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Forest Road 342, AZ
mini location map2012-02-26
26 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Forest Road 342, AZ 
Forest Road 342, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Feb 26 2012
rwstorm
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The final part of my busy Sunday was the attempt to drive Forest Road 342 from near Wood Camp Canyon to US60 near the Oak Flat area, west of Top of the World. My curiosity about driving this road stemmed from seeing the turnoff along US60, plus a recent post on the HAZ Forum wondering about the road conditions. I was hoping to drive the entire way and provide some information. There is a big mine near Pump Station Spring and at that point maps show FR342 continuing east a ways, while FR2458 heads south to join US60, a short distance west of where FR342 intersects.

As I started out along the drive I talked with some folks on quads who were coming in the other direction, and asked if I could make it through in my truck. They said most likely, but that the mine had blocked off one of the roads and established a bypass that was steep and very rocky. So, based on what they said I kept going. I really liked the first couple of miles of the road as it climbed steeply up to the divide between Wood Camp and Haunted Canyons. Terrific views! :) Once up high the road meanders around near the eastern side of the ridge between Fortuna and Kings Crown Peaks. I would say I was about halfway through the drive when around a blind curve a white SUV appeared and stopped. I thought it was fortuitous indeed that we met at a spot where we could pass, since this was mostly a very narrow road. I couldn't believe my eyes as Ambika got out of the passenger side! A friend wanted to go out four wheeling and she knew I had talked about driving this road the day before on our flower shoot. She said they had reached the tough spot by the mine and decided no way they were going to try it and turned back. Since it was getting to be late in the day and based on what she said, I decided to quit there and caravan back out with them.

The part of the road I drove was pretty easy going for my 4x4 Tacoma. I will have to try going in from Oak Flat sometime to see the part I didn't get to drive (and check out that gnarly spot by the mine).

So, :thanx: Ambika for being out there and perhaps saving me some grief!

Thus ended a fun weekend with friends, flowers, and four wheeling! :D
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