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Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Martinez Canyon 4x4 Trail, Arizona


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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 11.7 miles / 18.8 km
Duration: Half day
Overview: IMPORTANT NOTICE: This trail has been closed after the turn for the Coke Ovens at Point #8. It is now necessary to hike in about 1.6 miles to the start of the loop. Absolutely stunning scenery, including remarkably intact Martinez Mill. This is an environmentally sensitive area; stay on the trail at all times. Open all year except a few weeks a year when military training exercises are in progress. Dates of closure are posted at the main entrance at Cottonwood Canyon Road and Mineral Mountain Road. The area is closed if red flags are flying. A State Trust Land permit is required to ride in this area. Call 602-364-2753 for details.


Difficult and dangerous. Extremely steep with technically challenging rock obstacles. The most dangerous part, called “The Luge,” is akin to driving off a cliff. This trail is for experts only. Turn around at the top of the loop to avoid “The Luge.” Stock SUVs can make it to the top of the #7 Scenic High Point.

This trail is one of 75 trails from the book, Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, by Charles Wells, and is available at This trail is also in FunTreks ATV Trails Guide Arizona Phoenix Region.

Tips: Carry spare parts and travel with other well-equipped vehicles. Carry water and sun protection. Notify someone where you are. Make sure to carry a State Trust Land Permit.

Trail conditions can change without notice. FunTreks, Inc. and its owner and employees are not responsible for injury, death, or vehicle damage as a result of using this guide. The content of this guide is the property of FunTreks, Inc. and is made available to the user pursuant to EveryTrail’s Terms of Service (

Points of Interest


Start Here

This is a convenient place to start. It is the intersection of two major county roads. Your phone directions will get you to this point. Head south from here on Mineral Mountain Road. Follow the tracklog as roads and wash bottoms mingle together and it can be confusing at times.

Decision Point

Right here follows the canyon bottom. It is mostly easy except for one giant rocky ledge that many will find difficult. Stock SUVs with low ground clearance should not go this way. Left follows high points around the canyon. It is narrow and steep in places, but fairly easy. It is also more scenic.

Giant Ledge

This spot looks worse than it is. The easiest line goes down the right (west) side. Not for vehicles with low ground clearance.

Bypass route rejoins

Main route and higher bypass route come back together here.

Old Stage Stop

Although rapidly deteriorating, this used to be and old stage stop. Note remnants of an old well.

Important intersection

Make sharp left turn here and climb hill. This way goes to Martinez Canyon and the Coke Ovens. Straight heads into Box Canyon. (Available as eGuide from FunTreks on EveryTrail.)

Scenic High Point

Low-clearance SUV should stop here at this scenic high point marked by a cattle guard.

Key Intersection

Stay left here for Martinez Canyon. Right goes to Coke Ovens (available as FunTreks eGuide on EveryTrail.

Martinez Cabin

Historical cabin has significantly deteriorated over the last few years. Stay left of the cabin and continue on road.

Start of Loop

Stay right here and begin loop. You'll come back down the steep road you see on the left.

Martinez Mill

You'll wind through a narrow canyon with some difficult spots and arrive at the fantastic Martinez Mill. Stay in the bottom of the canyon going under part of the mill. Please note that our tracklog is off somewhat through this section due to GPS signal bouncing off the canyon walls. Just stay in the bottom of the canyon. After more rough obstacles, you begin to climb out of the canyon on series of steep switchbacks. Just follow the road.

Top of Loop

You reach high point at top of loop and start back down. Trail is very steep in places.

The Luge

Extremely steep and dangerous obstacle. Like driving off a cliff. Don't lock up your brakes or you'll slide sideways and lose control. Allow your wheels to turn to maintain steering control. You return to start of loop at the bottom of the hill. Right goes out the way you came in.
Pictures in this guide taken by: FunTreks, FunTreks

Copyright 2011 FunTreks, Inc

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