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Name: Apache Camp (FR4421) Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Demanding 4WD trail)
Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour (including seeing Apache Camp) Region: SE Arizona
Length: 0.66 miles (roundtrip) Elevation gain/loss/change: +3474 / -3308 ft / +166 ft (roundtrip)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 6000 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter, summer Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Medium
Danger/fear rating: Medium Scenic Beauty: Medium
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: July, 2012
Short Description: A super short 4WD trail off the Mt. Lemmon Control Road that leads to the foundations of an old mining camp
Geocaches: Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Dan Saddle; Catalina Camp; Cache N' Cave;
References / Contact Information: Arizona Backcountry Adventures
Points of interest: Apache Camp, Mt. Lemmon Control Road, access to Mt. Lemmon, Rice Peak and tons of hiking, biking and camping
Special Considerations: Once you commit to this trail, you're in it until you get to Apache Camp
How to get there: Head up Mt. Lemmon Hwy (Catalina Hwy) from Tucson approximately 25 miles until you see the Control Road on the right (almost to the top of the mountain). Click here for directions to the top of the Oracle Control Road. Drive about 5.5 miles down the Control Road, the Apache Camp road (FR4421) will be on the right.

Trail Description

This is a super short 4WD off the Mt. Lemmon Control Road that leads to an old mining camp. The road is fairly steep and has a few decent washouts that can test stock vehicles. There's a good sized parking area at the top of the trail and the hike down (and back up) isn't too bad.

When I went, I found nothing left of the camp except for a series of rock foundations, but I did not spend a great deal of time looking around. My guess is you may discover other finds in the area if you look. The area is overgrown (especially in the wash), so finding some of these may be difficult.

This is a quick and interesting diversion for anyone interesting in Arizona history.

General Information and History

From my understanding, Apache Camp was a mining camp from the late 1800's that contained a large smelter, hotel, tram and other miscellaneous company buildings. The mine never paid out to the extent planned and the company went out of business in a short period of time.

For more information and pictures, see Arizona Back Country Adventures website.

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The Trail

Not much to go over here. It's short and there's no options once you get started. Exit off Mt. Lemmon's Control Road at Waypoint 001. You will immediately head down a fairly steep hill onto FR4421.

If this makes you nervous, then I would park at the top and walk down. It doesn't get any better. Once on the trail, there's no place to turn around until you get to the bottom, so commit and go (or park and walk).

About half way down the hill, there's a couple of nice washouts. We found going down these was more difficult than going back up. Sometimes gravity is your friend, sometimes it isn't. In this case, if you let your front tire go down into the hole (when you go, you'll see the one I'm talking about), your back wheel will lift up and your vehicle will want to roll. Be careful here.

You'll see Apache Camp on the right (and a place to turn around) once you get near the bottom (and before the wash). I walked along the trail through the wash. I don't believe it goes anywhere and was extremely overgrown (at least for vehicles to get through).

When you're done exploring the camp, head back up the way you came.

Be safe and have fun!

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