Area Recreation

Things To Do

Start Your Outdoor Adventure on the River Now!

Float the Verde River in an Inflatable River Kayak- Sedona Adventure Tours – Camp Verde
Have a fun, safe, social distant experience on this half-day, self-guided wild and scenic river trip. Enjoy the privacy and beauty of Arizona’s great outdoors. No experience is necessary for this morning or afternoon 2.5- to 3-hour float trip. Your shuttle guide will provide you with all the necessary instruction and transportation.
Availability: February 12th to November 28th
Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 Hours
Website: https://sedonaadventuretours.com/river-trips/verde-river-inflatable-kayak-adventure-shuttle/

Verde River Exclusive Kayak Experience and Wine Tasting – Camp Verde
Combine the fun of a small, intimate, private party of 2-10 people only with a self-guided float trip down the Verde River. Afterward, enjoy an outdoor wine tasting at the Alcantara Vineyards and experience the best of both worlds!
Availability: March 1st through November 28th
Duration: 2.5 Hours
Website: https://sedonaadventuretours.com/wine-tours/classic-water-to-wine-tour/

Sedona Adventure Tubing Madness – Sedona and the Verde Valley
Looking for fun in the sun while in Sedona or the Verde Valley? Tubing Madness on the Verde River is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Availability: Daily until October 4th
Duration: 3 Hours
Website: https://sedonaadventuretours.com/river-trips/tubing-madness-on-the-verde-river-cottonwood/

Fishing on the Verde River – Camp Verde
The Verde River is one of Arizona’s only two Wild and Scenic Rivers, yet it remains relatively undiscovered as a recreational resource. That doesn’t mean this clear desert stream has little to offer. It’s an excellent place to fish for a number of species including trout, which the Arizona Game and Fish Department has begun stocking on a put and take basis. The Verde is also becoming more and more popular for recreational boating. Some stretches provide scenic canoeing among long pools and manageable riffles. Other sections become exciting whitewater runs during the spring snowmelt or after late summer thunderstorms.
Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recreation/fishing/recarea/?recid=70863&actid=43

Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures – Sedona
If you’re looking for fishing in Sedona and Northern Arizona, look no further! We are the only locally owned and only permitted, Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Service, by the National Forest Service, for Sedona’s beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. Enjoy a Red Rock filled adventure as you team up for great fishing and stories to tell the grand kids!
Website: https://sedonaflyfishingadventures.com/

White Bridge Picnic Site – Camp Verde
White Bridge Picnic Site is a developed picnic area with toilets and picnic tables. Access to the Verde River and non-motorized boating, fishing and nature viewing are just some of the activities you will enjoy here. Overnight camping is not permitted at this site.

Facilities include:

  • 4 picnic tables with pedestal grills
  • 1 large ramada
  • No drinking water
  • Vault toilet
  • No garbage service: Pack it out!

Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=77748

South by Southwest Adventures – Cottonwood
Founded in early 2014, South by Southwest Adventures LLC is a company dedicated to helping you get out to explore more. As AZ natives and explorers, we at South by Southwest have heard this question many times: “Isn’t Arizona all desert, what is there even to do around here?” Well allow us to show you! Offering kayak, paddle board, and backpacking gear rentals, tours and classes, we will show you the Verde River and the surrounding area in a way you haven’t seen it before.
Website: https://sedonaverdevalley.org/south-southwest-adventures/

CenterFocus Experiences – Sedona
CenterFocus Adventures offers primarily CANYONEERING tours as well as Grand Canyon Backpacking and Grand Canyon Hiking tours departing from Sedona and Northern, Arizona destinations. Our rock climbing trips depart out of Sedona and take place on the high quality rock of the Mogollon Rim. We also offer single day canyoneering trips near beautiful Roosevelt Lake. Multi-day pristine wilderness based canyoneering tours are also available at this Roosevelt Lake site that can include tent or cabin based accomodations at our private ranch located in that area. CenterFocus also provides team building in both the Phoenix and Sedona areas upon request. We are USFS and NPS permitted at all of our locations, include all equipment and training.
Website: https://www.thecenterfocus.com/

OACTours – Cottonwood
OACTours offers a variety of outdoor exploring, all intended to provide you with everything needed to have a meaningful experience outside. This includes renting gear, guided tours and multi-activity adventures. From the individual to corporate events, we can make your outdoor adventure one to remember!
Website: https://www.oactours.com/

Start Your Outdoor Adventure Now!

Best Hikes

NEAR CAMP VERDE:

Apache Maid Trail
Apache Maid Trail is a 9.2 mile out and back trail located near Rimrock, Arizona that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Distance: 9.2 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/apache-maid-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/apache-maid-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Bell Trail
Bell Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Rimrock, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/bell-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/bell-trail

Chasm Creek Trailhead
Chasm Creek Trail is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Camp Verde, Arizona and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Distance: 12.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/chasm-creek-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/chasm-creek-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Grief Hill Trailhead
Grief Hill is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Dewey, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.1 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/grief-hill
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/grief-hill?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Copper Canyon Loop – Temporarily Closed
Copper Canyon Loop Trail 504 is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Camp Verde, Arizona that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3.9 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/copper-canyon-loop-trail-504
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/copper-canyon-loop-trail-504

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument Trail is a 0.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Camp Verde, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/montezuma-castle-national-monument-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/montezuma-castle-national-monument-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Montezuma’s Well Trail
Montezuma’s Well Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lake Montezuma, Arizona that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.7 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/montezumas-well-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/montezumas-well-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Bell Trail
Bell Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Rimrock, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/bell-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/bell-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

NEAR SEDONA/ PRESCOTT/ FLAGSTAFF:

West Clear Creek Trail
West Clear Creek Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Distance: 8.8 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/west-clear-creek-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/west-clear-creek-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Devil’s Bride
Devils Bridge Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and ohv/off road driving. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.9 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/devils-bridge-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/devils-bridge-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Boynton Canyon Trail
Boynton Canyon Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.3 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/boynton-canyon-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/boynton-canyon-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

West Fork of Oak Creek Trail #108
West Fork of Oak Creek Trail #108 is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Munds Park, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.5 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/west-fork-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/west-fork-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Fay Canyon
Fay Canyon Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.6 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/fay-canyon-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/fay-canyon-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Watson Lake
Watson Lake and Flume Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Prescott, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.5 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/watson-lake-and-flume-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/watson-lake-and-flume-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Fatman’s Loop
Fatmans Loop Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and mountain biking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/fatmans-loop-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/fatmans-loop-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Lockett Meadow Inner Basin Loop
Lockett Meadow Inner Basin Loop is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/lockett-meadow-inner-basin-loop-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/lockett-meadow-inner-basin-loop-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

NEAR PHOENIX:

 

Camelback via Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail
Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Paradise Valley, Arizona that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from October until May.
Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 2.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/camelback-mountain-via-echo-canyon-and-cholla-trails
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/camelback-mountain-via-echo-canyon-and-cholla-trails?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

Fremont Saddle via Perata Canyon Trail
Fremont Saddle via Peralta Canyon Trail is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.6 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/peralta-trail-to-fremont-saddle
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/peralta-trail-to-fremont-saddle?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

South Mountain National Trail
South Mountain National Trail is a 16 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Tempe, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 16 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/south-mountain-national-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/south-mountain-national-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

 

McDowell Mountain Preserve – Scenic Trail
Scenic Trail is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.4 Miles
Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/scenic-trail
Map: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/arizona/scenic-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map

Start Your Outdoor Adventure Now!

Best Bike Trails

Near Camp Verde

Copper Falls/Copper Canyon Loop
Copper Canyon Loop is a 3.9 mile trail. The first mile is a climb up some switch backs then it gets fun. A couple of the corners are a little tight so be ready to brake. There is a creek crossing that is not necessarily green level, but its a small portion of an otherwise awesome trail that is fun for riders of any level.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.9 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/copper-falls/

 

Dead Horse Ranch – Figure 8
The upper part of this trail is new and waiting for people to break it in. The entire trail is exposed and best ridden in the spring and fall. The uphill sections of the trail are fairly smooth. The trail is best ridden starting the lower loop in a clockwise direction and riding the trail as a figure eight. All the lower trails are marked with signs. Start your ride on the Lower Raptor Hill trail. This will be all climbing. Continue on the Upper Raptor Hill trail. When you get to the top you’ll turn on to Rusty Bucket. Be prepared for a bumpy downhill.
Difficulty: Intermediate/ Difficult
Distance: 13.9 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/3611120/dead-horse-ranch-state-park-ride

 

Lime Kiln
Intermediate 60%, advanced 35% and expert 5%, 14.3-mile MTB trail which is a bi-directional ride of segments of singletrack, double track and dirt jeep road that is an up and down trail with many technical sections. The trail tread is an assortment of packed dirt mixed with rocks and numerous sandy sections that are difficult to ride during extended dry periods. The preferred direction is east to west due to more of a downhill component.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 6.3 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/lime-kiln-seg-4/

 

Creosote Loop

Creosote Loop is a 1 mile moderately popular green singletrack trail located near Cornville Arizona. This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions. On average it takes 11 minutes to complete this trail.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.3 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/creosote-loop/

Near Sedona/Prescott/Flagstaff

 

Shultz Creek
While you won’t get technical, rocks or big jumps, you will get a long, flowy fast trail. A good climb and an enjoyable decent. Multi-use trail so be courteous to other trail users. Remember to yield to uphill riders. In the Spring the creek flows so you will probably get wet.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.0 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/schultz-creek/

 

Broken Arrow
Beginner 10%, intermediate 60% and advanced 30%, 1.66 mile MTB trail which is a bi-directional singletrack that is a twisty up and down trail with many technical uphill sections that will test a lesser skilled rider. The trail tread is mostly packed dirt mixed with rocks and several slickrock sections. There is no preferred direction, but it is definitely easier in the downhill direction. The trail is a good connector for several other fun loops.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Distance: 1.4 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/broken-arrow/

 

Hiline Trail
Beginner 20%, intermediate 40%, advanced 20% and expert 20%, 2.62 mile very technical MTB trail which is a bi-directional singletrack, that is up and down with about 400 yards of technical exposed and really steep sections a lesser skilled rider will have to walk. The trail tread is mostly packed dirt mixed with some rocks. There are also sections of slickrock that is fun to ride by all levels of riders. The preferred direction is southeast to northwest and the trail is a great connector for several other fun loops.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Distance:3.2 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/hiline/

 

Canyon of Fools
Beginner 10%, intermediate 60 % and advanced 30%, 1.2 mile MTB trail which is a bi-directional, but mainly ridden north to south. The north end of the trail starts off of the lower Mescal trail. The upper end of the trail rides several hundred yards on a singletrack before ending a a narrow eroded wash that has wall ride sections for higher skilled riders to rail on. After the upper wall ride section ends you once again ride on a singletrack to the lower Canyon of Fools section. The lower section is basically a very eroded wash with ten foot high walls that are suitable for wall rides enjoyed by advanced skilled riders. Lesser skilled riders could have issues with some of the features since they are natural in character and if not ridden properly could end up in a crash that may cause injury. The preferred direction is northeast to southwest and the trail is a great connector for several other fun loops.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Distance: 2,420 ft.
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/canyon-of-fools/

 

Vista Trail
Vista is a highly rated 1 mile popular green singletrack trail located near Prescott Arizona. This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions and has a moderate overall physical rating with a 348 ft blue climb. On average it takes 14 minutes to complete this trail.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.5 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/vista-14718/

 

Upper Pasture Trail
Like many of the trails in this area, Upper Pasture Trail #38 was originally a road built in the late 1800’s to provide horseback access to springs and other cattle waters. Evidence of this history is marked by an old horse trough beside the trail, slowly turning to rust with the rhythm of the elements. This trail stays in pinyon-juniper woodland and mixed chaparral. Watch for scrub jays and towhees moving from branch to branch. Wildflowers of every color, including creamy yarrow and bright red penstemon, grow along the path. Large granite boulders balanced at precarious angles throw shadows across the landscape. The best shade along this route, however, is found under the boughs of a few large alligator junipers that provide enticing spots to take a break and enjoy the view of Little Granite Mountain. The western half of Upper Pasture Trail #38 can be used to access the Big Alligator Juniper tree when combined with White Rock Spring Trail #39. The western half of Trail #38 is mostly old doubletrack while the eastern half of Trail #38 is singletrack.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 2.0 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/upper-pasture-trail/

 

Near Phoenix

Desert Classic
Desert Classic trail connects the east and west ends of the southwest quadrant of south mountain riding area. About 13 miles across the lower flats of the southwest range it ascends from east to west and descends west to east. Pima Canyon which is a large ramada with parking at the east end and Telegraph pass which is a small ramada and parking at the west end. Desert Classic is the classic trail ride.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 8.6 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/desert-classic/

 

Hawes Trail
Hawes is a highly rated 3-mile popular blue singletrack scenic trail located near Mesa Arizona. This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions and has a hard overall physical rating with a 232 ft blue climb. On average it takes 12 minutes to complete this trail.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 2.5 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/hawes/

West Side Trail 100 Loop

This ride is a fun short ride that connects into a large network of trails located in northern Phoenix. Great views of the city as well as sections where you wouldn’t know you’re in the middle of the city.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 10.9 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4873242/west-side-trail-100-loop

 

Brown’s Ranch Perimeter Loop

This route wraps around Brown’s Mountain to the west then takes you up to the northern section of trails for great desert vistas before heading back around Granite Mountain to enjoy the views of Balanced Rock and the Amphitheater. Most of the trails are formed of crushed granite that roll and twist around. There are some fast downhills and no major climbs to contend with.
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance: 15.5 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7013387/browns-ranch-perimeter-loop

 

The Long Way Around
This 18-mile long ride will give you a good workout with small climbs along with some fast downhill sections. The views are fantastic of the desert and during the weekdays you’ll probably not meet many riders on Hawknest Trail. There is nothing technical just good fun riding. The trails are all well-marked and can be navigated easily with emergency markers and directional trail signs at each intersection.
Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Distance: 18.0 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7035760/the-long-way-around

Start your outdoor adventure near Camp Verde now!

Best Off-Road Trails in the Area:

Near Camp Verde

Copper Canyon – Camp Verde
In 1871, General George Crook came to the Arizona Territory with orders to end the conflict between the growing population of settlers and the natives of the area. General Crook immediately realized he needed the ability to move men and supplies quickly through the rough country of central Arizona. By 1872 he had established a pack trail from Fort Apache in the east to Fort Wipple, modern-day Prescott, in the west. By late 1874 the pack trail had been expanded into a wagon road. That wagon road opened central Arizona to exploration, commerce, and settlement. Many of today’s roads closely follow General Crook’s trail, including Highway 260 from Camp Verde to the Mogollon Rim and the extremely scenic Forest Road 300, known as Rim Road. Copper Canyon is another segment of the famed General Crook Trail.

Situated in the Prescott National Forest, Copper Canyon parallels Interstate 17. Its fast-moving traffic can be heard, and sometimes seen, from the rugged trail. The two roads are physically close but light years apart in many ways. The interstate is new, fast, placid, and boring as it descends into the Verde Valley. Copper Canyon is slow, rocky, rugged, and demanding. One can only imagine navigating this trail in a horse or mule-drawn wagon as opposed to a capable and comfortable modern offroad vehicle. While you are debating which line to take at one of the many obstacles, take a moment to reflect and remember how this little trail came to be. You are driving history.
Distance: 6.2 Miles
Website: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/5219-copper-canyon

Cedar Flat Road – Camp Verde
Cedar Flat Road is a tale of two trails. On its southern end, the well-behaved road climbs out of the desert to offer camping with views, driving with views and hiking with views. Looking west, the sacred red rocks of Sedona are below you. Mingus Mountain tents horizon due west. Farther south the rugged Bradshaws stand out above the haze. North you catch glimpses of the San Francisco Peaks towering above Flagstaff. Closer in you get a look deep into the canyon of West Clear Creek and Blodgett Basin. The tall stalks of century plants stand sentinel over prickly pears with their crimson fruits. Ocotillo spread their firesticks skyward along the roadside. The daggers of the agaves make you watch your step.

And then Cedar Flat Road throws a temper tantrum, all be it a beautiful outburst. The finely graded road becomes a rock-strewn two-track weaving among junipers, testing your tires, your suspension, your kidneys, and your ability to pick a good line. But the rugged beauty of the place, the sudden openings onto wide tree-dotted savannah grasslands, a short stretch through a pristine pine forest make you forget to keep your eyes on the trail. Apache Maid Mountain begins to appear larger and larger until it looms over the mesa.
Distance: 10.8 Miles
Website: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/3711-cedar-flat-road

 

Smiley Rock – Jerome
Just outside of Jerome, one of the most famous and ghostly mining towns in all Arizona, sits a rock that never stops smiling. Smiley Rock is one of the more famous off-road trails in the State and for good reason. The drive is challenging, but not overly difficult and provides inspiring scenery as you travel along the south edge of the Woodchute Wilderness Area inside the cool and shaded Martin Canyon. The main attraction is the rock with a smile set in stone. It sits there smiling at you and this is the type of trail in which you could honestly smile back.
Distance: 8.6 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.onxmaps.com/offroad/trails/us/arizona/copper-canyon-trail

 

Backway to Crown King – Crown King
The highlight of the Backway to Crown King is the town itself and serves as a welcomed destination after a long day on the trail. Whether stopping for lunch or staying the night, it is well worth the time to check out the general store, saloon, and prospector mall. If you need supplies or a souvenir t-shirt, the general store is the place to go. It is also the place to go for Crown King’s famous fudge. If you are looking for a cold adult beverage or a meal, check out the Crown King Saloon. Local musicians also frequent the saloon for good music. The Prospector Mall is also a great place to stop for supplies and a meal. Their breakfast is fantastic. There are also several cabins in the area that are available for travelers to spend the night. You can find any and all information about the services available in Crown King on their [website](http://www.crownkingaz.com).
Distance: 34.3 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1411-backway-to-crown-king-arizona


Near Sedona/Prescott/Flagstaff

 

Broken Arrow – Sedona
Situated in picturesque Sedona, Arizona, Broken Arrow is one of the most popular and iconic off-road trails around- for good reasons! With amazing red rock formations towering into the sky, this off-road trail is full of awe-inspiring beauty and moderate challenges for your vehicle and driving skill. If you arrive early in the morning, you can watch the sun’s spectacular rise over the high Mogollon Rim cliffs to the north and east. Later in the evening, you can see more dramatic highlights of the natural features as shadows become more pronounced.
Distance: 3.12 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/4-broken-arrow

 

Oak Creek Homestead – Cottonwood/Sedona
The Oak Creek Trail takes you from Highway 89A (about halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood) almost all the way (you have to hike the last half a mile) to Oak Creek where you’ll find the ruins of an old rock-walled house, and a cool stream to soak your feet in.
Distance: 6.5 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1119-oak-creek-homestead

 

Schnebly Hill Road – Sedona
“The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time,” said Thoreau in his 1854 book, Walden. He never saw Sedona. Sand dunes and seabed sediments were laid and then covered by more of the same over 300 million years ago. Under unimaginable compression, they became the sandstone we see today. A massive 3000-foot uplift 13 million years ago created the Mogollon Rim running from central New Mexico to western Arizona exposing the ancient sandstone layers. Walden’s gentle erosion took over. The ethereal beauty of Sedona’s many sandstone formations emerged. Today tourists from all over the world flock to charming and captivatingly scenic Sedona. Offroaders come too, running the many famous rocky trails in the area. Schnebly Hill Road is both a road and a rite of passage. The road itself is crowded and annoyingly bumpy on the descent from the Rim into Sedona. But the views always delight, all that red and buff sandstone formed into monuments ranging from massive to whimsical. Despite being a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail, Schnebly Hill Road is a once and done for many. But it is one that you need to do and will always remember, a touchstone of the community if you will. Thoreau never did Schnebly Hill Road. You should.
Distance: 11.14 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/85-schnebly-hill-road

 

Cinder Hills OHV – Flagstaff
People come here for a one-of-a-kind experience: climbing “dunes” made of volcanic cinder at 7000-8000 feet elevation, with amazing views. This is a really unique and excellent attraction. It is also not for the faint of heart or those with low clearance or street tires. Most of the users come to camp along FR776 and tear it up on quads, razors, dirt bikes, and rails. There is some professional-grade hill-climbing done here, including the 900-foot critical-slope (e.g. falling down slope) “Hundred Dollar Hill”. The hill was named after the cost of broken parts on every attempted climb; in 2019 it should probably be called “thousand-dollar hill”. There are dozens of other climbs with the same risk and challenge. And, really, isn’t the climb that breaks your rig the one you should call Hundred Dollar Hill? Some of us more casual off-road enthusiasts show up in jeeps or similar – and will not be climbing these epic slopes. Those who come in RVs will stay close to the main road. This OHV area is right in Flagstaff, so you can get out, have your fun, and be back at home or hotel in time for lunch. Deep snow adds another dimension to the fun and risk. This is also one of the best places to camp in Arizona, because of the unlimited and uncrowded dispersed camping options all over the dunes- especially if you’re an overlander capable of climbing a hill and camping on top.
Distance: 11.48 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2-cinder-hills-ohv

 

Casner Mountain Trail – Kachina Village
Much of the Casner Mountain Trail is squeezed in between the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness and Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness offering some of the most awesome views of nature you can see anywhere. This also forces you to keep your vehicle on the trail. You will also get a great view of the famous red rock country of the northern Verde Valley. The Verde Valley encompasses about 714 square miles in the center of Arizona and has hundreds of miles of dirt roads and off-road trails throughout it. You’ll have to drive some of them to get to or from the southern trailhead of Casner Mountain Trail. This entire area is the height of Arizona’s physical beauty and you’ll get an excellent view of it along the Casner Mountain Trail. While most of these off-road four-wheel drive trails are mainly within the control of Coconino National Forest, some also extend into Prescott and Yavapai National Forests; which you can also see parts of from this trail.
Distance: 8 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1460-casner-mountain-trail


Near Phoenix

Bloody Basin Road – Black Canyon City
Arizona has it’s share of historic monuments but few have as such a checkered past as the Aqua Fria National Monument. Bloody Basin Road offers visitors a chance to access this very unique region where Native American ruins are found right next to old stone cabins of the early settlers. With a name like Bloody Basin you would expect it to have a past littered with conflict. One of the most familiar conflicts occurred in 1873 when it was suspected that a group of Apache’s killed 3 men. Army Captain George Randall tracked them to Turret Peak where the army stormed the camp at night and in the panic, some Indians jumped from the cliffs to their deaths. When the battle was over, 26 Apaches were dead.
Bloody Basin is also home to the Horseshoe Ranch, which was founded in 1882 by William Mitchell. It would eventually become one of the largest cattle ranches in Arizona. At one time, the ranch’s cattle ranged over an area of 30 square miles. Cattle grazing still takes place in the area, but most of the original property is now part of Aqua Fria National Monument. The area is large, give yourself the entire day to explore this unique part of the southwest. The numerous side trails offer countless points to walk among the ruins and search the nearby rocks for petroglyphs. There are hundreds of examples of this ancient art work littering the monument region. Look along cliffs or even on stray rocks in the meadows. Please do not disturb or alter these precious artifacts to ensure they remain for generations to come.
Distance: 38 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1090-bloody-basin-road

 

Table Mesa Road – New River
The main attraction of Table Mesa Road is that it gives access to many other more exciting off-road trails throughout the BLM’s Table Mesa Recreation Area. Table Mesa Road is split between State Trust Land and a BLM recreation area managed by the Hassayampa BLM Field Office. This dirt road leads to a wide variety of trails designed to be enjoyed by a variety of outdoor enthusiasts from overland trails to rock crawling. It includes areas for motorcycles, ATV’s, and full size modified four-wheel drive vehicles.
Distance: 4.4 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1571-table-mesa-road-west

 

Bulldog Canyon – Mesa
Bulldog Canyon is part of the “Great Western Trail” in Arizona, traveling through the Tonto National Forest’s Goldfield Mountains and the Sonoran Desert. It offers incredible views of the nearby Superstition Mountains and is home to some of Arizona’s most infamous legends, like the Lost Dutchmen Gold.
At one time, the Bulldog Mine was one of the richest gold mines in the country but has now been reclaimed by the desert. The Goldfield Mountain area is littered with towering cliffs and rugged canyons that are a welcome break from the flat desert valley. You can hike for years in the many unmarked canyons that litter the region. Who knows what you might find out there.
The Salt River Recreation areas and Saguaro Lake are nearby to help you cool off in the warmer months. Be sure to have a free Bulldog Canyon Pass to access and enjoy the vast OHV area and a Tonto Pass to park at the recreation sites.
Distance: 14.86 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/20-bulldog-canyon-fr-10

 

Box Canyon – Florence
Box Canyon is the highlight of this trail providing southern access to the popular trail system just north of Box Canyon and Florence, Arizona commonly referred to as, “Florence Junction.” Driving through Box Canyon is a wonderful scenic introduction to the area and is a very popular trail. Box Canyon can be traveled in either direction but continues on to the north connecting with many other nearby trails. These other trails can be combined for a full day of exploration. A favorite among many, you will often find other OHV enthusiasts sharing this trail.
Distance: 6.3 Miles
Website and Map: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/49-box-canyon-florence-arizona