Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:phone: Clients hired me to come to Sedona ARIZONA and work for a few days! ...:lol:

:signed: Others interested in funding the FJ Cruiser Mongolia Expedition are coming as well to meet and talk seriously about moving cash...

I'm driving the FJC and will avail myself exploring the Mogollon Plateau up outside of the thriving city of Happy Jack in my spare time (and will post photos).

So long as there are trails I want to run, I take the FJC. No sky too high, no sea to deep, etc. Exploring and playing with the FJ in the high country is like sucking the marrow out of life to me. It's living LARGE! It's why I bought the rig.

Now I do wonder what the clients will think when they see the FJ as my "ride" complete with snorkel, short handle shovel, 30 liters of spare fuel on top, power tank, etc... And if they get inside for some reason and see the "ordnance", camping gear in the back, ice chest, etc. :D


I hope they don't think I'm having too much fun in my spare time. :up_to_something:

:worried: If they asked me to PAY THEM for the privilege of coming to the Sedona area, would I cough up the cash??? :shrug03:

Here's a question for you HARD CORE Arizona FJ Drivers: Do you run the FJ or does the FJ run you?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,508 Posts
AZFJ has their very own little sub-forum here, ya know! ;)

I loved Sedona. There and Flagstaff are probably the only habitable areas in AZ. ;) Sounds like you are going to have some fun!!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Lucky Guy, Enjoy and don't worry what your clients think. Its obviously if you do something you do it well if your rig is any indication.

Have Fun,
Tomas
Santa Fe
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
uphill;826424 :signed: Others interested in funding the FJ Cruiser Mongolia Expedition are coming as well to meet and talk seriously about moving cash... [/QUOTE said:
Mongolia....more details please :)
I wanna go overseas and play.....

Hey when will you be here and we of the AZFJ crew will come play in the dirt with ya!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Arizona is one of my favorite places to take the FJ because there are so many difficult-to-get-to places. I started out running and gunning in Sedona but soon found myself in search of the road less traveled and drifted to the Payson area and from there to the Hell's Gate Wilderness area S/E of Payson in the Tonto National Forrest.



A water crossing photo - yes I know that they all look more or less alike. However, note the absence of snow.



Gratuitous photo of the SCORPION.

I explored Native American ruins I was told date reliably back 1200 years that aren't on any map, worked my way to within a few miles of the actual "Hell's Gate" rock formation treading lightly, but not on any trail one would recognize. One appears on the small scale Forest Service map, but it's essentially a game trail that an FJ can negotiate. I didn't get photos for you because I was busy driving and there was a storm sweeping in.



I spent the night with friends at the Ellinwood Ranch, one of the very few pieces of patent land that rubs up against Hell's Gate. You can't drive through the wilderness area, but there are some trails that skirt it. They're unimproved and are not maintained.



A Javalina wanders by in the morning.



It started to snow HEAVILY and since I was precisely "in the back of beyond" without another 4x4 to back me up, I headed out. It was very rough going to get out. Again no photos, but the weather turned it from a "barely good enough for one rig" to "it would be nice to have had a couple of FJC's with me for comfort's sake. This place is remote enough that if there's a problem, it's a long hike out -- One I wouldn't want to make in the snow.

When there's heavy snow it difficult to see the road and you can't see any "lines" to take over rocks and ruts. It's slow going with slick steep slopes.

This is the area where Zane Grey (Western Author) lived and wrote about, it is also the site of the Pleasant Valley War in Arizona circa 1880. And minor skirmishes between the US Army (Cavalry) and the Apache Nation.

During the bad weather, I went to a used book store in Payson and found an old book first published in 1886 that touched on the subject. Books on the history of this area are also available at the Forest Service Office in Young, AZ.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,162 Posts
The Skull Crusher trail is off of the Hell's Gate Jeep trail.....probably one of the toughest trails in the nation. Too bad I didn't know you were gonna be up there.

Hope you had fun.

Sean
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Skull Crusher trail is off of the Hell's Gate Jeep trail.....probably one of the toughest trails in the nation. Too bad I didn't know you were gonna be up there.

Hope you had fun.
I didn't know how much time I'd have to work and how much time there would be left for play. I didn't get a hold of anyone because I didn't want to look like a flake if I had to cancel. Essentially I was pushed out by the weather that was still deteriorating when I left Young and Payson.

I don't know if Skull Crusher if FJC compatible. :bananahump-slvrathl Does it come up from Soldier Camp Mountain or from the Ponderosa area? There is nothing like that on the eastern side that I found. Most of the trails in the area I explored before the snow hit wouldn't be challenging for your buggy because it wasn't challenging (without snow) for the FJ. What it lacked in challenge, it made up for in beauty and interest. I have permission to cross private land and have the gate combinations for that area I mentioned in this post. I plan to come back this summer (or before) and backpack into Hell's Gate itself for a week or so. My buddy who retired in that area used to work for the federal govt. in Virginia and relocated when he left govt. service. I am told of a retired naval officer who owns a ranch up in that area as well on Haigler Creek. I wrangle an intro to him next time I go up there. There is very little patent land in that region.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
9,303 Posts
Arizona is one of my favorite places to take the FJ because there are so many difficult-to-get-to places.
Thanks for the write-up and pictures; wheeling with some destination is my favorite kind.


A Javalina wanders by in the morning.
BTW don't ever bother trying to clean one of those, they have skin like boiled leather that will dull your knife plus they have some nasty musk glands almost on their spine near the anus. The meat is dark, tough and very greasy but edible if you smoke it real slow.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,162 Posts
I didn't know how much time I'd have to work and how much time there would be left for play. I didn't get a hold of anyone because I didn't want to look like a flake if I had to cancel. Essentially I was pushed out by the weather that was still deteriorating when I left Young and Payson.

I don't know if Skull Crusher if FJC compatible. :bananahump-slvrathl Does it come up from Soldier Camp Mountain or from the Ponderosa area? There is nothing like that on the eastern side that I found. Most of the trails in the area I explored before the snow hit wouldn't be challenging for your buggy because it wasn't challenging (without snow) for the FJ. What it lacked in challenge, it made up for in beauty and interest. I have permission to cross private land and have the gate combinations for that area I mentioned in this post. I plan to come back this summer (or before) and backpack into Hell's Gate itself for a week or so. My buddy who retired in that area used to work for the federal govt. in Virginia and relocated when he left govt. service. I am told of a retired naval officer who owns a ranch up in that area as well on Haigler Creek. I wrangle an intro to him next time I go up there. There is very little patent land in that region.

I can see Lower Skull Crusher being FJC compatible....for the highly modified. ;)

Upper is just stupid. I won't take my buggy in there just b/c of one obstacle that forces the top of your cage into an undercut and has bent many cages in almost a full foot.

I spent 5 days back in around 2000 helping open the trail....took 3 built to the hilt Jeeps that long to complete it. It's not uncommon for this 1.5 or so mile trail to take 2 days to run.

Skull Crusher is about 10 miles out of Payson on the south side of 260 off the Hell's Gate Jeep trail.

There are several good trails in that area.....Preacher Canyon would be great for an FJ and one we opened back in 98 called "Bumper Banger" would be challenging as well. Then there's always Payette Draw which some of the AZFJC guys have already run the lower portion.

March to May are usually good times to head up there while it's still cool.

Sean
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Ahhhh, the life of a humble and privileged Mercenary. You've got it made, Larry. :lol:

How 'bout shipping your rig over and taking care of a few bad apples in my 'hood?

j/k :D great pics and writeup. AZ is an amazing place.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can see Lower Skull Crusher being FJC compatible....for the highly modified. ;)

March to May are usually good times to head up there while it's still cool.
Ok, SEAN, maybe... Let's see how the schedules work. I like that area and will return anyway - LOWER Skull Crusher -- but I will pass on Upper Skull Crusher.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,162 Posts
Ya, I don't blame you on upper....I won't even go in there.

As for the trails in the area....Preacher Canyon is probably easiest, followed by Lower Payette, then Upper Payette, then Bumper Banger, then....quite a bit more difficult is Lower Skull Crusher, then Upper Skull Crusher.

Sean
 

· Emeritus Moderator
Joined
·
7,444 Posts
Looks like it was a great trip Larry, to bad the weather ran you out of there. One of these days I want to hit the trails in AZ.. You guys have all the fun....:D
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top