For those that are running the Coke Ovens trail run this weekend, here's some info. Can't edit the event at this time, so I'll put the info here for now. As always, please register if you are attending and if you can't make it, please unregister or let me (trail leader) know so we're not unnecessarily waiting on you at the meeting places.
So we’re making a run out to the Coke Ovens. We’ll be on State Trust Land, so make sure your State Trust Land Use permit is up to date. You can do it online here, land.az.gov/recreational-permit-portal . Just so you all know, the public can no longer drive up to the Ovens. They’ve always been on private property and now, because of disrespect, misuse, and outright vandalism, the landowners have shut down access to them. If I recall correctly, the public trail is fairly close to the ovens, so we should get a good view.
As to the trail, the current difficulty is unknown to me. I’ve tried to find info as to the challenges, but to no avail. Last time I ran it, it was a solid 2.5/5. Diff gards and sliders and/or underbelly armor are strongly suggested. Also need to ensure transfer cases are in good working order as 4-low is a must. All Terrain or Mud tires are needed. Street or stock tire will not suffice and a full size spare, not a donut, is also a must.The current plan is to work our way to the Ovens via Florence and Box Canyon. If the trails are open around the Ovens, then we’ll work our way the short distance to the Gila River. If the flow is low enough to cross, we’ll do so and exit to the south and work our way back into Florence via the Florence Kelvin Hwy. Should the river be too high, we’ll return the same way we came in.
Weather is expected to be sunny with a high around 80. So, sun screen and plenty of water as usual. Pack a lunch and snacks. Bring the cameras and binoculars as it should be a beautiful day for wheeling and the sites should be gorgeous.
Meeting spots and time:8:00am - Shell gas station in Gold Canyon (Superstition Fwy & S Mountainbrook, North corner)8:45am – Giant gas station in Florence at 1st and the 79 (just south of McDonalds)Fuel up and we hit the trail at 9:00
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This is a moderate trail and any stock Land Rover is capable of handling this trail.We will meet in Florence and follow the road that parallels the Gila River. Then we turn north into Box Canyon. The canyon is very scenic and is very narrow in sections. This section of the trail is fairly easy but there are several moderate sized rocks to get over. After the canyon we make our way to the Coke Ovens. This part of the trail is long and there are many obstacles encountered like steep climbs, rocky steps, and other challenging rock obstacles. However, there are challenges for everyone! We will have lunch at the Coke Ovens which are huge beehive shaped ovens. After lunch we make our way back track about a mile up the ridge and descend towards the Gile River and follwo the trail out towards White Canyon Wilderness. this section of the trail has suffered from heavy rain errosion over the past year but is still very passable. We end the day where Battle Axe Road meets Highway 177 just south of Superior.