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Barlett Dam Road to MSP - Maricopa Trail, AZ

AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.73 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,261 feet
Elevation Gain -361 feet
Accumulated Gain 42 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.87
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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5  2019-12-03 MEWhiteman
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 41
Routes 92
Photos 795
Trips 353 map ( 2,719 miles )
Age 76 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:48am - 7:15pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Rolling Hills
by MEWhiteman

This section of the Maricopa Trail links the Bronco and Granite Mountain sections. It is a wide single track with long views as the trail goes over rolling terrain descending gradually. It is well signed and easy to follow but has no water. It is accessed from the north at the Tonto Trailhead at the Cave Creek District Ranger station on Bartlett Dam Road. From the south it is accessed via trail from Granite Mountain Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) or by ATV/4WD dirt tracks at the MSP border.

This one way description is in a southbound direction although I did it as an out and back hike. The trail begins between two signs on the right at the north end of the ranger station visitor parking lot. At 0.20 miles (N33.84987° W111.82659°) the spur trail intersects with the Maricopa Trail. Turn right to head south toward MSP which is this hike.

At 0.30 miles cross Bartlett Dam Road, then at 0.38 miles (N33.84851° W111.82614°) cross a dirt track by the road which provides alternate parking if the ranger station is closed. At 0.69 miles (N33.84518° W111.82511°) cross the first of several dirt tracks. At 0.79 miles cross another dirt track, then another at 1.06 miles (N33.84084° W111.82690°). Cross more dirt tracks at 1.12 miles (N33.84001° W111.82698°) and 1.27 miles. At 2.22 miles (N33.82758° W111.83321°) cross under the power lines which have been to your west and another dirt track. At 3.14 miles (N33.81780° W111.83880°) and 3.28 miles cross two more dirt tracks. Then cross under the power lines again so they are again on your west.

At 3.60 miles (N33.81490° W111.83366°) go through a gate and finish at the northern border of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve at 3.73 miles (N33.81415° W111.83273°). There is a fence and signage as well as a pass-through. Two 4x4 roads converge here, 2090 and 513. The Maricopa Trail follows the Dove Valley Trail once inside the MSP. If you plan on returning to the ranger station, you'll add another 494' of AEG.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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2019-12-05 MEWhiteman
  • 2017 Map
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    2017 Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Tonto Pass is required.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Tonto Trailhead at the Cave Creek District Ranger Station: From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Drive exit 36 and drive 13 miles north on Pima Road then turn right on Cave Creek road. Continue 4.1 miles and turn right on Bartlett Dam Road. The ranger station is about 0.2 mile on the left. There is a large sign and a self service Tonto Pass station on the left just before the gate and driveway to the parking and trailhead.
page created by MEWhiteman on Dec 05 2019 10:04 am
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