Montana Mountain Loop Trail

MODERATE 60 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Montana Mountain Loop Trail is a 43.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gold Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
43.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5314 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

camping

mountain biking

nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Great high desert loop route for SUVs and ATVs, that climbs to over 5,000 feet with panoramic desert and mountain views. Crosses many hiking trails into the bordering Superstition Wilderness. Popular area for ATVs and dirt bikes. Stay on existing roads at all times. Located in Tonto National Forest. For current conditions call Mesa Ranger District (480) 610-3300 Easy until F.S. 650 where it becomes narrow, steep and rutted. Stock vehicles with high ground clearance and good articulation can make it, although some 4x4 driving skill is necessary. Slippery at the top when wet.

off road driving
2 months ago

A great trail for a novice, I had no issues. The views were spectacular and I'm certain to return... to venture out and explore different side trails as well as some night sky photography.

off road driving
3 months ago

Fun Four Wheeling trip .. Loved exploring around Rock House .. Would like to know history of it ..

off road driving
3 months ago

We drove the Montana Loop today with a stop at the Rogers Trough trailhead. FR-357 / Hewitt Station Rd is closed to off road vehicles. We took the detour FR-252 until it split to the north and Bomboy Mine to the south, which we followed to FR-357. All of the gates were open, the rivers were dry, and only a few puddles still left on the trail. Off FR-650, there were a number of RV campers throughout. Uploaded a gpx of the route we drove.

off road driving
3 months ago

Amazing trail, lots of side trails along the way if you feel like venturing off a bit! Beautiful scenery, would go back again.

4 months ago

Made the mistake of driving Montana trail counter clockwise a couple of days after snow. I had a very hard time making it over the summit from the shady side of mountain due to ice in tracks. Wife still mad

off road driving
4 months ago

Did it on a 2011 Ford Explorer w a lift and bigger tires (10" of clearance). Very fun trail. All of the gates where open. Did it with my wife and 2 month old baby, so I went fairly slow. Took us 6 hours but stopped for lunch for 1 hour at the bottom of the switchbacks at the old rock building and another earlier stop to feed our son. Most of the traffic was going clockwise, which is good since there are a lot of narrow areas where it would be really hard to pass. I would like to do it again after a snow storm to make it more challenging at the top.

off road driving
4 months ago

So much fun!

off road driving
5 months ago

off road driving
5 months ago

Vehicle was Ford Raptor SuperCrew.
Some switchbacks took a bit of negotiating. Due to brush alongside trail there was some scratching but light.

off road driving
6 months ago

Fun trail to do. Did it in my stock 4Runner. Aired down to 20 psi. The first half was very easy. The second half was a little bit rockier and had some switchbacks. Overall a great trail, I just wish we went after a storm came through so the streams were actually full. Would've made it more fun! :)

7 months ago

nice views/scenery; I wouldn't consider it moderate, maybe easy+. close to town makes it an easy quick trip from town.

off road driving
7 months ago

I just spoke with Mesa Ranger District and they tell me that Hewitt Station Road is closed to off roaders. It is a private road and the owner is tired of the abusive off roaders that are going too fast ... so he has closed the road.

off road driving
7 months ago

This trail is rocky in some areas. Took us 4 hours for the loop. Steep in some areas. Mountain is narrow in spots. If you're a bigginer I recommend the first part of the trail. More moderate on the mountain. 3 gates that you have to keep closed after passing through. We did a night ride which was still beautiful. 4x4 a must, high clearance needed in some areas too! Over all lots of fun! Enjoy and be safe.

off road driving
7 months ago

A Very fun trail for a dirtbike but the forest street is closed between the entrance and last four miles so you have to take trail 252 which adds a couple extra miles. The trail is very rocky going up and coming down the steepest parts but still fun. I almost got hit by two deer jumping across the trail.

off road driving
10 months ago

super beautiful. pretty long do make sure you have time allotted to tackle the entire loop but very worth it. You don't have to do the entire thing butt even doing part of the trail is super fun. I will be back time and time again to tackle this trail with my Subaru but in the meantime I used the Lexus. I love the scenery that this state has to offer. Just a hop and a skip past AJ

10 months ago

Fun and scenic trail. Most trucks and suvs could make it up the first part of the trail (the 172 I think) but I would recommend high clearance and good tires once you get to the 650 near the top. We used 4x4 once but that was because we went off trail down one of the washes where the sand was deep.

No one mentioned the gates. There are 3 gates for cattle along the way. Just move them and close behind you. The sign was knocked off the first gate and might confuse someone into thinking the area was closed.

off road driving
11 months ago

I wheeled it in my 2007 Tacoma prerunner with K02 tires and aired down to 19 psi. We had no problems climbing all the hill.
There are 3 gates that nobody mentions but just make sure to close them. The trail over all was a lot of fun.

off road driving
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fun, easygoing trail with great views at the top. No problem for a stock 2017 Tacoma TRD Sport.

off road driving
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Fun, relatively easy, had a couple tricky areas but no problems in a stock Jeep. Beautiful views and lots of wildflowers in the spring time.

off road driving
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Excellent 4wd ride for a half-day or full-day. It can be a little crowded in parts on a nice weather weekend...otherwise I'd give this road a five star rating. The lower parts of the loop are fairly easy going. The higher parts (especially along FS 650) can get tricky at times. I've been on this road several times, and the condition of the road is never the same two trips in a row. If there has been any weather recently, parts of the loop can be slippery, or even snow covered in winter months. There are several shallow streams you'll cross. I've never been up there when they've been deep enough to consider not crossing, but I bet it happens at times.
So...the rating of easy to moderate for this road can depend on current conditions. Personally, I wouldn't drive the entire loop without a high clearance 4WD vehicle in good working condition. Good tires and all...
The views, trails and wildlife along this route are awesome! One of these weekends, I'm going to camp overnight in one of the spots up high. There are many!
Oh, and one last consideration. The trail rating says dog friendly. Personally, I wouldn't bring any dog up there (or anywhere in Superstition Wilderness and similar areas) if that dog hasn't been through training to ignore rattlesnakes. This isn't a problem in the winter when the snakes hibernate. But there ARE rattlesnakes in the summer. And way more dogs get in trouble with rattlesnakes than humans do. There are several options for training your dog about rattlesnakes by going to this link - https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=dog+rattlesnake+training&*

off road driving
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Had a great time on this trail. Lotsa folks sharing this trail. Why some people start in the opposite direction is beyond belief. Trail does get really narrow. Springtime views are beautiful.

off road driving
Saturday, March 18, 2017

rated easy in arizona back roads and 4-wheel drive trails. took about 4 hours and was very scenic through various terrains desert mountain and forest definitely need an off road vehicle

off road driving
Sunday, December 04, 2016

Great trail! Not too rocky or crazy, gets narrow in some places, and that's coming from a Honda Element driver haha.

off road driving
Saturday, December 03, 2016

It was a lot of fun. Went with some out of town friends and the hubby. We all had an amazing time. We drove an element and it got through everywhere pretty easily. Recommended for sure!

off road driving
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nice easy trail with great scenic views. I'll echo the other reviews and say no real need for 4wd, but it was an enjoyable trail for the whole family. There are some great areas to pull off and eat lunch while looking back towards the valley. If you don't want to do the whole loop I would recommend doing the first half. The second half is faster with more graded roads but less panoramic views.

off road driving
Sunday, June 05, 2016

Very scenic easy trip in my teryx side by side. Took approx 4 hours for complete loop stopped couple times for few mins to enjoy the view. Highly recommend this trail for anyone looking for easy trail ride and many good views.

off road driving
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Good trail. I went on a Tuesday and there was still a decent amount of traffic. When you first enter the trail you drive through several shooting ranges, so just keep that in mind. Most of the trail, if not all, can be done in 2wd if you have decent tires. I did it in a 2012 Nissan Frontier on 32" AT's and a 2.5" lift. Made it just fine. Had my mom with me so I definitely took the conservative lines. Trail gets a bit more interesting once you really start climbing. Definitely recommend this trail for jeeps and other off road oriented vehicles. Beautiful scenery as well.

off road driving
Saturday, June 28, 2014

Def not a bad trail. I did not ever really need to put it in 4wd, went the wrong way a couple times, and saw a lot of cool stuff. It is a good trail, just nothing too challenging. I would go again, but I would prepare more. It took me 6 or so hours since I happened to wander off and take a couple wrong turns. MAKE sure you follow the Woodbury and Rogers trough sign at the beginning and don't go into the little town/ village.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

This was a fun and challenging trip. The drive up on Montana Mountain was rutted, rocky, narrow in places, especially on the switchbacks. Easy at the beginning and end and moderate in the middle on the mountain. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

This was a great scenic day drive! We drove through high desert mountain landscapes and high mountain pines and washes filled with rain water. This road should only be driven with a 4x4, high-clearance vehicle! (We drove our Jeep Wrangler with no lift and did fine.) The last half of the trail (POIs 4-6) was moderate to difficult. This part of the trail had lots of switchbacks, large exposed rocks and part of the trail had been turned into a river wash from the rains the previous week. The guides POIs were extremely helpful! Without them we would have taken the wrong trail/road. I would definitely recommend this drive! We had a lot of fun! Plan on spending about 4 1/2 hours to drive the short 34 miles.

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