Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Description: It’s like a huge playground for all kinds of vehicles. Main trail leads to the top of the peak and is about 20 miles long one way. It’s about 28 miles one way, if you go from Hwy 87 all the way to Hwy 188. There’s multiple side trails with many more miles to enjoy!
Time & Distance: Allow about 3-4 hours each way if you follow the entire trail.
Trail Conditions: Tonto N.F., Mesa and Tonto Basin Ranger Districts. Call (480) 610-3300.
Directions to the Trail: Take Hwy 87 northeast from Mesa. Turn right on well marked dirt road F.S. 143 between mile marker 203 and 204.
View Four Peaks in a larger map for even more DETAILS!
The trail begins as soon as you get of the highway, and get on the dirt road (FS 143). There’s several spots to unload your OHV along the road. There is a staging area 0.7 miles down the road, but as of March 2011 it is still closed and fenced off due to construction on Hwy 87 (they use this site to grow some plants to be used after construction is done). You can stage further down the road at 1.4 miles near FR1832, or at 2.1 miles near FR1343. Those two roads give you more options to enjoy this area with several miles of great trails.
If you want to go all the way to the top of Four Peaks (well, not exactly, only to the trailhead parking area, from which you can hike up the mountain) follow FS 143. Ignore many small side roads. Bear left at 14.3 miles. Small water crossing possible at 10.1 miles. Bear right at 10.6. Continue past Cline Hiking Trailhead at 11.1 miles. Climb over ridge as Four Peaks comes back into view. Bear right after small stream at 13.7 miles (may be dry). Continue straight past Mud Spring Trailhead at 15.3. Reach highest point of the trail at 18.2 miles. FS 648 goes right to hiking trailhead to Four Peaks Wilderness.
If you want to follow FS 143, swing left at top and start down towards Hwy 188. Make a right turn at 19.3. Pass microwave tower. Road is well maintained the rest of the way. Beautiful views of Roosevelt Lake can be seen below. Turn left in front of the knoll at 23.4 miles or take fun loop around it. Reach Hwy 188 at 27.8 miles near mile marker 255.
Come back to your staging area the same way. Remember to always stay on maked trails and do not leave any trash behind, so we can all enjoy this awesome area for years to come.
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!