With the weather finally starting to cool off from the sweltering summertime temperatures in Phoenix, AZ, it was time to hit a fun desert trail that runs to a river destination called Sheeps Crossing (AKA Sheep Bridge). This is a fun and fairly easy 50-mile ride (each way), although, like most of the desert trails in AZ, it is a rocky rutted road that is not suitable for cars.
The original Sheep bridge was constructed in 1943 and was used to move sheep (bet you didn't guess that) from one pasture to the next over the sometimes swollen Verde River. Here is a picture of the original sheep bridge.
We had a pretty good crew show up for this early morning ride - there were 12 rigs total which included 11 side by sides and one Dirt Riot race Jeep. After a brief driver meeting to make sure everyone was on the same page on where to stop, we loaded up and hit the very dusty trail!
I have always loved the striking desert scenery we have in AZ. The scenery along this trail is outstanding as we weave our way up and over several mountains.
At one of our stops, I mentioned to the leader that 3 of us were going to take a brief stop at a cool rock cropping that is just passed a ranch and that there was no need for them to stop for us as I know the way. To my surprise, as we approached the rock he had led the group straight to the spot I described and had everybody lining up for a photo. How cool!
While everyone was getting some water to wash down the dust, my good friend Troy who owns UTV Off-Road magazine and his son Tanner saw a trail that went up the rock behind us. Of course, we had to see where it went! It was a cool overlook but just a dead end at the top.
Troy had a sweet Polaris RZR XP Turbo Dynamix edition he was testing out. It looked great and rode super smooth!
After a short break, we were back on the trail with our river destination in mind. We made it to the bridge in about 20 miles. After the long dusty ride, it was time to take a break, have some lunch and cool off in the river before exploring.
There was a good size Jeep group under the bridge on the other side of the river. You can see the remnants of the original bridge beside the newer constructed hiking bridge in the next photo.