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Name: Big Reef Mill Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)
Time: 1 hour Region: Central Arizona
Length: 0.6 miles (one way) Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +166 / -0 ft / + 166 ft (one way)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 3300 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: Medium
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: April, 2013
Short Description: A super short spur road off the Castle Springs Road leading to an old mill and hopper
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area: Big Rock Candy Mountain; Can you see what I see?; Floodwater
References / Contact Information: Explorer Forums;
Points of interest: Old mill site
Special Considerations: Lots of old mines in this area, stay away from open mine shafts and be careful of mine tailings.
How to get there: From Phoenix, take I-17 north and exit at Carefree Highway 74 (exit 223B). Head west for almost 30 miles until you get to Castle Hot Springs Road. Take a right and follow Castle Hot Springs Road for about 12 miles until you reach Waypoint 001. You can also go in the east entrance to Castle Hot Springs Road if you want (though that's a little rougher). Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a super short spur trail off Castle Hot Springs road that leads to an old mill. The site has some rock walls, wood, steel and concrete chutes and a very large yellow hopper.

The start of the trail can be misleading a little confusing (see trail description). The area shows signs of lots of shooting there. While we were there about four trucks were parked and there were lots of people shooting. Be careful and you may want to go early.

General Information and History

I wasn't able to find out much regarding the Big Reef Mill other than it was quite a large operation at some point, servicing many of the nearby mines. I don't have a date, but some of the ruins look recent (1960's?), some of them may be much older.

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The Trails

Note: The start of the trail can be confusing. The two well-traveled trails (yellow tracks) lead to a dead end in a short distance. The actual trail (red track) follows the wash for a while (see map).

From Waypoint 001, take the wash north. Follow the wash for about 1/3 of a mile, then the road takes a left out of the wash and up the hill. You can see the big yellow hopper in front of you. Follow the road up to the mill and park.

When you're done exploring, return the way you came.

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