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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI guys, let me start by apologizing for the long thread, and I thank anyone reading this thing in full in advance.

so I'm taking the wife and kids (6y, 3y and 3mo..) on a roadtrip across AZ (mainly to convince my wife to move to AZ... but don't tell her I said that :whistling:).

I'm hoping to take them on some easy trails/roads, cuz since we are with a very young one, I don't want to do any thing dumb(er)

I'm looking for 4 types of input:

1. Is the road smooth enough so the baby's heads doesn't bounce all over the place and is easy enough to do in a pretty much stocked Rubicon (has budget boost and extra skids plate, but I think none of them will be needed)

2. If any one is interested in joining us, as we would love to meet some fellow jeepers (just plz keep in mind we are driving with kids, so we take our time, have to stop to feed the baby etc etc)

3. Any recommendations on good spots on the way (I'm an avid photographer)

4. Last but not least , who do you recommend we call in case we get stuck while off the pavement. I'm an AAA Premier RV member, but I'm not sure AAA will come for me on those trails (although I'd be very happy to be wrong). I know travelling alone is not the best thing to do, so I want to be as prepared as possible in case no one joins us.

So with further adieu, Here are the roads I've planned, along with the dates I expect to drive them. I'll add print screen of the trails off of Google earth in case it helps anyone understand what the hell am I talking about (all taken from Funtreks's Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails):


June 13th - do the "back way to Mt Lemon", We'll be Starting at Tucson and finishing in Oracle

June 14th or 15th (TBD) -Based off of Phoenix, we'll do either the trail to Apache Lake (with a stop at the Marina for lunch and some time for the kids to swim) Or Montana Tail loop

June 16th - Senator Highway to Crown King and on to Prescott

June 17th - Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona (keeping in mind photography is a big ting for me, what time of the day would you recommend we do this drive, and in what direction ?)

June 23rd - one of the following trails (or hopefully more then one...) Fire Point and Timp Point, Saddle Mountain Road or Point Sublime (although that one is marked as moderated, so I'm a bit more concerned going there, which is too bad cuz that Sublime has been om my list for a while now)


So to those of you that read this all thing, I'd greatly appreciate it if you please let me know if you think the roads will be good for us , if you'd like to join, if you have any recommendations for things to do on the route, and if you have any idea who should I contact if I get stuck.
 

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All of those are easily doable in a Jeep and basically just fire roads... Keep in mind that our road conditions change a lot depending on when the road was last dragged. Most all fire roads out here get wash boarded pretty quickly. If you want to minimize that, you need to be able to air down. Do you have a compressor?

Something like this in the back for when you are done with a trail would make the trip much more enjoyable. I use the 400P.

VIAIR - VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor Kit - 40043 | 4WheelParts.com

VIAIR - VIAIR Air Down Gauge - 32 | 4WheelParts.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All of those are easily doable in a Jeep and basically just fire roads... Keep in mind that our road conditions change a lot depending on when the road was last dragged. Most all fire roads out here get wash boarded pretty quickly. If you want to minimize that, you need to be able to air down. Do you have a compressor?

Something like this in the back for when you are done with a trail would make the trip much more enjoyable. I use the 400P.

VIAIR - VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor Kit - 40043 | 4WheelParts.com

VIAIR - VIAIR Air Down Gauge - 32 | 4WheelParts.com
Thanks pressurized. I did get a compressor especially for this trip. Not as expensive, but one that can do 33" tires (im still have stock tires on)

What would be a good psi to go down too?

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks pressurized. I did get a compressor especially for this trip. Not as expensive, but one that can do 33" tires (im still have stock tires on)

What would be a good psi to go down too?

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
For fire roads, I go down to 15-16psi. You could probably go lower, but it's just to soften the ride a little...

Also, if you are looking at Apache Trail, consider the Four Peaks Trail over to the lake and Apache Trail on the way back. It makes a nice loop. And always fun to eat at Tortilla Flat on the Apache Trail. You could go either way...
 

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June 17th - Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona (keeping in mind photography is a big ting for me, what time of the day would you recommend we do this drive, and in what direction ?)
I just got back from a week in Sedona, so it's all still fresh on my mind.
We stayed in the big RV park right ON Schnebly Hill Road and that was our first 'trail' for the week.. It's basically a fire road with only one or 2 mildly rough spots (both very small/short). We saw several stock SUV's and full-sized (2WD) trucks up there and I dont think any of them had any issues.

We started on the Sedona Hwy 89 side and drove up to the "top" not far from hwy 17 and turned around and came back - if you go all the way through, it's a long way to get back to where you started from via either highway, so up and then back out may be better.
Near the top there is a parking/camping area with a little dirt road turnout that loops out a couple of miles and comes back to Schnebly Road - I think it's road 153A - it has a beautiful view of the entire canyon and Sedona - it's a bit rougher than the fire road but nothing bad - might be worth it for the view.

The BEST view of Schnebly is coming "down" (from 17 toward 89, aka top to bottom) because you have all the beautiful scenery right in front of you the whole time (instead of in your rear view mirror) - but if you only go UP, just stop and get out a few times and you can still see everything. Early morning or late afternoon would be best for lighting - but beware that from the top, looking down, you're looking west so in late afternoon you'll be looking right into the sun if you are trying to photograph the panoramic views.. BUT, if you drive down a little further and look back up, the views of the canyon would be beautiful with the light at your back. Light-wise, there is no bad time (except maybe high noon).

The Broken Arrow Trail is nearby, but if you are worried about the 'bumpy' factor, you might want to stay away - it's not bad, but if you have a cryiing baby in the back, or worse, and nagging baby-mother in the passenger seat, it would not be fun. "Greasy Spoon" is also not far, and it's 96% fire-road except for 2 very steep and rough/rocky hills.. But not much scenery and compared to Schnebly Hill Rd, it's ugly.

Since you're in the area, another neat place to hit might be Jerome - If you drive allll the way up past the (way too crowded) 'town' and go to the "ghost town", which is actually the junk yard of the big mine you can pay $4 and walk around and see all of their old equipment, buildings, old trucks/cars, etc. It's really neat if you're into that kind of stuff.

We didnt get a lot of video while we were there (normally making videos is the whole point of our trips but we were on 'vacation') - but we managed to put together these clips. Most of the beautiful shots in this video were on Schnebly Rd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For fire roads, I go down to 15-16psi. You could probably go lower, but it's just to soften the ride a little...

Also, if you are looking at Apache Trail, consider the Four Peaks Trail over to the lake and Apache Trail on the way back. It makes a nice loop. And always fun to eat at Tortilla Flat on the Apache Trail. You could go either way...
Thank you,

Id love to get some more information about the four peaks trail, most importantly whether u think its easy enough for a pretty newb driver.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just got back from a week in Sedona, so it's all still fresh on my mind.
We stayed in the big RV park right ON Schnebly Hill Road and that was our first 'trail' for the week.. It's basically a fire road with only one or 2 mildly rough spots (both very small/short). We saw several stock SUV's and full-sized (2WD) trucks up there and I dont think any of them had any issues.

We started on the Sedona Hwy 89 side and drove up to the "top" not far from hwy 17 and turned around and came back - if you go all the way through, it's a long way to get back to where you started from via either highway, so up and then back out may be better.
Near the top there is a parking/camping area with a little dirt road turnout that loops out a couple of miles and comes back to Schnebly Road - I think it's road 153A - it has a beautiful view of the entire canyon and Sedona - it's a bit rougher than the fire road but nothing bad - might be worth it for the view.

The BEST view of Schnebly is coming "down" (from 17 toward 89, aka top to bottom) because you have all the beautiful scenery right in front of you the whole time (instead of in your rear view mirror) - but if you only go UP, just stop and get out a few times and you can still see everything. Early morning or late afternoon would be best for lighting - but beware that from the top, looking down, you're looking west so in late afternoon you'll be looking right into the sun if you are trying to photograph the panoramic views.. BUT, if you drive down a little further and look back up, the views of the canyon would be beautiful with the light at your back. Light-wise, there is no bad time (except maybe high noon).

The Broken Arrow Trail is nearby, but if you are worried about the 'bumpy' factor, you might want to stay away - it's not bad, but if you have a cryiing baby in the back, or worse, and nagging baby-mother in the passenger seat, it would not be fun. "Greasy Spoon" is also not far, and it's 96% fire-road except for 2 very steep and rough/rocky hills.. But not much scenery and compared to Schnebly Hill Rd, it's ugly.

Since you're in the area, another neat place to hit might be Jerome - If you drive allll the way up past the (way too crowded) 'town' and go to the "ghost town", which is actually the junk yard of the big mine you can pay $4 and walk around and see all of their old equipment, buildings, old trucks/cars, etc. It's really neat if you're into that kind of stuff.

We didnt get a lot of video while we were there (normally making videos is the whole point of our trips but we were on 'vacation') - but we managed to put together these clips. Most of the beautiful shots in this video were on Schnebly Rd.
That is a super cool video. Very very nice.

I noticed the ,milkeyway time lapse, and i love shooting nightscapes (timing my whole trip around moonless skies, so, and i know this ,ight not be the right forum for this, but if you have good suggestion to where i can go do night (or sunshine/sunset) photography from, i would love to hear about it.

As far as your advice regarding driving Schnebly rd up and down, that was my tought excatelly. Not sure i want to do anything rougher with a 3 mo old (more worried about his neck then his crying) so going up and down is like driving 2 trails... any idea on how long should i budget to do that? Driv time, not including stops (as i guess each ones stop change. Im the one that like to take his time taking pictures). And how long to drive from town to the best susnet spot on the trail, just in case we want to jump in and go see the sunset?

Im hoping to do both that drive, and some senic, but not too crazy hike with the kids [although i already made them hike the 6mile "skyline loop" in mt Rainier last year. My old one walked the whole thing, on carried the middle one (2 at the time) on my shoulders the whole way, and my wife carried the little one the entire trip, in her belly...:lmao: , he was MINUS 7 month at the time... )], anyway, if you have any output about where t tske them hiking that will be awsome too, then i can figure if to do the hike, or the ride, first.

Thanks again, I'm off to look your channel up on youtube, cheers!

Also, photography wise
 

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Thank you,

Id love to get some more information about the four peaks trail, most importantly whether u think its easy enough for a pretty newb driver.

Thanks
Yes, super easy. I see small SUV's on it all the time. It drops you off at the west end of Roosevelt lake. If you just go east a ways, you will get to the Roosevelt Dam and that's where the Apache Trail begins and takes you back to Apache Junction.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/four-peaks-4x4-road
 
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if you have good suggestion to where i can go do night (or sunshine/sunset) photography from, i would love to hear about it.
Anywhere! Up at the end of Airport Rd (at the airport) would give you great sunrise views.. Anywhere on Schnebly Rd would give you great Sunset views.. Heck, the gas station parking lot would give you decent views!

As far as your advice regarding driving Schnebly rd up and down any idea on how long should i budget to do that? Driv time, not including stops (as i guess each ones stop change. Im the one that like to take his time taking pictures). And how long to drive from town to the best susnet spot on the trail, just in case we want to jump in and go see the sunset?
If I recall we took 4 or 5 hours to go up, then back down Schnebly - but we stopped several times for photos, lunch, etc.. We also took the more difficult loop near the top which was at least an hour.
From Town, I dont think anyplace is more than 20 minutes away.


if you have any output about where t tske them hiking that will be awsome too, then i can figure if to do the hike, or the ride, first.
Although we ended up not making it (too much Jeeping, not enough time for hiking!), check out Devils Trail Bridge, and be sure to bring your camera.
 

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For fire roads, I go down to 15-16psi. You could probably go lower, but it's just to soften the ride a little...

Also, if you are looking at Apache Trail, consider the Four Peaks Trail over to the lake and Apache Trail on the way back. It makes a nice loop. And always fun to eat at Tortilla Flat on the Apache Trail. You could go either way...
I second Four Peaks over Apache Trail. Those washboards on Apache make it not so enjoyable, and they stretch for what seems like 5-10 miles haha.
 

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Thank you,

Id love to get some more information about the four peaks trail, most importantly whether u think its easy enough for a pretty newb driver.

Thanks
Four Peaks is plenty easy enough. I did it when my Sport JKU was stock. I dont even recall a obstacle in the trail. I havent been up there since before winter though so maybe someone else just did that run more recently can give a conditions update.

Its a good trail with lots of spots to stop and look at scenery or just to take a break. It takes you from the low desert to the high desert and even into the pines.
 

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Four Peaks is plenty easy enough. I did it when my Sport JKU was stock. I dont even recall a obstacle in the trail. I haven't been up there since before winter though so maybe someone else just did that run more recently can give a conditions update.

Its a good trail with lots of spots to stop and look at scenery or just to take a break. It takes you from the low desert to the high desert and even into the pines.
Feel so dumb now... Just noticed I have Four peaks in my guide book...

We'll be heading out to that area tomorrow morning. Wife still wants to do Apache trail for a chance to let the kids have some time in the lake. My preference, just from judging from the pictures in the book, is actually the Montana Mountain trail, but first I need to figure if there are any fire restrictions in the any of those areas..

Like I said, we'll be heading out there tomorrow morning, so any last minute advice will be great.

Thanks!!

Mati (and the gang)

{attached is a picture coming down the backdoor to MT Lemon we did yesterday)
 

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