Central AZ Jeepers Dugas to Cherry 2 December
First, it's going to be a full day of wheeling and anywhere to buy something to eat will be at the start or the end so, a large snack or sandwich packed along might be your friend. Also, CB radios are strongly encouraged but not necessary.
Lets meet up at the Texaco/Liquor Barn Plus in Spring Valley at 0930, depart promptly at 1000 hours . There is a laundry-mat just across the street if we need more room. For folks coming from the Prescott direction, that's the last wide spot in the road on Hwy. 69 before you get to I -17. If coming from I -17, hwy 69 is exit 262. Spring valley is just a couple miles up Hwy 69.
From Spring Valley, we'll head for I - 17 South for a few miles. From I - 17, we'll take the Bloody Basin Road exit 259. On Bloody Basin Road, we'll cross the Agua Fria National Monument and go into the Tonto National Forest.
We will leave Bloody Basin Road and take FS677 north. This is part of the Great Western Trail System. This stretch will consume a couple hours as there are lots of rocks. Not boulders! Very pretty area with several gates that will need opened and closed so, we will stay together pretty tight and lots of opportunities for folks to take care of nature needs. This road goes through some range land as well as some nice riparian area with large cottonwoods and sycamores.
From FS677, we will turn Northwest onto FS171 towards Dugas Ranch. We will pass Dugas ranch very slowly as there are lots of homes there. Also, it will give everybody a chance to check out the old dwellings from the road. There are several vintage buildings that have not been molested by bubbas and are really neat.
Right after we leave the Dugas ranch we will turn north on FS68D and take it up to FS372. 68D is a nice smooth road through some beautiful range land.
We will go west on 372 almost back to I - 17 (If anyone needs to bail out, this is a good time). From 372, we will turn north once again on FS136 leaving the Great Western Trail.
This is the final stretch into Camp Vedre. This trail goes through canopies of cottonwoods and sycamores as well. It is a bit more challenging then the previous trails but, I've done it in a stock jeep and just bumped my trailer hitch a couple times. The southern end is graded.
We'll hit pavement at Camp Verde. There's Cold Stone, DQ, and other fast food places right there by I - 17 along with gas and other services.
From here, folks can do their own thing or follow me up hwy 260 a short ways and return to hwy 169 via FS75 through Cherry. There are spectacular views of the Verde Valley from this road.
See you then.