Top 7 Off-Road 4×4 Trails & Areas To Explore In Arizona: User-Sourced Reference

5th Gen 4Runner On Arizona Off-Road Trail

Explore Arizona Through These 4×4 Trails Rated For All Skill Levels

Welcome to the heart of the American Southwest, Arizona! With its diverse and rugged landscapes, Arizona is a haven for many off-road enthusiasts. From the famous red rocks of Sedona to the state’s vast deserts, there are a plethora of adventures suitable for all levels of off-roaders.

Last time, we covered trails and areas to off-road near Moab.

In this post, we bring you a selection of trails shared by Arizona locals. Whether you’re looking for rock crawling or playing in the sand, there’s something here for everyone!

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Each week, we cover new areas across the country to highlight the top off-road & overland trails.

Note: The list below is in no particular order.

1. Seven Springs – Cave Creek

5th Gen 4Runner At Seven Springs In Cave Creek, Arizona

Submission By: Andrew (@drt.rnr)

Tell Us About The Trail

I grew up exploring this area with friends on dirt bikes and quads. Now that I have a 4Runner, it has been my go-to area for off-roading due to the vast amount of side trails you can take and explore.

Seven Springs is a super beautiful area with tons of scenery and wildlife. I have even stumbled upon an abandoned mine shaft and remains of an old stone cabin, so you never know what’s going to pop up on your adventure out there.

Even though I have been there so many times, I still have so many parts of Seven Springs to go and explore!

What Would You Rate It?

Since this area has so many trails, I’d say it depends on where you are going. You can find anything from 2/10 all the way up to 6/10. Some easygoing parts require only 2WD while more technical parts require some experience.

With that being said, there are areas that are great for beginners and experienced riders alike. I would suggest mapping out your adventure before heading down if you don’t have a very built rig.

2. Sedona Area

5th Gen 4Runner Off-Roading Near Sedona, Arizona

Submission By: Courtney (@ninja_4r)

Tell Us About The Trail

Sedona has it all, including my top three favorite trails in Arizona:

  • Broken Arrow
  • Diamondback Gulch
  • Soldier’s Pass

All three include unique, unmatched views of Sedona’s red rocks as well as fun off-roading with even a couple of challenging obstacles.

What Would You Rate It?

I’d rate all of these trails of moderate difficulty, let’s say 4-5/10. Although Broken Arrow has side shoots for those who want more of a challenge, the majority of the main routes are moderate and even the most simply modified 4×4 vehicle can conquer them.

3. Bull Dog Run – Apache Junction

4th Gen 4Runner On Bull Dog Run In Apache Junction, Arizona

Submission By: Chris (@az_prerunner)

Tell Us About The Trail

I enjoy this area because it is easy to get to, and is 2WD accessible as long as you air down. The trail goes from hard compact dirt and rocks to soft sand and whoops which are a lot of fun to hit in a prerunner. It is also a beautiful place for pictures.

What Would You Rate It?

I would rate this trail a 2-3/10. You could easily take your stock 4WD truck and make it through without any issues. However, it does get a bit trickier in the soft sand areas, so you have to keep up your momentum and stay in a lower gear. Bring some recovery gear just in case!

4. Florence Box Canyon – Florence

3rd Gen Tacoma On Florence Box Canyon In Florence, Arizona

Submission By: Nicholas (@nickg_trd)

Tell Us About The Trail

I absolutely love Florence Box Canyon. It has some of the most scenic views I’ve experienced in Arizona. The trail itself is a vast open landscape with lots of side shoots and the opportunity to test out your rig in the more technical areas.

If you haven’t been here, you’re missing out! It has some of the most colorful and phenomenal stretches of canyons I’ve ever been through!

What Would You Rate It?

Overall, I would say that this is a (3-4/10) and any stock 4×4 should be able to get through. If you proceed through the waterfall section and continue on, lifts, tires, rock sliders, and skids are highly encouraged!

Of course, like many areas, there are offshoots you can do that range in more challenging difficulties which can definitely cause body damage if you aren’t careful. This is a stunning trail ride for the bucket list!

5. Bulldog Canyon – Apache Junction

5th Gen 4Runner on Bulldog Canyon in Apache Junction, Arizona

Submission By: Kathleen (@goldentrailz)

Tell Us About The Trail

This trail is close to home and the Superstition Mountains. It’s surrounded by Tonto National Forest land, the Arizona State Trust land, and BLM. There is something for everyone – beauty, nature, and hiking. My dogs and I spend a lot of time out here hiking and enjoying the landscape. There’s so much to explore! Another part of this area borders the Salt River which is absolutely stunning.

Overall, it’s pretty easily accessible but you will need a State Trust Land permit and Bulldog Canyon Permit as well. If you want to spend the night here, you can camp anywhere past the first mile.

What Would You Rate It?

I’d give it a rating of 2-3/10. Having tackled trails in the Southwest, I think this one is great for beginners to get a taste of off-roading but also offers optional challenges for those more experienced.

6. Copper Creek Mine Trail System – Mammoth

3rd Gen Tacomas On Copper Creek Mine Trail System In Mammoth, Arizona

Submission By: Rob (@wind_chillin_taco)

Tell Us About The Trail

This is my favorite spot in Arizona because of the incredible views. It has excellent views of the various mountain ranges surrounding the historic area. The scenery is particularly incredible in the spring and during the monsoon season.

There are also so many trails and routes between waypoints and if you look carefully, you’ll catch signs of the old mining operation.

What Would You Rate It?

The difficulty level is extremely wide in range, including simple fire roads to steep rock-strewn climbs. As an overall average, I’d say a 4/10 in difficulty. There are plenty of switchbacks up the mountains and refreshing water crossings where you can stop and eat lunch.

The difficulty is beyond the terrain challenging man and machine, it’s also hard to remain focused as you crest a hill or come around a corner because you have to fight the urge to just look around at the dramatic scenes… “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE TRAIL!” – Wife.

7. Bulldog Canyon OHV – Apache Junction

Bulldog Canyon OHV - Apache Junction, Arizona

Submission By: Kena (@adventures.with_pearl)

Tell Us About The Trail

With over 20 miles of rough and rocky dirt roads and a Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Permit in hand, you can leave your big city concerns behind and get lost in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. When you think of needing a forest permit to enter the gates of this location, forget eyeing tall ponderosa pines and get ready for canyon walls and lots of Saguaro Cacti.

Bulldog displays some of the finest natural beauty that only the Sonoran Desert can offer. Every experience here grants vistas of the Goldfield Mountains, Superstitions, and if you are a proper boy/girl scout regarding navigation, a chance to unwind next to the Salt River. Be mindful of the wild horses running past or drinking from the river alongside you.

Bulldog Canyon was one of the first places I tested out my 4Runner’s limits and learned many of the foundational blocks of off-roading and trail etiquette. I can’t believe I can feel so isolated (during the weekday) traversing over rocks and ruts yet only a few miles from two cities in the Phoenix area.

The challenges, views, ability to change things up by simply entering any of the 5 gates, and the isolation yet proximity to major cities are what make Bulldog Canyon one of my favorite places to test my 4Runner’s suspension and my kidneys over the wayward geology.

What Would You Rate It?

Each passing monsoon season has changed this trail’s terrain enough to be categorized from easy to moderately challenging adventure. Because of this, it can range from a 2/10 to a 6/10. Want to show off what your 4Runner can do? Bulldog Canyon OHV area includes offshoots full of obstacles to conquer while displaying your rig’s under-bits as you three-wheel up or down various inclines.

Final Thoughts

Copper Creek Mine Trail System in Mammoth, Arizona

That wraps up this week’s post!

Arizona has some of the most beautiful desert scenery in all of the country. There are also so many different areas for anyone to explore. Whether you’re new to off-roading or have been doing it for years, you’ll be sure to find something!

Be sure to come back next week, we’ll be covering fan-favorite trails in Eastern Washington!

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Mike
Mike
6 months ago

You have the same trail listed 3 times, So much more to the state. How about El Camino Del Diablo

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