Location

  • Tiger Mine Trailhead to Freeman Road Trailhead

Length

  • 27.8 miles

Southern Trailhead: Tiger Mine Trailhead

Access

From the east entrance to the town of Oracle, drive 0.8 miles east on AZ 77 to mile marker 105 and turn left (north) onto Old Tiger Road. After 1.5 miles on this road, you’ll see an unmistakable Arizona Trail gateway on the left (north) side of the road. Parking is available on either side of the road.


Northern Trailhead: Freeman Road Trailhead

Access

From Mammoth, drive north on Hwy 77 to the town of Dudleyville. Turn left (west) on Dudleyville Road to the center of the community and locate San Pedro Road. Head west on San Pedro Road, where the road soon turns to dirt. Cross the San Pedro River (usually dry or very shallow) and then turn north at intersection and follow road north along the river (Camino Rio) for 0.5 mile. Turn left (west) on Freeman Road. Cross railroad tracks and continue for 12 miles to the trailhead.


Trail Route Description

Passage 14 meanders through the desert washes and arroyos of the Black Hills. This passage is characterized by ubiquitous cactus, sandy soil, and hot, dry weather, with springtime temperatures routinely topping 100 degrees! Extreme heat, lack of shade and unreliable water sources are the main challenges for visitors. Because of these challenges, the Black Hills are one of the least visited passages along the AZT.

Within this often overlooked, remote nature you will find outstanding opportunities for solitude, trail adventures, and relaxation under unobstructed desert skies. 

The trail follows both singletrack and doubletrack through a vast desert landscape, featuring the iconic saguaro cactus, prickly pear, and luminescent chollas, along with the quintessential desert sounds of the cactus wren. It crosses dirt roads, and passes by old cattle tanks, broken windmills, and abandoned wells. 

The trail traverses many drainages and unique rock formations, and provides panoramic views as it climbs up and over the ridgeline of the Black Hills. Antelope Peak is a prominent landmark, as are the Superstition and Pinal Mountains. To the east lie the entire Galiuro Mountains and the San Pedro River. To the south are the Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains. This vista illustrates just how expansive the Sonoran Desert is as it transitions from low to high desert.


Difficulty

  • Moderate

Season(s)


Water

Water sources are very limited along this passage. Water can sometimes be found at Mountainview Tank, Cowhead Well and Beehive Well. All man made water tanks and sources can only be used with the consent of the owner.


Notes/Warnings:

  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • Although this passage crosses State Trust Land, a permit is not required as long as you are on or near the Arizona Trail.

Resources

  • Map of Passage 14 
  • USGS Topographic Maps: Mammoth, North of Oracle, Putnam Wash and Black Mountain.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information


Current Passage Info

Training the Next Generation of Trail Stewards

Training the Next Generation of Trail Stewards

Coronado Youth Corps (CYC) is a paid trail internship program based in Tucson to engage high school age youth to maintain and improve the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT). American Conservation Experience (ACE) partnered with ATA to provide a special Trail Skills Institute class for 13 CYC members to learn about sustainable trail design and gain experience evaluating, maintaining, and building portions of the trail.    For their first outing we hiked 1.5 miles north from the Tiger Mine Trailhead to work on an overgrown corner of the trail at the first large wash crossing. CYC youth installed three drains, widened two switchbacks, removed brush, and built three large cairns to allow easier navigation and safe passage for all trail users.   CYC participants will complete two additional days of service work on the Coronado National Forest in April and May culminating with a 5-day outing this summer. For their final project we will camp and trek into the Arizona backcountry this summer with tools and equipment to work on the trail in the cool ponderosa pines.   CYC is funded through grants from the Coronado National Forest and Tucson Electric Power.
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