After over two years of effort by the Wickenburg Conservation Foundation in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management the Sophie’s Flat Trailhead and Trail System is open for business. The opening celebration, held November 8, 2008, had over one hundred in attendance. Eighty horseback riders and several trekkers “tested” the newly marked trails after which all enjoyed a BBQ lunch catered by Charley’s Steak House. An official dedication is planned for this coming spring.
The trail system will become part of the official Arizona Trail System and was selected from some of the many trails that exist in the area. As shown in the map, trail A has two internal connector trails, trails B and C are loops, and trails D and E lead to the Hassayampa River and Box Canyon via Dinosaur Wash. All are well marked with carsonites (signs). These trails are for riders, hikers and mountain bikes only. Trails for motorized vehicles are being planned for the future.
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The trailhead complex consists of day use parking with kiosk, a horse staging and RV parking area and an overflow staging area. Camping is permitted in the staging areas. No other facilities such as water, toilets or trash containers are provided at this time.
The area is typical Sonoran Desert landscape with stands of saguaro, ocotillo, palo verde and mesquite trees and various varieties of cactus. Wild life may make an occasional appearance: deer, a family of javelina, desert tortoise and the ubiquitous coyote and jackrabbit. The trails provide wonderful views with a backdrop of the magnificent Weaver and Bradshaw mountain ranges. Springtime can cause a spectacular wild flower bloom that depends on the amount and timing of the winter’s rainfall.
To reach the trailhead turn north onto El Recreo Road (just east of the Hassayampa River bridge in downtown Wickenburg) from U.S. 60. El Recreo Road merges into Constellation Road. Travel 3.2 miles on Constellation, then take a left on Blue Tank Road and travel for 1.4 miles to the trailhead. These roads cross wash areas that may be flooded and eroded during and after storms.
A special thanks is extended to the many other groups and individuals for the effort and cooperation necessary to make this happen: Foremost is to the Wellik Foundation for the initial grant to hire a professional trail planner to design and implement the trail complex, Arizona Fox Trotters Association, Grantham Fence Company, Lone Rangers Riding Club, Carson Construction, Johnson Lumber, Ace Hardware, Arizona Power System, Tommy Riggs and Rupert Lemons. Job well done!