A popular recreation area for Metro Phoenix residents is the Salt River, located north of Apache Junction off Bush Highway. Though the most common summer activity is floating down the river on inner tubes, with a load of cold drinks, many a Jeep owner has found the rocky crags and silty hills great to tool around on.
Over the years, many of the off-road areas have been closed because of soil degradation, accidents, trash accumulation, or plain stupidity, but a few challenges remain. And there's always the river, which can cool you off from the 118-degree summer heat after a quick dip.
The best obstacles are just above the river's shore, on ancient river terraces, which leave cobblestone cliffs loosely cemented. There are also a few hard-rock canyons around, but access is tight through the overgrown riparian vegetation.
From the Phoenix area, follow Bush Highway north out of Mesa, turn left into the dirt before crossing Blue Point bridge, and indulge in a good afternoon of Jeeping without having to drive all day to get there.