Southern Arizona Border Roads

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    New Edition! More Photos! More Tall Tales! Read all about it beginning on PAGE 7 POST 95!
    With a Special Guest Appearance!

    Southern Arizona is one part of my home state I have not spent much time exploring. During the heat of the summer months I have always looked forward to escaping the heat by heading north. With the cooler temperatures and a new to me 990 Adventure, I'm itching to get off the beaten path to see what Southern Arizona has to offer.

    Here's a few teaser shots to get started;


    From the Arizona Department of Tourism...
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    ...There's nothing to see here...
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    ...No History...
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    ...It's always dry...
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    ...dusty...
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    ...HOT...
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    ...Just Rocks...
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    ...and Cacti...
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    Stay Away! :smile6
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Beautiful ride! :thumb Thanks for the sunny pics :rayof
    #2
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Location:
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    After nearly an hour of riding I'm finally out of the Phoenix Metro and into the desert.

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    Gonzalez Pass, US 60
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    I then ride south on the SR 177 from Superior towards Kearny
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    For some reason I haven't ridden this road in about 9 years. I forgot all about the wonderful ribbon of asphalt.
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    I pass the ASARCO Ray Mine. The roadway curves right along the edge. I should have stopped at the overlook, but am worried about making good time. I'm not sure how rough the roads will become on the route I have planned...
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    I do stop to get a couple shots of the BIG DUMPTRUCKS!
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    This brought back memories of days playing in the dirt with my Big Yellow TONKA truck as a kid.
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    I get caught up in a group of Sunday riders.
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    I make it past San Manuel where the asphalt ends on Redington Road.
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    #3
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Redington Road is a fairly easy ride with about 50 miles of gravel.
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    It's a little rough and loose at times.
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    Redington Road follows the San Pedro River to Redington then heads southwest towards Tucson. I continued southeast on Cascabel Road also along the same river. It is mostly desert, but also passed alot of ranches and private homes. I saw several groups of DS bikes racing the opposite direction on Redington Road.
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    About 10 miles before reaching I-10 the asphalt returned.
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    I grabbed a late lunch in Benson then continued south on SR 90.
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    At a gas station in Sierra Vista I took note of some advancements in transportation technology...:smile6
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    #4
  5. Desertbilly

    Desertbilly Long timer

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    Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
    Thanks, I haven't done Reddington Road, and I've wondered about it.
    #5
  6. foster

    foster Huh?

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    Thanks for the photos. Nice area that I really need to revisit!
    #6
  7. Utah Bones

    Utah Bones Gas X ready!

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    Brain in Utah but homeless in Wisconsin....
    Great photo's.
    #7
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Location:
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    I make it to "The Mexican Border Road" and head west into the Coronado National Monument.
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    60 miles to go. The skies look a little ominous and I've already had a little light rain.
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    The last line of this sign should read, "unless heavily armed". (At least that's what I said to make myself feel a little better.):2guns
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    There is a very twisty and rough road to the top of Montezuma Pass.

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    There were several tourists making the drive to the top of the pass, but no one heading west down the other side.
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    The road is a little easier heading west. Mexico can be seen to the left.
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    Lochiel Road was a wonderful gravel road in a rough remote area. I saw maybe 4-3 other vehicles between Montezuma Pass and Nogales.
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    The first European Explorer to enter Arizona apparently passed through here.
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    Fray Marcos de Niza was born in Nice (de Niza = of Nice) in 1495. He came to America in 1531 and served in Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. He was chosen to explore the area north of Sonora. He left Culiacan in March 1539 and returned in September. He was 44 years old. Fray Marcos de Niza crossed Southeastern Arizona to northern New Mexico. He returned and reported he had discovered the Seven Cities of Cibola. He claimed they had seen a city far away where the people used dishes of gold and silver, decorated their homes with turquoise, and had gigantic gems. His report led Franciisco Vazquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition to the Zuni Pueblo the following year. Fray Marcos de Niza was the guide for Coronado's Expedition. The expedition proved to be a great disappointment and he returned to Mexico in shame. Fray Marcos de Niza died in 1558.

    Many historians now believe the mica-infected walls of the adobe pueblos when viewed from a distance may have created an optical illusion when inflamed by the setting sun fueling the tale of the Seven Cities of Cibola y Quivara.

    This monument can be found just west of Lochiel, which is a ghost town on the border with only a few residents remaining.

    I was saddened to see the monument not being maintained. After I left I wished I had taken a few minutes to pull weeds and clean the area up a little. Perhaps the advrider community can adopt this monument of a fellow adventurer/explorer. I know I will do more the next time I pass through.

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    The big KTM loved this road. :ricky
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    Nogales is in the valley ahead.
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    I was happy to make it to the highway north of Nogales before nightfall. I prefer to camp in the rough, but didn't think doing so alone this close to the border was a good idea.

    The rain held off, for now...

    I ran about 19 miles north to Patagonia Lake State Park. I was prepared to pay for camping, but found this sign...

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    Does this make it free if you're not here at 9? :confused
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    I was surpised to find free showers with hot water! This is not common at Arizona campgrounds. I wasn't prepared, but it is amazing how dry you can get with 1 small shop towel...:scratch

    I cooked dinner and climbed into bed.
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    #8
  9. sixer

    sixer I suffer from Ainrofilac

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

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    Nice!!
    #10
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    It rained almost all night. I slept well and stayed dry. I grabbed a few shots of the campground and lake before breaking camp.
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    I gas up north of Nogales and head west to Ruby Road.
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    The clouds are parting and the roads are drying. It' gonna be a great day for riding.
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    The Big KTM and it's rider enjoy this road!
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    After passing Pena Blanca Lake the road turns to rough gravel. The next 20 miles are rough, twisty, scenic, and remote.
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    More Ruby Road to follow...
    #11
  12. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    Nice report. You are in my back yard. Nice to see it through someone else's eyes.

    keep it coming.
    #12
  13. Dirty POG

    Dirty POG Been here awhile

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    Austin, TX
    The American South West is a beautiful country. Fantastic Report and wonderful pictures.:D
    #13
  14. Jedediah

    Jedediah Been here awhile

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    Dave5263,

    Nice report so far and look FWD to more.

    Arizona is a magical place. I can imagine the enjoyment you experianced on your adventure. Nice KTM by the way!

    Jed.
    #14
  15. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Wonderful photos! I specially love the movement and angle shots, makes me feel as if I'm right there too. How I miss AZ!!! Scenery brings back lots of good camping memories.
    :norton
    #15
  16. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

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    headed down that way next month with friend from rio verde......good preview and research....Bruce
    #16
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Border Patrol was the only traffic. The overnight rain kept the dust down. There was no mud or water in the wash crossings as I had feared.

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    Courtesy of the U.S. Border Patrol.

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    The Border Patrol Officers were nice to chat with. One saw me shooting photos and stopped to ask if I wanted one with me in it. Not really, but sure...

    I remarked about the beautiful country he was lucky to work in. He pointed out, "Yeah sure, but when we get to chasing a group look how rough it is". Good point! Maybe that's why all the Officers I saw in this sector were very young. I surmised the senior agents are the one who get assigned to the deserts with ATVs.

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    Montana Peak
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    #17
  18. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

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    awesome ride man. Im going to be in AZ in may for a month. Im really interested in doing this ride. Would you mind posting the route on google maps or something? Where can i get maps of the dirt roads in the area. Im going to be staying in mesa, so id be heading out from there.
    #18
  19. ravenranger

    ravenranger rave

    Joined:
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    az
    Nice ride and report with great photos.
    BTW, the DS-ers you saw blasting up Redington as you were going down posted photos here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440617
    :D

    SAFTYFIFTH - check out gpsfiledepot to download a FREE digital topo map of Arizona. It's a good one with all the dirt roads on it. Plus you can load it on your GPS SD card.

    USGS paper maps can also be had from Summit Hut. Those also show all the dirt roads and trails. Plus the Coronado National Forest Map shows the roads detailed in this ride report.
    #19
  20. kanhulk13

    kanhulk13 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Switzerland
    Beautiful country...brings back memories! I'm still riding amongst snow here...

    Next time take a look at Kitt Peak (S of Tucson ; nice ride up, often snow at the top ; 26 astronomical observatories ; in the middle of an Indian reservation).

    Also, if memory serves me correctly when you are in San Manuel you can go up the back side of the mountain (Mt Lemmon) on gravel roads and at the top take asphalt down into east Tucson. Also a nice ride!
    #20