Description: The trail begins with a drive through Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, a low, sandy area that is densely overgrown and ideal for birds and small animals. Brochures explaining the importance of the area are available at an information kiosk at the start of the trail. Do not leave the road at any time as you pass through. Once through the refuge, you enter BLM land. Mostly easy to moderate with several tough spots. The worst rock obstacle has a bypass, making it possible for stock SUVs to consider this trail. Good articulation, high ground clearance and skid plates are recommended. Inexperienced drivers may find this trail intimidating. The final climb as you approach Vampire Mine is steep, narrow and rocky. The descent after the mine is badly washed out. The drive through Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge has several water crossings which are usually shallow. However, water can be deep after an extended period of heavy rain. This part of the drive has some dense vegetation, but it’s not too abrasive. Routefinding can be confusing at times. Do not drive this trail by yourself or in the heat of summer.
Time & Distance: It’s about 12 miles to the difficult part of the trail and about 4 miles around the difficult loop. The quickest way out is the way you came in. The total trip is about 28 miles. Allow 4 to 5 hours.
Trail Conditions: Bureau of Land Management, Lake Havasu Field Office. Call (928) 505-1200.
Directions to the Trail: Head south about 19 miles on Hwy 95 from Lake Havasu City. Turn left onto a wide gravel road (Bill Williams Highway) just after the Bill Williams Bridge near mile marker 162. From Parker, turn right about a half mile past the Central Arizona Project Pumping Station.
View Vampire Mine 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!