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Forums › Reviews › Arizona Trail Reviews › Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0
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Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
Trail to Destruction


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5568
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:28 pm    Post subject: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Synopsis
Montana Mountain is really nice, easy, and quite scenic trail. The trail is grated and maintained quite nicely, though it can become rather adventurous in the winter or following heavy rainfall. It has the typical beautiful scenery (mountains, views from altitude, etc) but also some unique features including a cool series of switchbacks, the trail passing itself on the other side of a canyon, and optionally some neat ruins.

Running the trail 'clockwise' (see map) you will end up very near Superior, which is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a good time.

You will notice on the map, we took a little side trail off the east side of the main trail. Down that way is a nice place to play, cool geological features, and the prison ruins.

Difficulty
For the most part this trail is extremely easy. If you stay on the main trail there is nothing that stands out as an 'obstacle.' 4x2 people will have no problem.

That said, weather may play a huge role in the difficulty of this trail. In the winter months there may be ice on the portions of the shelf road which can be rather dangerous. If you come to some ice, evaluate the pitch and camber of that section of trail. An axe or shovel can be used to break up the ice and make passage much safer. Remember that even if it's only 10 feet of trail, a little bit of work to get across safely is better than tumbling off a mountain slope!

After heavy rainfall that trail may be washed out to varying degrees. While these washouts are likely not a technical difficulty for an FJ, use caution because again you'd rather not tumble off a mountain slope. Days after an epic rainfall in 02/2008, the washouts were passable by an FJ on stock tires and FJ's at stock height, but they were certainly much more challenging than the trail's 2.0 rating.

Length
The trail from 60 back to 60 is a little under 40 miles. How long it takes to complete is pretty much up to you, and what speed you like to cruise the many smooth parts. If the trail is in good condition, you can complete it in time to grab a late lunch. If the trail is icy and/or washed out, it could take much longer, even a full day.

I recommend downloading the GPS track and taking a look at it in Google Earth, there are a few intersections along the way.

Location
Montana Mountain trail starts and ends off 60 west of Superior. There are different trails in the area, and if you look at the map you'll see what I outline below and in the GPS track is only one way to go from/to 60 to hit Montana Mountain.

Google Maps - Montana Mountain east intersection with 60
Google Maps - Montana Mountain west intersection with 60

Aerial of the trail:


Pictures
Some representative scenery...



One of many many switchbacks... Here you can also see how nice the trail surface is. Much of the trail is maintained this well.



The trail sort of horseshoes around a canyon at one point, here we've spotted Lance on the other side!



This geological feature is not on the main trail (this is on the small side trail we took, see the map). I think Lance is saying something like "Behold!"



Lance stands ready to tackle whatever is ahead. Here you can see the trail is rougher, but still of trivial difficulty. It gets worse than in this pic, but not by too much.



This is an example of a very extreme washout that can occur after heavy rainfall. Generally these things have a depth gradient, where the mountain-side is shallow and it deepens up to the cliff-side. Most often, if you hug the mountain-side it will be no problem, thought it certainly makes for a cool pic!



Ice on a section of trail narrowed by erosion. Taking the time to break up the ice made this and other sections delightfully uneventful.


Previous AZFJ Runs to this Trail
Montana Mountain - 02/02/08

GPS Track
Attached below is a Google Earth .kml tracklog of the trail.

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Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down...


Last edited by tibaal89 on Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Pumbaa
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2529
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) Reply with quote

Depending on rain fall in the area the main wash you cross can be a lot of fun to play in!

[video width=448 height=361]http://s95.photobucket.com/albums/l126/v8nside/Videos/?action=view¤t=41bb07a0.flv[/video]
Video link is not working am I doing the code wrong or is there a problem with the video post button?

For now until I(or staff) can figure out whats going on with the above code... Confused


During winter time you can get lucky and find snow at the higher elevations on this trail.
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FJ4JESSA
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2463
Location: Superstition Mountains

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) Reply with quote

I LOVE THIS TRAIL!!!
Mudd, Water, Possibly Snow....at what point can you go wrong!!!
Jessa

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Itanius
AZ Pinstriped
AZ Pinstriped


Joined: Nov 30, 2007
Posts: 301
Location: Surprise!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) Reply with quote

Looks like a lot of fun! Nice video, too. Smile

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Miss_Artoo
Trail Leader
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2547
Location: SoMo

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) Reply with quote

Ya this needs to be a planned run soon. Maybe we will put something together after the New Year!

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Mr_R2FJ
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 1851
Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

This trail is a lot of fun and the scenery is incredible. However I'd give it a trail rating of 2.5 instead of 2.0. (Just my opinion). It was just after a good amount of weather and the roads were considerably slick, muddy, and even icy, in areas. It's not a technically difficult trail but during this time of year 4x4 could be the difference between stuck or not. Here's a link to the gallery during our AZFJ trip:
azfj.org/index.php?nam...s&album=73

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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
Trail to Destruction


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5568
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

I added some words about the weather thing and a couple pics of how bad that can get... let me know what you think. I want to caution people about the weather but not scare them off. Laughing

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check out my BLOG

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down...
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Miss_Artoo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

The ice really wasn't that big of a deal...I could see that road easily getting dangerous after a few days of heavy rains/snow if people weren't careful but the patches of ice we ran into were small and not really in any dangerous areas. ...imo

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Mr_R2FJ
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Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Looks good Mike. It's also worth noting that the road was officially "closed" right at the entrance. However, It didn't stop lots of OHVs and the AZFJ crew from being up there that day. I'm just saying if you go during heavy weather peroids expect to use your 4x4 a few times and it's entirely possible areas may be very washed out. If the road says it's closed there could be areas very washed out. If you don't see that sign, it's probably very tame.

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Wikid
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Nov 30, 2007
Posts: 1988

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

A Friend came back into town and wanted to see some dirt so we went to Montana Mountain 10/26
Here are some shots from our day wheelin.

8ball showing some of the easy parts of the trail


A Cool Wedge we found in the wash



AZ-TRD sliding through



Can you see the rear twist?



Don't sneeze when you stand under this fellow



We took montana then went up 342 till we got to the mine then took a rocky trail you could barely see and ended up past the tunnel outside of Superior
All in all about 60 miles and good times
thanks
Don
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
Trail to Destruction


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5568
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Holy crap, Don... that looks like some fun action. Crazy shot of the rear axle!

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MRSFJJUNKY
Trail Runner
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Joined: Sep 01, 2008
Posts: 538
Location: Chandler, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Nice pics Don. Looks like that was a fun day Wink

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Cypher
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Jul 09, 2008
Posts: 2247
Location: /root

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Wow I would love to run this! Where about did you find the cool wedge?

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Wikid
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 30, 2007
Posts: 1988

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

Well It wasn't too too far into the trail but then we made it into the wash and kept finding sh*t to climb I didnt mark it in GPS cuz it wasnt runnin yet.
but I could find it again
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Wikid
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Montana Mountain (Superior) - 2.0 Reply with quote

A few more pics





I like this one


Posers


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