Description: Much of this long trip passes through Agua Fria National Monument. Take time for side trips to see archaeological sites and petroglyphs. The highest point of the trip nears 5,000 feet, where you’ll enjoy expansive views on a clear day. Unlicensed vehicles are allowed throughout the area. There are natural hot springs hidden in thick brush below and slightly north of the bridge on the west side.
This is a well-maintained road that gets a bit rockier as you descend to the bridge. Sheep Bridge is for foot traffic only.
This trail is open all year, but best enjoyed March – November. Hot in summer. No fee to enter or camp.
Time & Distance: Almost 38 miles one way plus side trips. Allow full day. Elevation: 2,069 to 4,954 feet.
Trail Conditions: Agua Fria N.M. BLM, Phoenix (623) 580-5500. Tonto N.F., Cave Creek Ranger District (480) 595-3300.
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 259. On east side, go past parking area and continue southeast on Bloody Basin Road F.R. 9269.
Return Trip: Follow the trail back to I-17.
View Bloody Basin Road in a larger map for even more DETAILS!
Get yourself and your rig 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!