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Old 12-17-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
azredline OP
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Location: Chandler, AZ
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AZ-Camp Reno Exploration Ride

Reidy008 and I took a fun DS ride to Camp Reno over near Punkin Center, Arizona last sunday. What a day.

We had intended to ride FR22 from Hwy 87 across to connect up with Hwy 188, also know as Camp Reno Road back in the day. However, I didn't realize that was also the Bushnell Tanks turnoff, and that road has been "Temporarily Closed" for about 10 years. We had planned to stage there, but since the road was closed and we would never disobey a posted threat, we decided to stage up the road a ways at Slate Creek turnoff, aka FR26.

Drew brought the Husaberg, I rode my big bike. (With the windshield and mirrors on, it's my big bike. With them off, it's my little bike!)

Staging at Hwy 87 and FR26

The road started out promising.

About 50 yds in, the road ended in a wash. Hmmm. Had to look around a bit, but we found where it crossed and headed east. Perfect.

This is a fun road, but would be rough on a bigger bike. Ran into a couple quail hunters who gave us some trail guidance while they cleaned some quail. The road, they said, did indeed go through, so, on we went.

They said we would come to some huge culverts crossing under hwy 188, and it didn't take long to get there

Even saw a space alien as I crossed under

The water must really come through here in the right season, these are some big tubes

Out the other end

Then a gate to get through

The bad news was Slate Creek Road ended smack dab in the middle of somebody's ranch compound. Oops.

Drew spotted someone working by the barn and walked over to apologize for crossing their yard while about 10 yappin dogs and a chicken followed him. The gal working there was cool and he explained we may have to come back that way if we don't find another way back. She said that would be ok, but the dogs weren't crazy about the idea. The chicken was indifferent.

On to Camp Reno.

Camp Reno was a military outpost that was established in the late 1860s and used from approximately 1868 to 1870. The road to it was the first main road to the area and the area near it became the basis of settlement in that area. (Now Punkin Center area.)

Perhaps the most famous attribute to Camp Reno was the road to get to it. Reports of broken wagon wheels and fallen horses were common, and much time and money was spent trying to keep the road passable.

Nowadays, Camp Reno is accessible from FR 409, directly accross Hwy 188 from Punkin Center. We came out North of there, and slabbed it down to FR524.

Unfortunately, this road put is on the wrong side of the canyon from the camp, up on a mesa of sorts. We looked for a way to cross, but my heavy bike and a rare flash of common sense led us to roll down the road to FR 409 which affords easy access to the camp area. (Easy for big bikes too. If you want to visit yourself, slab it to Punkin Center and take the dirt road FR409 the short distance to the camp sign.)

We found it!

There are some foundations around, several stone walls, and this rusty bucket

Reidy scouted for renegades

We explored the camp, taking some shortcuts along the way. Careful there...

I know we parked somewhere around here

Are you sure we came through here?

We think this was the foundation of the general store, which was the most prominent feature of Camp Reno.

Ah, I knew we'd find them

The trail out

If you want to read more about Camp Reno, I thought this was a good article

We then decided to go back up to FR524 since the signs said it was open for the first 5 miles. But first, I found a rather large nail in the trail

did I say nail? I meant spike!

I shoulda brought a bigger patch

Fixed, and back on the trail

Mt. Ord from the South

It was around here somewhere that we found a "Road Closed" sign, so we stopped because we never, ever disobey signs. If it had been permissible, and IF we would have continued onward, I'm sure we would have seen some magnificent scenery, but as I said before, we turned around at the closed sign. Here are some random trail shots up to that point.

Sweeping vista

From whence we came

And the trail ahead

If we could have continued, my map says this road would take us back to hwy 87 where we would have had to squeeze past an industrial strength gate, but luckily we didn't do that.

Another perfect Arizona day of riding.
Steve in AZ...
Time is the greatest teacher...but it kills all the students!
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
I,m in if we go fast
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Nice work

Good report mate. The old fort area was cool to find. Riding some new trails was awesome.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Great pics. always love those shots of XR650L's
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #4
Jesse Luggage
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
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Neat stuff. I've never been out that directiion.
It's not the limits of the bike... it's the limits of the rider on the bike.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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great looking ride, guys! gotta love the exploration rides.
"If guns cause crime, then all of mine are defective." Ted Nugent
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:26 PM   #7
I,m in if we go fast
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Hey Slowred

Have you ridden that 690 yet?

Reidy008 screwed with this post 12-20-2013 at 09:17 PM
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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Nice report Steve! That looks like a fun time you two had. I had to go shopping...............
"Single Trac is like Scotch, you have to aquire a taste for it!"
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
want to be riding
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thanks !
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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2004 KTM 950 Adventure
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North American
Ride Report Index and GPX files at:

Nightstalker rides North America 2007

snug htiw swoC
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #11
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That's tough country for sure. I have unpleasant memories from a southerly approach to the same area, via the peaks. Could you tell if there was any link-up with the road through Edwards Park from where you were forced to abandon your route? I never encountered road closure signs from the south but mother nature had done some closing of her own that stopped me short of the target.

Nice write up, thx for sharing.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Reidy008 View Post
Have you ridden that 690 yet?
Yep. It's got a few shorter trips on it now. Still getting used to the bigger bike on dirt. I even laid it down once to knock the new off it.
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