Rock Corral Canyon

March 23, 1996

Written by John Hill Wed Mar 27 19:13 MST 1996

After breakfast of machaca & eggs at Michas in South Tucson , Bob and Anna and Bobby Peterson in "Willy" and J. Hill in "The River ..." headed south on I-19 on Saturday March 23, 1996. We started the Rock Corral Canyon trail by exiting I-19 at Tumacacori (Exit 29) and going west. The freeway exit starts onto the Forest Service road immediately, so there is no messing around hunting for the trail. F.R. 4145 is pretty easy going for the first few miles up into the canyon. Four-wheel-drive is hardly needed on this road, but it makes the going a little easier on your vehicle. We saw several vans and trucks pulling horse trailers along the way. (I did break off my rear shock mount only half a mile up the trail, but this was certainly residual damage from Woodpecker Canyon rather than anything that happened on this easy road.) Once you are in Rock Corral Canyon proper, the road splits. Both branches turn into class 5+ rock crawling pretty quickly, so we elected not to abuse our vehicles this day. Apparently the 1983 floods turned previously graded roads into some really rough boulder fields. The trails are currently passable only by quads and horses, but we might go back some day we are looking for a challenge. On the way back out of Rock Corral Canyon we spent a while negociating some REALLY STEEP (>20 degrees) but nicely graded hills along the natural gas pipeline.

Next we crossed I-19 to run the Green Valley Power Line Trail from South to North. The southern third of the trail starting from Camina Josefina is the most challenging. It starts immediately with in-your-face hill climbing. We made it through without incident --- no trucks were left along the trail. I needed a little pull to get my wheel out of a rut once. This southern third of the trail rates a 4.5 going south-north and a 5 going north-south since the best hill is in that direction. The middle third of the trail rates a 4 both ways --- all the points are for hill climbing and open differentials may have trouble. The northern third of the trail off Mt. Hopkins road rates a 3 --- easy and fun for stock 4x4s.

February 21, 1998

John Hill and Chris Miller in "The River ....." and John Waack and Skip Bohling in "Over Easy" took an easy trip to Rock Corral Canyon on Saturday February 21, 1998. We had a fantastic morning as the recent storms had left the upper reaches of Rock Corral Canyon dusted with snow. The weather was absolutely beautiful. And the canyon was even nicer than usual with water flowing over the rocks and snow-fed water falls coming off the cliffs.

January 1999

From hill Wed Jan 20 22:38:30 1999

Wheelin' Trip Report

Green Valley Powerline Trail
Monday January 18, 1999

On Monday January 18, John Hill & John Waack in "The River...", Bob and Robbie Peterson in "Free Willy" and Scott "Popeye" & Denise Sides in their custom Cherokee took advantage of the nice weather to run the Green Valley Powerline trail.

Our intention was to run the more difficult southern section of the trail. This intention was deflected because the power company has done their trail maintenance and graded some really fine ruts into a nice drive in the country. Almost the whole trail is now a tame class 3 drive. There are still two challenging hills if you are going North-South. "One-Axle Hill" still requires at least one locker to climb it. The very steep hill near the southern end of the trail still needs two lockers. Popeye was able to climb it, and the rest of us used him as a winch point. We finished the whole length of the trail by 1PM (2.5 hours).

Next we went across I-19 in Tumacacori and spent the rest of the afternoon in Rock Corral Canyon. The uppermost part of the main canyon has been closed to trucks because of a 12-foot high boulder that has slid into the middle of the trail. Horses and ATV can still make it through.

The only thing approaching damage is that "Free Willy" needs a new transfer case.

Trail Rating for Rock Corral Canyon

The trail is rated a 3 -- you definitely need 4-wheel-drive. Stock 4x4s can make the trip, but wide tires and low air pressure are extremely useful. Beware of erosion damage on the trail. Both branches of the canyon have some opportunities for heavy duty rock crawling.

Trail Location for Rock Corral Canyon

To reach the trail, take I-19 exit 29 "Tumacacori"; turn left (west) at the bottom of the ramp and there you are.

Topographic Maps Needed


Adjoining Maps

GPS Coordinates

Landmark UTM Easting UTM Northing Altitude
I-19 exit 29 "Tumacacori" 12 4 95 000 E 34 91 878 N +3328

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Last modified: Sat Apr 3 12:12:00 1999