- Most Popular!
This 18.1-mile trail is semi-maintained which makes for a ride that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Ride with us to experience breathtaking views of the Secret Mountain Wilderness area.
Availability: Daily at 8:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
Distance: 20 miles
Duration: 3.5 hours
You can tell you’re heading in the right direction when you reach Wet Beaver Creek on the first of several one-lane bridges on this excursion. Your next point of interest is the Beaver Creek day use area, a popular picnicking and birding destination where you can also cool off in the creek on a hot summer day. Nearby is the trailhead for the Bell Trail, the only developed hiking route into the Wet Beaver Wilderness to the east. Just beyond the day use area, the pavement ends, and you can see the V-Bar-V Heritage Site on the right side of the road.
The site is home to the Verde Valley’s largest known collection of petroglyphs — more than 1,000 drawings, most of which were made by the ancient Sinagua people between A.D. 900 and A.D. 1350. It’s also one of the best-preserved sites in the Southwest; it used to be part of the V-Bar-V Ranch, which helped protect the rock art before selling it to the Coconino National Forest in 1994. It’s open Fridays through Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
FR 618, now a fairly well-maintained dirt road, curves to the south. This stretch is popular with runners, so if you see any, give them ample space as you pass. To the east are the national forest’s rounded buttes and rolling hills. Near the southern end of the road is FR 215 (Bull Pen Road), which leads east to the boundary of the West Clear Creek Wilderness and the West Clear Creek trailhead. The road is narrow, rough and steep in places, but if you can manage it, you’ll be rewarded with views of one of the Southwest’s most remote and beautiful waterways.
From FR 215, it’s just two miles farther south to State Route 260 near the sleepy town of Camp Verde, which straddles the Verde River. Eight miles to the northwest is I-17, which you can use to head back to Exit 298 with a new appreciation for a road less-traveled, but no less worthwhile.
This all-inclusive excursion includes a 3.5-hour, half-day RZR Rental (seats 4), pick-up and drop-off within a 20-mile radius (of Cottonwood, AZ), fuel for the RZR, water, and a light snack for your excursion.