AZ-Camp Reno Exploration Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by azredline, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    579
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Reidy008 and I took a fun DS ride to Camp Reno over near Punkin Center, Arizona last sunday. What a day.

    We had intended to ride FR22 from Hwy 87 across to connect up with Hwy 188, also know as Camp Reno Road back in the day. However, I didn't realize that was also the Bushnell Tanks turnoff, and that road has been "Temporarily Closed" for about 10 years. We had planned to stage there, but since the road was closed and we would never disobey a posted threat, we decided to stage up the road a ways at Slate Creek turnoff, aka FR26.

    Drew brought the Husaberg, I rode my big bike. (With the windshield and mirrors on, it's my big bike. With them off, it's my little bike!)

    Staging at Hwy 87 and FR26

    [​IMG]

    The road started out promising.

    [​IMG]

    About 50 yds in, the road ended in a wash. Hmmm. Had to look around a bit, but we found where it crossed and headed east. Perfect.

    [​IMG]

    This is a fun road, but would be rough on a bigger bike. Ran into a couple quail hunters who gave us some trail guidance while they cleaned some quail. The road, they said, did indeed go through, so, on we went.

    [​IMG]

    They said we would come to some huge culverts crossing under hwy 188, and it didn't take long to get there

    [​IMG]

    Even saw a space alien as I crossed under

    [​IMG]

    The water must really come through here in the right season, these are some big tubes

    [​IMG]

    Out the other end

    [​IMG]

    Then a gate to get through

    [​IMG]

    The bad news was Slate Creek Road ended smack dab in the middle of somebody's ranch compound. Oops.

    Drew spotted someone working by the barn and walked over to apologize for crossing their yard while about 10 yappin dogs and a chicken followed him. The gal working there was cool and he explained we may have to come back that way if we don't find another way back. She said that would be ok, but the dogs weren't crazy about the idea. The chicken was indifferent.

    On to Camp Reno.

    Camp Reno was a military outpost that was established in the late 1860s and used from approximately 1868 to 1870. The road to it was the first main road to the area and the area near it became the basis of settlement in that area. (Now Punkin Center area.)

    Perhaps the most famous attribute to Camp Reno was the road to get to it. Reports of broken wagon wheels and fallen horses were common, and much time and money was spent trying to keep the road passable.

    Nowadays, Camp Reno is accessible from FR 409, directly accross Hwy 188 from Punkin Center. We came out North of there, and slabbed it down to FR524.

    Unfortunately, this road put is on the wrong side of the canyon from the camp, up on a mesa of sorts. We looked for a way to cross, but my heavy bike and a rare flash of common sense led us to roll down the road to FR 409 which affords easy access to the camp area. (Easy for big bikes too. If you want to visit yourself, slab it to Punkin Center and take the dirt road FR409 the short distance to the camp sign.)

    We found it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are some foundations around, several stone walls, and this rusty bucket

    [​IMG]

    Reidy scouted for renegades

    [​IMG]

    We explored the camp, taking some shortcuts along the way. Careful there...

    [​IMG]

    I know we parked somewhere around here

    [​IMG]

    Are you sure we came through here?

    [​IMG]

    We think this was the foundation of the general store, which was the most prominent feature of Camp Reno.

    [​IMG]

    Ah, I knew we'd find them

    [​IMG]

    The trail out
    [​IMG]

    If you want to read more about Camp Reno, I thought this was a good article http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2007/may/29/the_end_of/

    We then decided to go back up to FR524 since the signs said it was open for the first 5 miles. But first, I found a rather large nail in the trail

    [​IMG]

    did I say nail? I meant spike!

    [​IMG]

    I shoulda brought a bigger patch

    [​IMG]

    Fixed, and back on the trail

    [​IMG]

    Mt. Ord from the South

    [​IMG]

    It was around here somewhere that we found a "Road Closed" sign, so we stopped because we never, ever disobey signs. If it had been permissible, and IF we would have continued onward, I'm sure we would have seen some magnificent scenery, but as I said before, we turned around at the closed sign. Here are some random trail shots up to that point.

    Sweeping vista

    [​IMG]

    From whence we came

    [​IMG]

    And the trail ahead

    [​IMG]

    If we could have continued, my map says this road would take us back to hwy 87 where we would have had to squeeze past an industrial strength gate, but luckily we didn't do that.

    Another perfect Arizona day of riding.
    #1
  2. Reidy008

    Reidy008 I,m in if we go fast

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,936
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Good report mate. The old fort area was cool to find. Riding some new trails was awesome.
    #2
  3. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,892
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    Great pics. always love those shots of XR650L's:D
    #3
  4. Jesse Luggage

    Jesse Luggage Out riding the world

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    Sunny Arizona
    :thumb Nice.
    #4
  5. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    Solsberry, IN
    Neat stuff. I've never been out that directiion.
    #5
  6. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,478
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    great looking ride, guys! gotta love the exploration rides.
    #6
  7. jpaxx

    jpaxx Rider

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Nice report. Great picts.
    #7
  8. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Wickenburg AZ
    Great report.... :clap
    Now that was a "hell-of-a-nail" ! ! !
    I knocked my mirror off my XR4 yesterday, 1st time, however windshield was only badly bent. So... that means I was then riding a 1/2 little or 1/2 big bike?
    Thanks for posting the pic's, enjoyed 'em.
    #8
  9. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    579
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    You may have found the perfect size bike! If it seems too big, knock something off!
    #9
  10. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Wickenburg AZ
    :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #10
  11. Slowred

    Slowred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Arizona
    Great RR AZRedline! :clap

    Thanks for taking us along.
    #11
  12. Reidy008

    Reidy008 I,m in if we go fast

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,936
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Have you ridden that 690 yet?
    #12
  13. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,853
    Location:
    North Phoenix
    Nice report Steve! That looks like a fun time you two had. I had to go shopping...............:puke2
    #13
  14. ZEmann

    ZEmann want to be riding

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    659
    Location:
    Arizona
    thanks !
    :freaky
    #14
  15. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,011
    Location:
    Sunny Phoenix, AZ
    Excellent!
    #15
  16. pfdskipper

    pfdskipper Westside Trash

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, Az
    That's tough country for sure. I have unpleasant memories from a southerly approach to the same area, via the peaks. Could you tell if there was any link-up with the road through Edwards Park from where you were forced to abandon your route? I never encountered road closure signs from the south but mother nature had done some closing of her own that stopped me short of the target.

    Nice write up, thx for sharing.
    #16
  17. Reidy008

    Reidy008 I,m in if we go fast

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,936
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    I know we saw a few trails heading south but no idea if they link up. WOuld be up for another exploration ride if needed.
    #17
  18. azredline

    azredline Wobbly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    579
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I think the Arizona Trail may link up from the south and hit Reno Road. I'd like to take the mountain bike up and try to get through. (Area seems to be open for hikers, horses and mt bikes, closed for motorized.)

    Looking at the AZ Gazetteer, taking trails 69 to 68 to 66 would get you from El Oso road up on 4 Peaks right to old Camp Reno. I bet that is a "Mutha" though! Definitely GPS country! Probably more of a hiking route than M/C due to wilderness areas and super large boulder fields.

    I don't recall seeing any offshoots on Reno road, but there were a couple of trails/roads at the Camp Reno end that we didn't try. Hmmmm.

    I'm not familiar with Edwards Park, but I see an Edwards Peak on the map. Nearby?
    #18
  19. Slowred

    Slowred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Arizona
    Yep. It's got a few shorter trips on it now. Still getting used to the bigger bike on dirt. I even laid it down once to knock the new off it.:D
    #19
  20. pfdskipper

    pfdskipper Westside Trash

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,254
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, Az
    Edwards Peak is adjacent to Edwards Park. You reach E Park via fs road 422. The road starts up top by the towers on four peaks, heads due north, ending at Edwards Park, 11 or so angry, brutal miles later. It also can be a very icy stretch of road this time of the year. After looking at G.Earth, it appears that the trail-head that begins at Edwards Park, leads right to where your road was blocked. I think its been closed to vehicle traffic since the last big burn. I'd wager the untried roads you mention tied into the 422 some time in the past, before the closures???
    I was hoping for an alternative route without going back to Oso rd, It appears to be a no-go unfortunately. I might be on an archery hunt there in Jan, I'll verify and report back.
    #20