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Charouleau Gap

1 Review
Location Tucson, AZ
Rating Difficult,
Length 18.7mi
Time 7hrs

Vehicle Types


One of the best hard-core trails in Arizona when water flows.

This trail still remains one of the best hard-core trails in the state, especially when Canada Del Oro Wash is flowing. The most difficult obstacle, “The Step,” is located on a side loop. This and many other of the hardest obstacles are optional, but the trail is still very challenging. Great trail for ATVs and UTVs with staging at the start. A big thanks to the Tucson Rough Riders for adopting this trail and keeping it open.


Trail Ratings Defined

Long and remote, with challenging obstacles and potentially deep water crossings. Very steep in places with loose rock and erosion. Route-finding can be challenging. Not for stock SUVs. Go with a group and be prepared for breakdowns.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Current Conditions

(520) 749-8700Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District

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Trail Updates

Ran in XP4 Turbo. Still very difficult and the area is hard hit by the Bighorn fire. Lots of stumps and burned-out areas. No running water. Decided not to run both directions due to difficult terrain and several bottom outs/high center situations.

Coronado National Forest temporary closure. Due to the Bighorn fire, this area has restrictions. Read forest order here. For updates go to N.F. website for alerts and notices.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


James Manning says

My wife and I did this trail on 2/14/21 in our modified 04 Jeep TJ. It was a lot of fun but the information we were using about the trail was about 7 years old and it sounds like the trail has become more challenging. Our information had the trail listed as about 50/50 moderate/difficult trail. Our research also said it was a popular trail so we figured we would see lots of people along the way. We started on the Catalina side and ended at Oracle. As we were going along we kept saying to, Tucson must rate trails differently than the Phoenix area because this feels a lot more difficult than the moderate/difficult trails we are used to in the Phoenix area. As I mentioned, we found out our information was dated...we have since purchased the 3rd edition and agree that the trail is primarily difficult with some moderate areas. We didn't see anyone from about mile 5 to mile 16. I consider us Intermediate off-roaders. There were three areas that really challenged us, 2 related to steep inclines with loose rock and erosion (there is a YouTube video of an FJ tipping over on one of the spots) and the third being about a 2 foot tall boulder you can't avoid and I think would be near impossible with less than 33" tires. We didn't attempt "Kiss Rock" and "The Step" being that we were alone. We made it through all three challenging spots and learned a lot in the process. No damage or breakdowns...just elevated heart rates. Vehicles are definitely going to get scratched along the way and we learned that our plastic wheel fender/flares may make the jeep look cool but are not the best thing when it comes to off-roading since the tires were rubbing them a lot and ended up putting cracks in the back two before we made it out. It is an awesome trail and took us 5.5 hrs. Given the difficult nature and the length of the trail, don't expect to see many others once you are in about 5 miles... go with a buddy. Love the guide books!
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