Monday, January 15, 2018

Maricopa Trail Bronco-Granite Mountain Segment

Peaks of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in distance.
The segment is well-signed.
Looking for a quick and easy way to explore a scenic portion of the Maricopa Trail that runs through Tonto National Forest? Then, step out on the Bronco-Granite Mountain Segment. The 20+-mile segment runs from the Bronco Trailhead off Seven Springs Road north of Carefree to the Granite Mountain Trailhead in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Don't be intimidated by its long length and rugged terrain. The segment is bisected by Bartlett Dam Road which makes it easy to hike it as a car shuttle or separate day hikes.
Four Peaks on the western horizon.
Still kinda nervous about venturing out into one of the  trail's most remote locations? No problem---you can test your mettle on the more moderate southern half first. From Bartlett Dam Road, just hike south through spectacular Sonoran Desert with great vistas of surrounding mountain ranges and wilderness areas. It's just 3.4 miles one way to the preserve boundary where you can opt to continue on or return the way you came for a pleasant, easy day hike.
Rich desert scenery in Tonto National Forest


LENGTH: 6.8 miles roundtrip
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 2845 – 3220 feet
GETTING THERE:
Bartlett Dam Road Trailhead.
From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Drive exit 36 and go 13 miles north on Pima and turn right on Cave Creek Road.  Continue 4.1 miles to Bartlett Dam Road, turn right and go 0.4 mile to where a dirt road crosses at a “no target shooting” sign and 0.1 mile past the Tonto national Forest ranger station.  Turn right and park along the dirt turn outs. This area is heavily used by ATVs, so don’t block roads.  This segment may also be accessed via a 0.2-mile connector path from trailhead at the ranger station when it’s open. 
INFO & MAPS:
https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/maps/

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