I had no idea that this legendary
Arizona route even existed until this past January'09. Eric first brought this Rug Road to my attention then we discussed the possibility of me "gearing down a little" in my Grasshopper so the two of us could plan an extended 3-4 day backcountry 4x4, camping, and remote canyon hiking trip to explore this truly special area..so
(located within the NW section of the Galiuro Mountains between Mammoth and Hwy70-west of Safford).
It took me a month to ponder the possibility of an extended backcountry trip in my Jeep to fit another person in with gear, but being the true Virgo I am, and
a strong desire to visit this legendary Rug Road area, we soon had the dates agreed-to and on our calendars!
I have spent a considerable amount of enjoyable time since returning from this 2nt/3day trip, writing up a new HAZ hike description for this wonderful 70 mile "one way" route. I can only hope I have done it justice. Rather than detail so many highlights of this remote, scenic, and historical route in this trip log, I do hope some of you (4x4'ers, mountain bikers, backpackers, & remote day hikers) will find time to read my hike description and view my attached pic set(log) which will walk you through this amAZing 70 mile route.
Now having done the entire 70 mile one way route from Mammoth to Hwy 70, when I return I would prefer to start in from the NE TH start off Hwy 70 and drive in this more scenic route, first through the east end of Aravaipa Canyon & Turkey Creek Canyon, then over the high Rug Road route by Oak Grove Canyon. I would reverse this route on the way out rather than 4x4ing to end at Mammoth,AZ. Also, Eric and I discovered that May in probably not the best month to visit this area due to higher daytime temps, bugs, and less running water to enjoy in all the seasonal and perennial springs and canyon creeks. Recommended best time to visit this area is
late Autumn to early Spring.
Also, we did two seperate day trips (one hiking-
Virgus Canyon/Cabin/Springs & one 4x4ing-
Parsons Grove/Canyon to Don Jose Corrals & Cabin) on our one 5/17-full day in the area. I will soon be issuing short hike descriptions, GPS Routes, pics, and seperate trip logs for these too.