Sunday, January 10, 2016

SxS Adventure - Chino Valley, AZ To Williams, AZ - August 2015

Trip: Chino Valley, AZ to Williams, AZ and back.
Distance Traveled: 302.1 miles

Ever since getting my first SxS back in 2008, I have wanted to load it up and just drive while camping along the way.

For the last two years we have done just that, and this time added another friend for our 06 August 2015 to 09 August 2015 trip.

Casey with his 2014 Polaris RZR 1000 4, Kevin with a rented 2015 Polaris RZR 1000 4, and me with my 2013 Polaris RZR XP 900 4 loaded, we departed Chino Valley, AZ and headed north towards Williams, AZ. In total we logged 302.1 miles with 10% of those miles on primitive dirt roads and the remaining on Forest Service Roads along with some pavement time. The roads were not too rough aside from a few pretty rocky areas. Other than a few cows, the roads were vacant to traffic, which was nice.

(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Few Pictures From Along The Way

Crossing The Verde River


The next day (07 August 2015) we awoke early and began to break camp. After a thorough walk of camp to ensure no trash was left behind, we doused the fire pit one last time and continued on our journey. Our first stop was an old cabin, no real details to share, however, was really cool to see.


After spending a little time at the cabin, we headed towards Sycamore Canyon. After a short drive, we arrived at what could only be considered a breathtaking view of the canyon.

Sycamore Canyon

Next stop, Sycamore Point which overlooks Sycamore Canyon. This was quite a view as well, if you ever have the chance, check it out!

Sycamore Point

From Sycamore Point, we made our way towards White Horse Lake where Kevin decided to do some fishing and I decided to test out my Katadyn Vario Water Filter, stay tuned for the review. By now it was late afternoon and we were being poured on so we decided to leave the lake and find our next home for the evening. We found a nice spot off the main road and setup camp. It didn’t take long for us to be greeted by a large herd of Elk just off in the distance. The weather that night was still very comfortable, however, we did get a nice storm...that I slept through of course.


The next morning (08 August 2015) we awoke early again, made some coffee, and laid out our plans for the day. Before leaving the area, we decided to hike down a small portion of the Sycamore Rim Trail to see the overlook. While still some great scenery, not quite as spectacular from this vantage point.

Sycamore Canyon

After spending some time checking out the canyon and taking pictures, we left to take a look at this large sinkhole, wish I could share more information about the sinkhole, however, I have none. I can tell you that it is a long way down and it would ruin your day to tumble down into it.


From the sinkhole we took a short drive to check out the Sunflower Flat Wildlife Area, not a lot going on there, however, did give us a great opportunity to take some pictures and be taught a few things about photography from Kevin.

Sunflower Flat Wildlife Area

After the Sunflower Flat Wildlife Area, we packed up and started heading to JD’s House and grave site. The home is currently vacant, however, supposedly the Forest Service did use it in the past.

JD's House

JD’s Barn/Stable

JD's Grave Site

Continuing on our adventure we headed towards the Bill Williams Lookout Tower. If you are afraid of heights, this is not the trail you want to be on. Luckily I am not so I was able to really enjoy the scenery as we gained altitude. As you will see in the pictures, not only is there a lookout tower there but a ton of microwave and other towers as well.

Bill Williams Lookout Tower

After leaving the tower we decided to head to Dogtown Lake and wet some lines. With the wind picking up and the shallow depths of the water, fishing from the shore proved to be a bit tough. After catching my fair share of seaweed bass, I decided to turn my attention to the Ospreys who were having fantastic luck catching fish. After a couple hours we decided to make the trek all the way back to our original campsite on the first night which would put us into Chino Valley, AZ around noon on Sunday (09 August 2015).

Dogtown Lake

The next morning (09 August 2015) was the same as the others, break camp and get packed, unfortunately, this morning would be the last time as it was time to head home.

Overall it was a fantastic trip, thank you to my buddy Casey for leading and thanks to Kevin for joining us! Till next year!

Feel free to post your comments below.