Tom

Trail Reviews: 6800 points
Questions Answered: 0 points

My Profile

Off-Road Experience:
4-5 years
Off-Road Style:
Everything short of rock crawling ...
My Garage:
  • 2018 Jeep Wrangler (4 door) (2.5" lift, 35" tires)
We've been running the easier off-roads in Arizona, Illinois, and Michigan in our daily driver Jeep Grand Cherokee for about twenty years. When we retired and moved back to Arizona on a permanent basis, we decided that a 4-door JL Rubicon was in order to expand our areas to visit. Drove it stock for a year and then upgraded a couple of inches on the tires and lift. The medium upgrade is a nod towards maintaining vehicle reliability.

My Garage (1)

2018 Jeep Wrangler (4 door)

Lift Size: 2.5"
Tire Size: 35"
Our main activity is exploring new roads and trails. My focus on the Jeep build revolves around reliability and self-sufficiency.

My Trail Reviews (38)

(within last 6 months)
Brody Hills (09/25/2021)
This trail looks like it's just as Bobby wrote it up. Didn't find enough pinstriping shrubs as I was expecting, so that was a bonus. We followed the tail for a little ways beyond the final waypoint and then turned around and visited the geode field. It looks like the rains may have uncovered extra geodes. Took some small geodes to open up at home. First time seeing the geodes in the wild.
Highline Access (09/25/2021)
Looks like the rains may have washed out any "smoothing" dirt on this road. It isn't difficult, it's just long and bouncy ... kind of like an Arizona cobbled street trail. The views are great at the end of the trail though.
First Water (09/25/2021)
This is a really fun little trail with a great creek side camping area at the end. It's well worth the time to drive down and simply take a break along the creek. Great find.
Moore Creek (09/25/2021)
Yes, Bobby's write-up mentions pinstriping, but about a half mile into the trail the Manzanita bush became thick enough to cause us to decide not to finish the trail. My JL is well pinstriped, but this Manzanita was too big and healthy for us. It looks like a side-by-side would have no problems. If you find the trail is too narrow, I'd suggest going east a mile or so and running the Highline Access (FR 31) trail. Minimal brush along it and it ends about a half mile from the end of the Moore Creek Trail.
FR 195 - Tonto National Forest (09/25/2021)
We were stopped at the base of the climb (N34° 23.855' W111° 15.676') about 1.7 miles along by logs piled on the trail. The hill climb beyond the logs was washed out some, but it wasn't impassable. However, just in case the Forest Service decided to restrict the trail until the hill can be repaired, we decided to honor the blockade. Will call the Forest Service before we go up to Payson the next time. The first half of the trail was very neat, so it'll be well worth the time to visit it again. (928) 474-7900 should get you info on the trail conditions.
Pyeatt Draw Parallel (09/25/2021)
After we ran most of the lateral trails off the Control Road, we had some extra time before we departed for home, so decided to make this trail into a short-cut back to Payson. Since it rained a little last night, the trail did have some mud puddles ... but, nothing that would leave ruts. Loved the peacefulness of the tall pines and open spaces around the trail. Pinstriping was not a problem. The Forest Service has been cleaning up some areas along the Control Road as a natural fire break, maybe this area received that type of treatment. Don't let the 3-4 rating scare you ... our Rubicon was over kill for the parallel trail.
FR 147 (09/25/2021)
Very well maintained Forest Service Road that would be great for a city car. The views are not as spectacular as of the Rim Road, but more personal and peaceful. Loved the "cave" that we saw as we traveled down the road.
Clover Springs (09/22/2021)
Found this to be one of the most interesting trails in the area just off Hwy 260 and up on the Rim. As Wade explains, the west end is rough and bumpy ... a little extra rough with the deep ruts because of this summer's rain fall. The east end is a well maintained Forest Service road that meanders through the pine forest along the top edge of several deep and narrow washes. We had an extra treat with the abundance of flowers along the east end of the trail. And, had a chance to stop for lunch in "my" creek bed.
Red Tank (08/25/2021)
Nice break from Redington Road. The grasses have grown rather high on the trail ... not many folks take it.
Redington Pass (08/25/2021)
Decided to take a trip around the Santa Catalina Mountain using Redington Road as part of the path. It's an easy trail with some interesting sights. The roadway seems to have had some work done since it is not as rough as Jim's recent pictures show.
Italian Trap (08/25/2021)
Even with 35" tires on the Wrangler, tire placement was necessary to keep from scratching the belly. Don't know it the rains this summer made it rougher, but it's probably a 2+ trail now. Very neat views down in the valley. Thanks for publishing this trail Jim.
Workman Creek (08/04/2021)
This link describes the forest service closure of this road: https://www.facebook.com/TontoNationalForest/photos/pcb.1240622593025151/1240622489691828
Woody Mountain Road (06/10/2021)
Some construction at the beginning of the road, but the rest of it was quite smooth. What can you say about a road after the writer says; "This is not an especially interesting road in itself, but the places it will take you are very interesting." Sounded like a Dr. Zeus sentence. The description is very accurate ... it does take you to some interesting trails a little further south.
Jerome Road (06/10/2021)
This trail has some very good views. It's a little rougher than a 1-2 at the south end because the power line folks have been working in that area recently. For some really spectacular views, continue beyond this trail for about 0.8 mile along the Casner Mountain Trail. You'll need a permit to continue on further on the Casner Mountain Trail if your vehicle is wider than 62". You'll be stopped by a rather formidable gate, so you can't go too far.
East Pocket Road (06/10/2021)
This trail turned out to be our favorite for the day we ran trails in this area. Yes, it's a 1-1 Forest Service road, so you can use grandmother's Oldsmobile to travel it. But, the views are spectacular. We investigated some of the side roads and found some very interesting canyon views to the north with one spectacular spot for lunch. Unfortunately the gate to the lookout tower was locked when we arrived ... although it's a short hike to the tower, we voted to come back another day. The cow picture made us laugh ... it looked like pool day for the kiddos.
Malpais Loop (06/09/2021)
The trail/road is open and had active camping along it. Got to point out that it is really, really dusty for most of the trail. However, the real prize for this trail is the Lava River Tube that is well worth visiting. Google "Flagstaff Lava Tube" for more info. We spent almost two hours in the tube and really enjoyed it. It's cold, but don't wear a winter coat ... like I did for a few hundred feet before it became too warm. A sweat shirt will be warm enough ... you'll keep warm hiking along the tube.
Crackerjack (05/30/2021)
We've run the trail from the trailhead out to Point 10 before ... continuing on the Cedar Flat trail (FR 209A) to exit out on Baby Doll Road. That makes an easy and very scenic trail ride. This time we stayed on FR 209 to loop around and return directly to Hwy 87. Unfortunately, there has been bull dozer active on the trail from point 10 to point 12. Yep, the ledges at point 12 are no longer ledges, but merely bumps. The rest of the trail has not been disturbed and makes a fun run. The rock conditions along this trail are constantly changing ... from red, to white, to black volcanic stone.
FR 502 (05/30/2021)
It is a neat trial. The brush wasn't as bad as we thought it would be ... we did trim one spot 'cuz it was way too tight, and we avoided the rest with some fancy zing and zaging. As to the peaceful, quiet, solitude that Wade found ... well, it was actually crowded when we got there. Some left while we were coming in and some came in while we were leaving. No worries, you just might not want to pick a holiday weekend to visit. The water is much lower right now ... almost bone dry.
Boulder Bypass (04/23/2021)
This was the last trail we ran after spending three days in the Payson/Heber area running some of the newer trails posted by Trails Offroad. It was our second best favorite trail for the trip. Loved the peace and quiet around the boulder area ... they are truly massive.
Haigler Creek (04/23/2021)
We spent three days running trails in the Payson/Heber area. And, this trail was by far the most enjoyable. Very peaceful and not at all like what one expects to see in Arizona.
Black Canyon Road (04/22/2021)
We combined five trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Sharp Hollow (FR 160) from Hwy 260 to Black Canyon Road. We then ran north up to the beginning of the Black Canyon Road. We ran the Black Canyon Road in its entire length. From there we backtracked along the Mogollon Rim Road until it intersected with FR 9569J … an out-and-back run along FR 9569J brought us back to the beginning of FR 487. We ran FR 487 in its entire length … back tracking along it to reach the start of Rocky Draw (FR 50). We then ran north up Rocky Draw (FR 50) to complete the day. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 3:02 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. Black Canyon Road was recently graded ... a low-rider Prius would have worked today. The lake was way down. The Black Mesa Ranger Station, located on Hwy 260 in Overgaard, has a handout that gives some good detail about the stops along this route.
Sardine Point (04/22/2021)
Just had to go down the trail as we passed by ... you warned us that the main point of the trail is to provide access for fishing. You were right ... with the lake down, it's a sad sight.
FR9569J (04/22/2021)
We combined five trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Sharp Hollow (FR 160) from Hwy 260 to Black Canyon Road. We then ran north up to the beginning of the Black Canyon Road. We ran the Black Canyon Road in its entire length. From there we backtracked along the Mogollon Rim Road until it intersected with FR 9569J … an out-and-back run along FR 9569J brought us back to the beginning of FR 487. We ran FR 487 in its entire length … back tracking along it to reach the start of Rocky Draw (FR 50). We then ran north up Rocky Draw (FR 50) to complete the day. This was a nice trail with lots of pines along the way. Need to read up on the Apache Permit ... would have been nice to have one and continue on to the rim. Saw a nice herd of deer in that area. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 3:02 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch.
Rocky Draw (04/22/2021)
We combined five trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Sharp Hollow (FR 160) from Hwy 260 to Black Canyon Road. We then ran north up to the beginning of the Black Canyon Road. We ran the Black Canyon Road in its entire length. From there we backtracked along the Mogollon Rim Road until it intersected with FR 9569J … an out-and-back run along FR 9569J brought us back to the beginning of FR 487. We ran FR 487 in its entire length … back tracking along it to reach the start of Rocky Draw (FR 50). We then ran north up Rocky Draw (FR 50) to complete the day. Looks like there has been some extensive road work to smooth out some of the rough spots. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 3:02 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch.
Excursion Mine Road (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. This was a very relaxing trail to run ... no worries about pin stripping. The views along the ridge were great ... that's where we ate lunch.
FR 487 (04/21/2021)
We combined five trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Sharp Hollow (FR 160) from Hwy 260 to Black Canyon Road. We then ran north up to the beginning of the Black Canyon Road. We ran the Black Canyon Road in its entire length. From there we backtracked along the Mogollon Rim Road until it intersected with FR 9569J … an out-and-back run along FR 9569J brought us back to the beginning of FR 487. We ran FR 487 in its entire length … back tracking along it to reach the start of Rocky Draw (FR 50). We then ran north up Rocky Draw (FR 50) to complete the day. Very nice connection road. The biggest surprise was the Legacy Ranch along this trail ... so beautiful it seems out of place. We also saw some of the wild horses. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 3:02 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch.
Rye Cypress (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. At the highest point on the trail, we came around a corner and found about a dozen older Jeepers on their lawn chairs covering about half the road while they ate their lunch. Couldn't help but smile. That's kind of like the trail ... easy and relaxing.
FR 1548 (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. This road had a some limited challenge. After spending most of the day on easier roads, it was a neat surprise.
Rock Creek (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. The single picture of Wade crossing a rocky creek is the only spot where we crossed a creek ... it might have been called "Rocky Creek Crossing" trail..
FR 1548A (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. This trail had an interesting waterfall in the creek at N34° 09.465' W111° 24.367' ... park at these coordinates an walk east for a couple hundred feet. You can see it from the trail above, but seeing it up close is very neat.
Zulu Mine (04/21/2021)
We combined six trails in this region into a daylong off road adventure. We started by running Rye Cypress Trail from the south. When we came to the Zulu Mine trail, we ran it out and back. Further up Rye Cypress road, we took the Rock Creek trail out to the trailhead for hiking Trail 42. Before returning on the Rock Creek trail, we ran Collom Mine Rd 3739 out an additional mile to the Collom spring and mine area. Once back on Rye Cypress Trail we ran it the rest of the way up to the Baby Doll Ranch Rd. We then returned back along Rye Cypress Trail until we could branch off on the Excursion Mine Road. We followed it until it intersected with FR 1548. A short trip to the west on FR 1548 put us at the beginning of that trail. We then ran FR 1548 until it intersected with FR 1548A, where we ran FR 1548A out and back. Once back on FR 1548, we ran it until the end. Instead of exiting via Rye Cypress Trail, we ran it south for about 2.7 miles to the intersection of NF-537, and then, took NF-537 north to Old Payson road and beyond to Hwy 87. The “short cut” turned out to be a very interesting trail … lots of washouts along narrow roads with great views of the mountains. Total travel time was 3:20 hrs with an additional 2:20 hrs spent enjoying the country side, taking pictures, and eating lunch. We looked, but didn't find the Zulu mine ... however, the views at the end of the trail were neat.
Cherry Creek (03/19/2021)
Three of us made the run together in a single day ... a JL, a JK, and a TJ. The day was moderate with no hint of rain ... although snow melt did keep some of the washes flowing lightly. The first half (19.2 miles) of the trial was a reasonably well maintained ranch road that took us about a hour and eight minutes of moving time. Once past the Ellison Ranch, the grading disappeared and the real trail began. The second half ( 21.3 miles) took us about three hours and seven minutes of moving time. So, total moving time was 4 hours and 15 minutes. Seems we goofed off for an additional two hours with lunch, picture taking, looking at the Indian Ruins across the valley, visiting the P.B. Ranch, and convincing some folks they probably shouldn't continue down the trail in the vehicle they were driving. The trail was long, but always interesting. There was a variety of terrain from ledge trails to open trails to tree covered trails with lots of washes to cross. The boulders have moved with each rain and Craig's crossing is now much easier to traverse. The Gold Creek washout was still passable with minimal danger. Do travel this trail with other vehicles ... not only for the safety, but also to share in the fun. This is definitely a trail we'll return to in the future.
Old Happy Valley Road (03/11/2021)
The trail was short but fun. Having read Jim's write-up about moving the road, the first words my wife said when we started bumping up the trail were "I see why they moved the road." We had the trail and FR 35 to ourselves for this run. And, too soon the run was over. Do continue north on FR 35 through Happy Valley for a little more than a mile until you come to a "T". Turn right for a little under a half mile, and then, left until you come to a campground with a stand of huge Sycamore trees.
Guajalote Flat (03/10/2021)
This was by far our favorite trail in the Patagonia Mountain range. We ran it backwards and climbed up out of the valley. Ran a Rubicon in 4-L to make the climb ... no lockers were necessary. Once on top, the vegetation changed completely and kept it interesting. As we approached the northern end of the trail the views off the side of the trail were tremendous. Then the views of the San Rafael Valley opened up at the very end ... very impressive. We'll keep this on our list of trails to do again ... maybe even in the correct direction.
Fish Canyon (03/09/2021)
This was one of our favorite trails. We ran the last half of the trail a little over two years ago when it was snowy and wet ... I don't advise that. But, when it's dry, it's a very fun and interesting trail. As Jim says, the artifacts along the way keep it interesting and set you to think about the people who called this area home. The cabin was well worth the "optional" side trip ... don't miss it. Looked at the Cave of Bells entrance ... don't think I'll be going back with a key to the gate.
Barrel Canyon (03/09/2021)
The trail is easy but interesting. If you're coming from the south, continue on beyond the end of the "official" trail for an additional half mile and joint up with the Rosemont Junction trail, Take the Rosemont Junction trail south to make an enjoyable loop trail with valley views and ridge-line views.
Rosemont Junction (03/09/2021)
The northern half of this trail looks to be your typical ATV area. Lots of dust on the trees, lots of side roads, and not very interesting. But don't despair, because the southern half is worth the trip. The road is easy, but the views from the ridge lines are great in all directions. This trail should be combined with the Barrel Canyon trail and entered from the E. Box Canyon Rd to form a loop trail.
Titan Missile Silo, Arizona (03/09/2021)
Short trail that is close to I-10. Nice views of the surrounding area from the mini-mountain peaks. Met the rancher out checking on his cattle.