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Old 03-15-2016, 11:53 PM   #1
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Boulders/Hieroglyphic Mtns. OHV site and camping site.

Here is another Arizona camping site that has OHV trails. I mean a bunch of OHV trails. Many miles. This is where I first started riding OHV with my son five years ago when we acquired our first toys and were learning how to operate them. It is just a few miles northwest of Phoenix on Hw. 74, about 8 miles west of Lake Pleasant.

The camping area is on BLM land and there is no charge to camp there, I think there is a 14 day limit. There are no amenities except a flat camp site and one vault toilet. So bring full water tanks and trash bags to haul your refuse out. The one good amenity is the plethora of OHV trails. If you don't have a motorcycle, quad, side x side or small jeep, there is probably no reason to camp here except for the affordability. Here are some photos of the campsites, one dirt road mile north of the highway:

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Like I said, nothing fancy. In the middle photo you can see the lights of north Peoria in the background. The suburb is steadily marching north to Hw. 74, and because of dust control issues, I wonder how long OHV will be allowed here.

Most of the campsites are next to the access road, so they can get quite dusty. There are a few sites west of the road that can get you a little further away from the road dust.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:29 AM   #2
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Now lets talk about the real reason to go to the Boulders: the trails. This place has any type of desert trail you may desire. Smooth, flat sandy washes or steep, rocky, narrow single tracks. Also, this place has more "whoops" than anywhere else I have been. And just about everything in between. There is even an enclosed tot lot for the young beginners. There is also an old smooth mine haul road that is a good place for novices to practice speed upon.

And don't be like me. Wear all of your safety gear all the time here. This place can be deceptively challenging. On my first evening after setting up my camp, I decided to take my quad on a short scouting trip, just to refamiliarize myself with the area, since I hadn't been here for 3 years. So I wouldn't need my kneepads and elbow pads, I'll just take it easy. Yes, that is blood on my ripped favorite pants.

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Ok, you've been warned. Here are a few shots of some of the spectacular trails and desert scenery:

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Old 03-16-2016, 01:09 AM   #3
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So after injuring my knee and elbow the first day, and riding 33 miles (and getting a little lost) in the tough terrain north of the camp the second day, I was tired and decided to spend the third day riding the nice, smooth and fun sand washes. Very relaxing and easy. Great Arizona "beaches", who needs Pismo?

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So if you are looking for a OHV site that has a lot of variety, the Boulders is a good choice. And remember, this is central AZ, so don't try this in the summer (or late spring or early fall). Also, go on the web and print out a map before you go, because they never seem to have them available at the site. I took a photo of the maps at the kiosk for my phone, but it was almost impossible to read in the bright Sonoran sun when I needed it most out on the trails.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:57 PM   #4
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Nice write-up!
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
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Great report! Maybe we'll have to try the area and see if we like it. Much easier to get to than the old airstrip, it seems!
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:29 PM   #6
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Thanks, tg!


Yes Tim, the dirt road is one mile to the campsite, and it is a much better drive in a large class A moho than the 2.5 miles of hellish dirt road to the Airstrip by Lake Pleasant.
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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It's only 2.5 miles of dirt to the airstrip? Feels like 25!
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:53 PM   #8
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Yes Tim, I clocked the time and distance of the Airstrip dirt road segment. It took me 30 minutes to traverse that 2.5 miles. Using my rudimentary math abilities, I calculate a 5 mph average.

No wonder some yahoo in a F150 passed me and rudely swerved back in front of me much closer than necessary! Oh well, I still had fun
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