Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sycamore Pass & Robber's Roost

It's been exactly 30 years since I was out at Sycamore Pass & Robber's Roost.  Back then you could drive right to the pass.  It's blocked off now and you have to hike out there on what's called the Dogie Trail.  The Forest Road out to the Pass is well maintained and any old sedan can make it easily.  The road out to the pass now serves as a kind of feeder route to an extensive network of various roads rated Moderate, Difficult and Extreme.  See the blog post below this one for more information.

On the way back from Sycamore Pass, we turned north on Route 9530 to go to Robber's Roost.  The Forest Service rates 9530 as Difficult but it wasn't difficult at all.  We did use our 4WD but only to go a little slower over the rough cobbled surface.  Anyway, we got out close to Robber's Roost and decided to hike to the top of it.  Here is a photo of the Coconino Nat'l Forest map that shows Robber's Roost in relation to Sycamore Pass.
Luckily, when the gubmint made that big Wilderness area, they somehow squeezed  #9530 into a little neck of non-wilderness.  That's a good thing because they don't let vehicles into Wilderness areas.  We really enjoyed our 90 minute scrambled up and back on Robber's Roost.  As Susun like to say, "It's a comeback spot."  The sweeping view of Red Rock Country is real nice.  Door-to-door, our run was 66 miles.  Most of that was on pavement getting over to Forest Road 525 between Sedona and Cottonwood.  The map below shows the portion of the run from Highway 89A out to the Pass and the Roost. The second map shows the area of the Pass and the Roost in a little finer detail.  We parked at the red "X" so the rest of that GPS track is on foot, not in the Zuk.

 We thought about checking out Road 9530B but came to a small hill that definitely required skid plate protection.  We sure want to get some skid plates soon!  Road 9530 proceeds past Robber's Roost on up a steep hill to some old mining roads.  Those stretches appears to be beyond the limits of a stock rig.  Below are a few more photos of our hike up onto Robber's Roost.
We were out for six hours but moving for only four of those hours.  The way the GPS works, "moving" includes the time we were hiking.  So, the actual driving time would have been about 2.5 hours.  Our gas mileage dropped down a little bit on this trip to 26.6.  Trip cost was $8.46 with gas at $3.40 here.
 Our original goal for this run was the road that goes up on top of Sugarloaf.  In the photo above, Sugarloaf is marked with the "A."  You can barely make out the Zuk parked at "B."  That's Black Mtn. behind Sugarloaf and Mingus Mtn. way in the back far horizon with snow on it. We hope to get back out there again soon to do the Sugarloaf run.  There's a lot of really intriguing roads in that vicinity.  I suspect we're are going to be regular visitors there.  You can click here for the interactive Google map.

Cheers, jp

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