Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wickenburg, AZ
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I would guess that most people don't need to look very hard to find an offroad trail in Arizona, however those who are passing through Wickenburg in a reasonably high clearance vehicle should take a blast down Constellation Road, and a few of the offshooting trails. Off of highway 60 about a quarter mile down the road from the Hasayampa Bridge, there is a McDonald's. Turn at the McDonald's onto El Recrero drive. This turns into Constellation Road. The road itself is pavement for about 3 miles- it passes the Wickenburg Rodeo Grounds and the local shooting range. About when you see the sign "leaving Maricopa County", the road turns to dirt. You are now in Yavipi county. Constellation is relativley well maintained, and can hardly be considered a trail. Most places it's wide enough to fit two trucks wide. As you get to the ~10 mile mark or a little before, things start to roughen up. I haven't taken the road to it's end, which should be the Williams Ranch property. I would not recommend exploring the trails off of Constellation alone or if you insist on being alone, without a GPS. Buckhorn Road is a mildly rough road that provides some spectacular views in my opinion. I have yet to take Buckhorn to its completion. Buckhorn road is approximately 8 miles down Constellation and on the right. You will notice the Williams Ranch sign at the intersection. You may even be confused into thinking it's a private driveway, but it isn't. The sign is pretty faded, but if you look the arrow points straight down Constellation and says "8 miles". You also know Buckhorn from the shot-up "Primitive Road" sign. At the same Williams Ranch sign, there are a few disguised trails to your left. I have not taken these myself, but there are definately ruts from ATVs going down it- these trails are not suited for larger trucks, and probably on the narrow side for Jeeps to fit down it.
I hear that off Buckhorn there is a rough trail that eventually leads past Isaac Bradshaw's grave, and the old Copperopolis mine site, as well as a few other old mining sights. Be careful around the mines as they can be quite dangerous- cave ins are not uncommon when you disturb the sites. I know that Copperopolis is on private property. It is not marked no trespassing, and my understanding is that you won't be shot on site if you go on it- just treat it with respect and don't go making donuts out there, and clean up your trash. Many (not all) ranches and private property owners don't mind if you cut through their land- just be respectful and use common sense. I would highly advice heeding signs that specifically bar entrance to private property though.
If you want some good pictures and information on Constellation Road, you should investigate some books. Specifically, there is one by Joe Stevens, and the late Dana Burden that provide some great stories and insight as to where Constellation and its adjoining roads lead to.
Well that's about it for now that I can think of. If anyone who has been in Wickenburg longer then I have been knows more, or has corrections, please post. I am pretty new to Arizona yet, and have not fully explored many of these places. If anyone wants to explore some of these spots with me, just drop a PM! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]