We were having a conversation the other day, musing about how trails get named. If hardcore trails had names like “Cream Puff” or “Walk in the Park,” most ’wheelers would probably be uninterested. But name a couple of trails “Smasher” and “Brutal,” and those looking for some challenge (and who aren’t afraid of a little sheet metal scarring) will flock to those trails.
Such was the case recently when we attended a run with the Arizona chapter Toyota Territory Off-Roaders Association (AZTTORA). Some of the dedicated members put together an informal weekend with several interesting runs in central Arizona, near Cottonwood and Sedona.
Several groups split off into Tonto National Forest land and into rock canyons, where the Smasher and Brutal trails take you on a scenic journey over strewn boulders and waterfall ledges. This is high desert at an altitude of about 4,000 feet above sea level.
We found ourselves out exploring on a warmish fall day, but clouds slowly spilled across the sky. We were wary and watched for the formation of dark, storm clouds upstream from us, as flash flooding can be common in these areas. But, the weather held off until later in the evening and we were free to enjoy the trails.
The day was not without a bit of sheet metal damage and some mechanical carnage, but that’s to be expected. All told, there were probably about 20 rigs, mostly Toyotas. We were joined by some members of the Arizona Undertakers and Zuks of Arizona, and one of the groups led by Scott Senko tackled Smasher Canyon and then ventured on to the Greasy Spoon and Broken Arrow trails up near Sedona.
What a great day on the trails! Check out some of the rigs that we saw and people we got the pleasure to spend the day with.