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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well another great weekend in the FJ, and our first overnight. Tonto National Forest is just gorgeous this time of year (most of it!) and the Sunflower Mine is the most technical trail we've been on yet in the FJ.

Day One:

We headed up out of Phoenix on Cave Creek Road, which goes through that cool town, before turning into an unpaved Forest Service Road and getting into the backcountry.

Our first day's route is here (Map).

We mostly stuck to the FS Road, but found a couple sidetracks that were too hard to pass by, like this one (34.051508,-111.875882):



Here's a video of us after turning around there, cresting the ridge, then dropping back to the FS Road:


After traveling through Bloody Basin, we made camp near a little feeder just before it met the Agua Fria (34.246708,-112.058321).

Day Two:

So we woke up Sunday morning and got the truck packed up and ready to go.

We were on the wrong side of the mountains to get to the Sunflower Mine, so we did some highway miles to get around them. Up through Camp Verde, to Strawberry and Pine, and downhill from Payson to Sunflower (Map).

From here, Google won't let me chart the route, but surprisingly, my Droid was able to help out in person. I'll add coordinates to most of these pics so you can follow the route if you really want to.

At 33.935456,-111.479259, we met this guy. He was stubborn, and I had to get out and talk with him a while before he let us by. :)



Here's the beginning of the climb (from 33.942523,-111.483153 to 33.944855,-111.484231)


And the first attempt at the ruts (we'll have some more fun with these later):


Some of the surrounding scenery:







Just before meeting the stream (33.949292,-111.489977)



And a quick little ford:








After the ford is where the trail really gets technical (33.950387,-111.489784). When we were stopped where we are in the picture above, we could hear some rigs coming down. We walked up to make sure there was a place to get two rigs side-by-side, and there was a group of guys piling rocks under the wheels of a Jeep every few feet, and some piles of broken turn signal lenses and safety glass. And it was just a boulder field. Hard to capture in pics (like so many things are).







Once clear of that boulder field and another couple like it, it smooths out again.



And finally, you reach the top of the hill (33.954836,-111.493286):



At least the one overlooking the mine:



More pics of the mine itself in the next post.

Coming back down, we shot some more video (and I tell you what, my girlfriend Anitta is really coming into her own as a spotter - getting more confident with it):


We stopped to scout the lines when we got back to the spot where all the broken glass was. :) Then kept on:


Now here's some more fun in the ruts (33.944877,-111.484242):














And a video:

 

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Great shots`and vids.
Last year 597 was so washed out we hiked it. Great country back in there.

Thanks for all the work you put into this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Great shots`and vids.
Last year 597 was so washed out we hiked it. Great country back in there.
Looking at the map after the fact, it appears that we could have hit some amazing overlooks if we had gone certain directions once up on the plateau - but when you're there unplanned, and not quite sure where you are in relation to anything else, it all kinda looks like a whole lot of this:



Pretty cool though - nobody else had been there in ages. It was just this barely noticeable trail, and much bumpier than it looks. Slow going, and not sure if it's leading to anything.

Thanks for all the work you put into this thread.
Thanks for looking - I'm always thinking of how to tell it, when I'm out there. And I like doing so. :)
 

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Ya we hiked up there and it appeared maybe only a quad or two had been there.
Just after you get to the top there is a faint road to the left.It goes south along the mtn. and might come to the edge overlooking the valley the 7 springs road is on.

Here's a cool place....Take the Dugas rd. east all the way till it gets to the Verde Rim.
Awesome views of the Verde Valley and there are some camping places up there.

Keep on posting, they're great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
great pics, vids and ride....enjoyed the post :)
Thanks man. :)

Here's a cool place....Take the Dugas rd. east all the way till it gets to the Verde Rim.
Awesome views of the Verde Valley and there are some camping places up there.
Great! You know, Dugas Rd. is one of those that I've passed hundreds of times on the 17, and never went down it. I've got a lot of exploring to do still. :)

EDIT: Holy Crap! I'm looking at it on Google maps right now. That looks like one heck of a great road! All the way to the rim, over it, across the Verde, and the Fossil Creek Rd. all the way up to Strawberry, or back to Clear Creek. I bet that whole thing is just gorgeous!

And I just now spent a minute digging on the Terrain view (versus Satellite view) - how fricking awesome is that.
 

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Nope sorry the road to the Verde Hot Springs is closed. You go south along the rim, but not down over it. I think maybe on quads or bikes you can go down.
To get to Childs the old power plant you stay on the 7 springs road, cross the Verde and go to Camp Verde or Strawberry.
The Verde Rim has truly the most awesome views around.
Watch for rattlesnakes out there, we have a bumper crop this year.
 

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awesome post... wish we had that stuff back east
 

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Great stuff - beautiful place.

:cheers:

-
 

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Wow...now I really wish I had finished that trial, those pics of the mine look awesome dude.


Your ride is look'n sweet too.

Oh and after traveling through that boulder galore pass…did you end up getting a lot of belly carnage? I sure did...sheesh
 

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sweet pic's:rocker:
 
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