Description: Fun, challenging and scenic. One of the most popular hard-core runs in the state. A must drive for any serious four-wheeler. Crosses the Santa Catalina Mountain range in the Coronado National Forest. For serious four-wheelers only. No stock vehicles. Lockers or winch recommended. Extreme articulation needed for deep washouts and gullies. Climb several steep hills with loose rock. One water crossing is deep during rainy periods. One rock obstacle called “The Step” often requires assistance. Aggressive drivers may break parts. Trail is very long and remote. Route-finding is difficult at the end. Go with a group and be prepared for surprises.
Time & Distance: Less than 20 miles but almost all must be driven slowly. Allow 5 to 7 hours plus travel time. Allow additional time if you’re traveling with a large group.
Trail Conditions: Coronado N.F., Santa Catalina Ranger District. Call (520) 749-8700.
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: Head north on Hwy 77 from Tucson. Stay on Hwy 77 all the way to Oracle. Turn right on American Avenue just past mile marker 100. Go 2.1 miles to Maplewood Street on the right.
View Charouleau Gap 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!