Beyond The Pavement- A Short Ride To Shiprock

Arizona isn’t just a big flat desert sprinkled with cactus and rattlesnakes and you don’t have to travel very far from where we are staying to see some pretty spectacular scenery.

Our last trail ride was a group ride with the local off-road club here at North Ranch in Congress AZ. Four rigs, two side-by-sides, our Jeep Wrangler and a vintage International Scout. After arriving at the trailhead parking area, while the side-by-sides unloaded off their trailers, the two of us aired down and readied for the ride.

The first stretch was a bit tight vegetation wise. In fact, Shari and I attempted this route last year. We opted to turn around instead of forcing our way through the scrub. Apparently our comfort level with rubbing bushes isn’t the same as a year ago, so we plowed on through blazing the trail for the Scout. In hindsight, he should have led us…he cuts a wider path and his vehicle is made of heavier gauge steel! Once thru the short stretch the trail opened up more and brush wasn’t a real concern. Except for a tree in the middle of a gate opening we had to go through. (Its in the video below.)

While there are more well known rock formations called Ship Rock, this isn’t one of them. While it is on most topography maps and labeled by name, it is worth venturing to see. It is located not too far off US Highway 93 north of Wickenburg with the trailhead just north of mile marker 166. This area is a mixture of State Land Trust, BLM and the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness.

Besides the rock formations there are more than just Shiprock, you be able to dip your toes into the Santa Maria River if its flowing which it was the day we were there. It helps that it rained a couple days prior to our visit. As with most areas of Arizona you will see and be able to wander around old mining claims. Two that we visited were the Big Stick and Homestake mines. Remember, mines are a dangerous places, we DO NOT recommend ever entering any of them!


Check out some of the highlights of the trip by watching this video…


Sharing is Caring

Subscribe to Virtually Ride Along ...

You'll get tips and updates as we post them and info to help you plan an adventure of your own.

Gerald Voigt

Gerald's interests are wide and varied. His work career started in the United States Air Force and since then has worked in logistics management, retail & service management as well as manufacturing. He's an author, photographer, pilot, radio show host and marketing consultant who enjoys RVing which allows him greater freedom to explore, meet new acquaintances and serve his clients.