sar (https://twitter.com/PCSD_SAR/status/1251587624642342912?s=03) There IS a Forest service closure order in effect (That was never seriously enforced before) that can cause you to get a ticket if they want to enforce it anywhere on the western slope, between MM3 and MM 7. SO, move on through, and don't' stop to hike the trails, at least until this situation is over. There is already a Closure order in effect for shooting and parking/leaving a vehicle in these problem areas. They are ticketing the hell out of people now. Pursuant to 16 USC 551, etc etc PROHIBITIONS: Discharging a firearm ..in the Restricted Area Parking or leaving a vehicle in the Restricted Area. 36 CFR 261.58(g) https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611945.pdf
Ghost Town Loop (04/14/2020)
Thank you for your excellent feedback Ms. Miller. I have noted the private ownership on the two waypoints and will likely remove both in the near future. This spur road is no longer part of the track. But there is value in leaving the waypoints as a spot to look out over the border (Without trespassing of course). It's only 500 yards to the fence from the road.
Redington Pass (03/22/2020)
There is hardly a bump left on Redington Road from one end to the other. The Pima County dept of Transportation has graded the road, widened the road and made it as smooth as can be. BUT...At Mile marker 9, nature is reclaiming the road and cutting a channel across the road. This is evident at the intersection with FR 4435 as well. You are tooling along at 25mph, then BAM, your differential falls out! The speed limit is 15mph on all of Redington Rd. I have never seen as many people there camping, parking, hiking, wheeling Side by Sides, motorcycles and even 3 wheel ATV's. (Hadn't seen one of those for real since the '70s. I thought they were outlawed. Anyway, you can see some in the video. you can also see a new 4 runner that got sideswiped (After he almost sideswiped me on the switchbacks) by another older 4 Runner. You can see that at the end of the Video at the cattle guard. People were supposed to be staying home and 'social distancing' to limit the spread of the coronavirus. These Fools in the vans A) were exposing themselves and B) in the crappiest camping spot they could have picked.
Apache Trail (03/10/2020)
More of SR 88 open east of Tortilla Flat, but 7 miles closed indefinitely Crews reopen 9 miles east to Fish Creek Hill scenic overlook PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation has reopened 9 miles of State Route 88 between Tortilla Flat and the Fish Creek Hill scenic overlook to the east, but an unpaved stretch remains closed indefinitely between the overlook and the Apache Lake Marina turnoff due to extensive flood damage. Crews have worked since last September to reopen SR 88 east to the Fish Creek Hill scenic overlook, a mostly unpaved section between mileposts 213 to 222. Along with much of the rest of SR 88 in the Tonto National Forest, that area was hit by severe runoff from areas burned by the 123,000-acre Woodbury Fire. SR 88, also known as Apache Trail, remains closed between mileposts 222 and 229 because of flood damage and the continuing potential for flooding from the Woodbury Fire burn scar. ADOT is maintaining access to key destinations along SR 88 from the east and west. Motorists can reach Apache Lake by taking SR 188 either from US 60 or SR 87 and taking SR 88 west from Roosevelt. High clearance vehicles are recommended on this unpaved and rough stretch.
El Camino del Diablo (03/01/2020)
Traveled across the El Camino from Ajo to Yuma over two days. I camped out in Alamo Canyon the first night - which set me back a rather hefty $25 because it was located in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The weather was amazing, and the wildflowers in abundance on the western side. We experienced quite a bit of evidence of the US/Mexico border wall construction and you will lose the trail if you don't follow the track exactly (The sign for the Road/Trail is obscured by a sand pile). There was an unsettling amount of people out here this weekend, and one of the fellow campers at Tijinas Altas camp said there was a recent Arizona Highways Magazine article touting the allure of the ECDD. I guess people are now 'aware' of this Sonoran desert gem.