- About 57 miles southwest of Phoenix near Arlington
- Flat to Hilly
- Maintained Dirt or Gravel
- Suitable Vehicle:
- Passenger Car
- Roughly 40 miles
- 1-2 hours
- October - May (Summer is too hot)
DescriptionA drive on a maintained and mostly dirt road through a natural Sonoran Desert area formed by the Yellow Medicine Hills and the Gila Bend Mountains. The drive offers nice desert vegetation especially in the spring when the ocotillos, brittlebush and palo verdes are in bloom. The rugged Eagletail Mountain Wilderness and Saddle Mountain areas loom to the north, and Face Mountain is to the south.
The route passes by the old Sundad ghost town. You'll need to hike over or use a four-wheel drive to get to it. The hilly parts of the route offer expansive desert views of plains and mountains. Volcanic landscapes and features abound. Black Butte, Fourth of July Butte, Yellow Medicine Butte and Face Mountain are all noticeable landscape features.
The southern part of the route climbs onto the Sentinel Plain Lava Flow, a stark landscape of lava 15 to 45 meters thick, the largest flow in the state. There are several old mine sites along the route in Sundad and the Jackpot and Dixie Mines.
The road begins approximately 57 miles southwest of Phoenix and 14 miles south of Arlington. From Phoenix, take I-10 west to Hwy 85 exit (to Gila Bend), head southbound on SR-85 towards Gila Bend. After 6 miles, turn right and head west at the Palo Verde/Arlington turnoff on Old Route 80. Follow Route 80 through Palo Verde, Hassayampa and Arlington (road turns into old SR-80). About 14.1 miles south of Arlington near the Gila Compressor Station you''ll see a street sign marked "Agua Caliente Road". Turn right at that exit and you are on the road. You will cross a BLM portal sign after one mile.