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Unread 02-08-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
dwayTJ
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Martinez Canyon-Florence Junction, AZ

Some pictures from our trip to Martinez Canyon loop in Florence Junction last weekend. In case some of you don't know (because I'm finding out that a lot of wheelers in Tucson don't), Martinez Canyon has been on the closure list for a while now and was reportedly "officially" closed recently. But, it hasn't been blocked off or any closure signs posted yet, so we decided to get a run in while we could.

Just for reference, I'm in a 2005 TJ with 2" susp/1" body lift, 32s, open/open and while easily the most difficult trail I've done, I didn't have any major problems. Got hung up a few times and needed a friendly push or two, but didn't need to get strapped or winched out at all. Our group was me, another TJ on 33s open/open, an XJ with long arms and 33s open/open, and an XJ on 35s and rear locker. Here goes (I'm new, so I'm still not entirely sure whether I can post pics or not)....






The cabins just as you get through the canyon and just before the boulder garden. The most popular place to stop and eat lunch on the way in.



Approaching the first major obstacle, the boulder garden. There are two different routes, this is the one to the left.











I was the only one who took the right side, thinking it looked a little easier. It wasn't. It has several hairpin turns in the midst of the boulders, whereas the left side looks more intimidating but is straight up. The short wheelbase helped A LOT here.
















More to come....

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Unread 02-08-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
dwayTJ
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The old mill that is still standing, just past the rock garden.








Some other obstacles/scenery along the way.































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Unread 02-09-2011, 12:15 AM   #3
dwayTJ
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There are lots of old mineshafts along the trail. Fun to explore, but you definitely need to go with someone else and be careful.



Going down one of the shafts with a still intact ladder.

Looking back up from the bottom. At least 100 feet, but hard to tell how far really.

Camp

More mines next to the campsite.

We explored these too, and realized that one of the downshafts eventually connected with the other shaft that we were in several hours earlier.













This is at the start of The Luge (or, more accurately, the bypass to the original Luge which is now impassable, so the bypass is now the Luge). A very steep, loose rocky descent with a dropoff at the end. For some reason, John decided to steer into the wall and got himself stuck. The only strapping we did the whole trip.


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Unread 02-09-2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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I've got more pictures, but that's the basics. Hope y'all enjoyed, and if you're nearby, run Martinez Canyon while you still can. It's an awesome trail.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 07:08 AM   #5
unlblkrubi
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Looks like a great place to wheel. I used to live in Tucson 20 years ago but rode on 2 wheels at the time.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 02:50 AM   #6
dwayTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlblkrubi View Post
Looks like a great place to wheel. I used to live in Tucson 20 years ago but rode on 2 wheels at the time.
Ha it seems we've switched places somewhat. I just moved out to Tucson a few years ago but was born and raised in GA up until then. Never spent much time in Alabama except for a few trips to Auburn though. The wheeling in and around Tucson is probably my favorite thing overall about living here.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
c-longm2
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So what did they mine? And why is it being closed?
Great pictures, thanks for sharing.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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Looked like a nice trip and thanks for posting the pictures.

So why ever is the trial closing? What a shame.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 04:36 AM   #9
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We discussed it, but no one knew for sure what they were mining for out there. I am assuming it was copper, or possibly gold. I'm sure some more knowledgeable guys on the forum would know.

As for the closing, it seems like the same general BS that's closing a lot of the trails around the country. Big environmentalist groups with lots of lobbyist money to close the trails because of a few bad apples. Don't get me wrong, there has been a lot of damage done to the cabins by dumb*** vandals, but other than that I honestly don't think I saw any significant signs of litter or trail damage there. And any miscellaneous beer cans or other trash, we stopped and picked up. Don't get me started on the trail closure rant, but Martinez has been on the BLM closure list for several years now I believe, so all I can say is let's hope the BLM takes a while to actually close it off, and run it while you can. As I said before, I know from poking around here that there's a handful of guys that know a lot more about the history of this area than I.

FWIW, here's the thread that our club president posted on our forum to notify us of the closure.... http://www.azvirtualjeepclub.com/showthread.php?p=48325
It also lists the other Florence trails that were closed along with Martinez, which I believe are still accessible for the time being.

Glad y'all liked the pictures. I've got tons more pictures if anyone wants to see more.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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^Always good to pickup trash. I don't get people that try to burn beer cans at camping sites?!
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Unread 06-16-2011, 09:34 PM   #11
RedTj01
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I did this trail yesterday and it's still not blocked off. Lol, it was a tough one to do in my Tj. Had to winch myself up off my buddys Jeep thru one obstacle, brakes went out on me twice, and the shift linkage broke to my four wheel drive so I had to drive back home in 4 low goin 15mph. Thank god I live in florence!
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Unread 06-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #12
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Great write up and pictures thanks for the report!
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Unread 06-17-2011, 02:52 AM   #13
dwayTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTj01 View Post
I did this trail yesterday and it's still not blocked off. Lol, it was a tough one to do in my Tj. Had to winch myself up off my buddys Jeep thru one obstacle, brakes went out on me twice, and the shift linkage broke to my four wheel drive so I had to drive back home in 4 low goin 15mph. Thank god I live in florence!
Wow dude what did you do about the Luge at the end? If my brakes had gone out twice I don't know that I would have had the courage to go down that haha. It is a tough trail for sure, but probably my favorite that I've run in AZ. I still have an Aussie for my D30 sitting in my garage, can't wait to run it with that installed. I'll post up next time we run it, probably in the fall when it's not so damn hot haha...
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Unread 06-17-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwayTJ View Post
Wow dude what did you do about the Luge at the end? If my brakes had gone out twice I don't know that I would have had the courage to go down that haha. It is a tough trail for sure, but probably my favorite that I've run in AZ. I still have an Aussie for my D30 sitting in my garage, can't wait to run it with that installed. I'll post up next time we run it, probably in the fall when it's not so damn hot haha...
Man, it was a bad day.... lol
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Unread 06-24-2011, 07:27 PM   #15
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Great pics. Looks like an awesome trail to run. I would double check with BLM to see if its closed. Just because its not blocked off doesnt mean its not closed.
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