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Lower Devil's access/conditions?


Original Post
BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Hey, Arizona climbers:

There's a chance my wife and I might get out there this winter, temps and weather depending. What's the situation? I've got a lot of info. form Mtn. Proj, but wonder about the road. We travel with a 2wd Tundra hauling a fairly light pop-up A-frame travel trailer. Could we get this to the end of the 2wd section of the road? Is there room for turning around and camping? We might have to wait until next year, but damn, that place is beautiful.

Our rig:



Thanks!

BAd Climber

Marcy · · Tempe/Tuscon, AZ · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 1,310

You should be fine getting to the base of the big hill where the fist section of 4wd begins. It is not the greatest spot to camp, but you should have enough room to turn around. I wouldn't go any further than that with your set up. There are a couple tight turns on the switchbacks after the big hill and 4wd is usually needed for at least a portion of it.

Hiking times from this spot will vary depending on where you want to climb. Have fun, it's a beautiful area!

Curt Shannon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 5

On the bright side, Lower Devil's is the only place you probably can't drive to. Atlantis, the Pond, Oak Flat, Upper Devil's, Eurodog, etc. are all easily accessible.

Curt

BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Thanks, everyone. Yeah, looks like camping above and driving in is the best way to go. We've got good ground clearance and power on the Tundra, so we should be fine.

Any guidebooks?

BAd

apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 193

Marty Karabin's fold-out guide is available at the Phoenix Rock Gym and some other local stores for $5. If you have trouble finding a copy in time let me know via PM.

md3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 45

Walk down the hill before you commit to driving it. Rocks in the road as big as a churn.

apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 193

Definitely check out The Mine area while you are here. It is accessed via the paved road and a 5-10 minute walk. It is very underrated in my opinion.

Marcy · · Tempe/Tuscon, AZ · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 1,310

I agree with the comment above about checking out the road before committing. No doubt, a Tundra can power up it, but if you don't have 4wd you are likely to chew up an already gnarly section of road. Please don't choose this option.

LD may be more of an effort to get to than the other QC areas, but it is a truly unique and special area.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 90
BAd wrote:Thanks, everyone. Yeah, looks like camping above and driving in is the best way to go. We've got good ground clearance and power on the Tundra, so we should be fine. Any guidebooks? BAd
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0965397475/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=1481214586&sr=8-1

This has everything! The fold out Marty maps are pretty good as well and more up to date.
BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Okay, from my earlier reading on MP, there is a 2wd section and a 4wd section. Are you saying that the WHOLE thing is now 4wd? I have no problem walking a couple of miles, but if it's now six or eight miles round trip, then that does change things.

Hah. The guidebook is only 20 years out of date and available for a cool $74!

Curt Shannon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 5
BAd wrote:Hah. The guidebook is only 20 years out of date and available for a cool $74!
Well, keep looking. I just picked up a like-new copy for $19.

Curt
apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 193
BAd wrote:Okay, from my earlier reading on MP, there is a 2wd section and a 4wd section. Are you saying that the WHOLE thing is now 4wd? I have no problem walking a couple of miles, but if it's now six or eight miles round trip, then that does change things. Hah. The guidebook is only 20 years out of date and available for a cool $74!
Unless the road has significantly changed, a moderate clearance 2WD vehicle would have no trouble getting pretty far in. You could then hike the rest of the way to the climbing. Someone please correct me if this is now out of date.
Marcy · · Tempe/Tuscon, AZ · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 1,310
BAd wrote:Okay, from my earlier reading on MP, there is a 2wd section and a 4wd section. Are you saying that the WHOLE thing is now 4wd? I have no problem walking a couple of miles, but if it's now six or eight miles round trip, then that does change things.
The majority of the road is 2wd. You can easily get to the base of "the big hill" with 2wd. It's good to have 4x4 to drive up the hill and not chew it up. After going up the hill, there is one particularly gnarly section of switchback on the downhill side (going in) of the big hill that 4x4 is good again for the purpose of avoiding expansion of the gnar (especially when on your way out).

If you want to go all the way to the end of the road (access to the Totem Pole area, LDE, Glitter Box, ect), that is most definitely 4wd with clearance. All of this information will make more sense once you've been out there.

Whatever you do, don't get to the gnar and decide to just park your vehicle in the middle of the road because you don't want to go any further. Believe it or not, I've seen this done. Don't be that guy!

If you park at the big hill the hike is not too bad. I've done it many times before getting a capable vehicle. PM me if you want more specifics for different locations within LD.
BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Thanks, Marcy. This sounds like what I've read before. No, I'd never block the road. Let me look over the stuff on MP, and I'll get back to you if I have questions.

Thanks again!

Cory Tallman · · San Tan Valley, Arizona · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 175

The hill and switchbacks aren't that bad if you're used to that type of driving. I drove all the way out to Lower Devils and back in a stock height F150, and I don't recall ever using the 4wd. The road was pretty sketchy, especially at night, but not something that can't be accomplished by going slow and taking your time. I would say that you should park about a quarter mile before the road actually ends if you decide to drive out there. The last stretch up to the canyon is more Jeep trail than anything, but it's only a ten minutes walk from there. And it goes without saying that whatever you do, don't try to pull your camper up the big hill. I would probably recommend camping closer to Oak Flat or Upper Devils, and driving to Lower when you want to climb.

BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Thanks, Cory. If we get out there this year, we'll camp at Oak Flat to start and do a recon for our first climbing day to see if we'll move camp closer in. I'm hoping for a few warm winter days. We'll see!

Scott

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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