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Montana Mountain

5 Reviews
Location Superior, AZ
Rating Easy,
Length 29mi
Time 6hrs

Vehicle Types


Climbs remote, scenic mountain.

A scenic high-mountain loop that encircles popular Hewitt Station OHV Area. Large staging areas at both ends of trail. We drove this route in late February and had to turn around at Wpt. 03 due to deep, wet snow. We came back 3 weeks later, and all had melted.


Trail Ratings Defined

Lower part is graded road with some embedded rock. Upper parts are steeper and narrower, and can be muddy and rutted when wet. When dry, stock 4x4 vehicles with high ground clearance can make it with an experienced driver. Washes are usually dry, but we encountered flowing streams in late February when snow was melting.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Current Conditions

(480) 610-3300Tonto N.F., Mesa Ranger District

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Tom
This has been one of my most favorited trails.
Near Phoenix, great scenery, lots of interesting side trails and hiking trails.
Provides access to many of the best hiking trails in Arizona.
However, this trail is deteriorating steadily. Every time, I have visited, it is getting worse and worse.
By now, right after waypoint 2 until waypoint 4 it is definitely not easy, it could even justify difficult rating (moderate rating would be my suggestion).
There are deep erosion ruts and large rocks in the whole section, some of them could be really dangerous. One has to be very alert all the time as some of these are quite hidden on the sides of the shelf road. Other ruts are so deep that are hard to get over, they could cause rollover or equipment damage. I have personally seen vehicles stuck there.
The trail now is not for novice, it needs bigger tires, and even lockers could be put to use here. If you do not have the skills and/or equipment, do not go pass wp2! Kind of shame, it used to be nice, family outing type of trail, but be beware now. On the other hand it, is becoming quite adventurous and challenging for the people who like it.

Submitted by Kim
Would call this a sold blue trail w some red portions. We did the loop clockwise on a Wed midday. Lots of traffic both directions which made the challenging sections that much dicier. Would be great if they changed this to a one way trail. As others have noted the trail has many sections of bouldering and fully lifted 4WD is a must if not using a OHV. Fun. Long. Took us 5 1/2 hours due to slow going on both ascent and descent though boulders and tight switchbacks.

Submitted by David
This trail has beautiful views of the Arizona desert. At waypoint 2, on F.S. 650. The trail changes from easy to what I would consider moderate. There are several switchbacks that require off-camber driving experience. Serval areas where erosion has taken its toll. Took between 5 and 6 hours to drive. I have a 4Runner Off Road with a 2” lift.

Submitted by Patrick
Took a ride up today in an F250. Great day for a trip, beautiful scenery, saw lots of wildlife. I would probably upgrade this to a moderate trail. There are a few spots with deep trenches and narrow paths along 172. We had to turn around at Roger’s Trough. There are some pretty rough-looking rocks jutting up from the trail on 165 that we just weren’t willing to chance going over. It May or may not be a problem with a jeep.

Submitted by Tom
This is a very popular trail with lots of scenery. It used to be a piece of cake, well-graded. It leads to popular hiking trails, so hikers use it to access them.  In past, I have seen people with rental Subaru’s making it, easily. Not this time, it deteriorated a lot in the last couple of years. Especially lots of erosion, gullies, and down cuts, some of them outright scary, also ruts and deposed sediments. I think it could be quite dangerous for inexperienced drivers right now. We have seen some stuck and some really scared people there! For experienced drivers with good equipment, is not that hard still, but one has to be constantly on the watch, no piece of cake anymore for anybody. It really deserves a Moderate rating now. Hopefully, they will grade it sometime soon. This is supposed to be a hiking trail access route, not an expert 4×4 course.

Submitted by Kevin
I drove it in a 2021 4runner Pro. Offroad driving experience is really limited, but I’ve had craploads of hardcore mountain biking experience and I think the trail becomes moderately difficult once near the peak and descending through the switchbacks. I would have had a blast descending on a bike but I would have still exercised caution.

Submitted by Chas
OHV heavy travel last weekend. Slow clockwise travel. Noisy caravaners, gunshots, and hunters in the area. This is an easy trail turning into a moderate trail. Turned around Roger’s Trough due to washed-out rock and lack of information on the condition of the road beyond the site. Jeeps made it through this area without a problem.

Submitted by Ron
First time on this trail in 2020 Rubicon JLU on August 25, 2020. Large, deep wallowed out area around mile 12.3. FS 650 has several rutted areas and leans more toward moderate. Only saw 3 other vehicles on easy portions of trail — 1 a Fish and Wildlife vehicle. Awesome drive, but lots of smoke from our western wildfires.

Tonto National Forest temporary closure. Due to several fires, this area has restrictions. Read forest order here. For updates go to N.F. website for alerts and notices.

03/14/2019 and 03/27/2019

Submitted by Charles Wells
This trail has gotten a little tougher, so we’ll be upping the rating from easy to moderate. I drove the trail on March 14 and ran into about a foot of snow at Waypoint 03. I was forced to turn back along with many UTVs. I went back two weeks later and got through with no problems. With all that melting snow and rain the trail was gorgeous with lots of wildflowers and a lot of water flowing in the normally dry washes. There are many OHV trails inside the Montana Mountain loop and this area has become a very popular OHV area complete with developed staging areas and good signage. Hewitt Station Road is now permanently closed between Waypoints 6 and 1, but bypass trails are shown on posted maps.
Submitted by Randy Oaklief
Saw a comment that Hewitt Station Road was closed not sure what they meant. a group of us did Montana mountain on September 1, 2018. the beginning of the trail at Highway 60 to Queen Valley Road to Hewitt Station Road and then it turn off to Hewitt Canyon Road is open
Hewett Station Road is now closed to through traffic.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Solange Fedele says

Great trail. Only issue is at the end, in order to get back to your truck you will need to go onto highway 60. Hewett Station Road is now closed to through traffic.

Dean Schultz says

A great experience. Third trip. We went on Mothers Day May 12, 2018. Saw only 4 other Quads and a bicycle, yes a Bike. We got caught on top in a Desert Thundsr Storm. Got drenched. Great experience. Recommend taking rain gear.🌝

Alan Sullivan says

Drove this Trail Feb 21, 2021 in a slightly modified 2013 Nissan Xterra. Lower sections are indeed easy, but once you are on 720A and 650, up on the high section of trail, this trail is easily a 5 out of 10. I counted 11 times I was on 3 wheels going over, down or up an obstacle. There was nothing too daunting, but not a trail for novices.

Doug Hallden says

Sept. 09, 2021. Great trial overall. 172A and 650 are more a moderate rating (my opinion: 28 years wheeling in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona)) due to excessive rainfall creating deep washouts and ruts. A few boulders have fallen onto trail, but, one can go around them with caution. Also, many of the switchbacks require hard turns or even a back up to align vehicle to the downward trail. "Arizona pinstriping" is possible on vehicles due to going close to roads edge or rock walls with brush because of deep drop offs of rocks in the middle of trail. A challenging trail but well worth the hours of 4 wheel driving. Remember..bring plenty of water.

Curtis O says

A great trail system with terrific views of the AZ desert foothills. Literally a FOREST of saguaro in several spots!! I would agree, however, that this trail has become moderate, rather than easy. We tried it on 01/15/23 in damp to rainy conditions. The was near 357 and 172 helds 2-3" of water, so we travelled basically clockwise toward the peaks, rising several thousand feet. We climbed as far as we could through the switchbacks until we encountered some very sketchy ruts and rocks. Definitely not for any stock vehicle I can think of, especially not my Honda Ridgeline; in fact, we were passed by several SxS, only to see them come back the other way. Turned around and headed out the way we cam in until just short of the 172/357 intersection, which, by then, held 2-3 FEET of fast moving water. Had to backtrack to the 252 to cross the valley and escape. Won't try this again without a significant dry spell and I'm not sure the full loop is possible without a seriously modded truck or SxS.
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