Telegraph Line Road

note: this trail is currently closed 🙁

Location: North of Phoenix, east of Carefree and Cave Creek.

Difficulty: Difficult.

Description: Beautiful Sonoran Desert overlooking Bartlett Reservoir and the Verde River. This road was once a service road for a telegraph line. A popular ATV and dirt bike area. Please stay on existing trails at all times. Undulating sandy terrain with extreme washouts. Use caution to avoid rollovers. Lockers recommended.

Time & Distance: About 12 miles. Allow 4 hours. Add time for side trips.


03/18/2019 0%
High 77° / Low 55°
03/19/2019 0%
High 79° / Low 57°
03/20/2019 0%
High 76° / Low 52°
Chance of Rain
03/21/2019 40%
High 65° / Low 47°
03/22/2019 0%
High 68° / Low 51°


Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.


Directions to the Trail: Get off I-17 at exit 223. Head east on Carefree Highway 12 miles and turn left on Tom Darlington Road. After 2 miles turn right on Cave Creek Road. Turn right on Bartlett Dam Road in another 6 miles. Drive 13 miles and turn left on North Lake Road after rest area. Turn left at information kiosk after 2.7 miles onto FS Road 42.


View Telegraph Line Road in a larger map for even more DETAILS!


Get yourself and your TOY ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.

Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.

Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.


If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!




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