Log Corral: March 14, 2015
Log Corral Trail begins just after crossing the Sycamore Creek bridge, approximately 10 miles past the Saguaro Lake turn-off just north of Mesa. Following the wash for just a short way you turn right into the trailhead. The trail to Bartlett is just over eight miles long and winds it’s way through desert, trees, crossing Sycamore and finding Log Corral just before you descend to the lake.
Bartlett Lake is a reservoir that was formed by the damming of the Verde River. It is downstream and to the south of Horseshoe Reservoir. Constructed in 1936–39 by the Salt River Project, the Bartlett Dam and reservoir were named for Bill Bartlett, a government surveyor. Bartlett Lake was the first reservoir built on the Verde River. The day we visited, the water level at the lake was posted by SRP to be at about 65% full. Last year at this time it was much lower.
The waterfall is the most difficult area you encounter.
Careful tire placement, excellent spotters and high enough clearance will get you through without a problem. It’s actually a great challenge, but if you don’t have the clearance and you have a longer wheel base it’s a bit tricky.
After gaining a bit of altitude you come to the Log Corral. You are at the highest point and will descend to the lake from here. The rest of the trail from here to the lake is pretty much a sandy wash, not difficult at all.
We crossed over to a small island for our cookout and then headed back via FR 393.
We had planned to return the same way we came, but there were three other groups behind us and we didn’t feel any warm fuzzies about them waiting for us to get by. The Mesa Four Wheelers did a fantastic job keeping the trail from Sycamore
to the lake in good shape, but the trail doesn’t really lend itself to passing at any point.
It took us about 4 hours to get from airing down to the lake. The trail back was much longer, we figure around 16 miles, but it took around three hours to get back to the Beeline. The FR brings you out a bit north of Bushnell Tanks on the old Beeline.
Only problem was that the rains had washed the trail away at last count about 8 corners, making it a little more pucker factor than some of us were comfortable with. Another good rain and you will need shovels and muscle to get out that way. It didn’t look like it had been maintained since our last trip through a year before.
If you asked about this trail last year, we would have told you it was rated about moderate with the waterfall a little difficult for longer wheel bases. This year, due to the rains we had, it was much harder than we had anticipated. We did have to winch a couple with lower clearances through, but we all made it with no broken parts!
It was a blast, can’t wait for another ride together. See ya all on down the trail.
Log Corral, March 2014
This was sort of a last minute trip, only a handful could make it. Started at Beeline and went to Bartlett Reservoir, and a little past that just for kicks. It was a full day trip, we ventured down by the river to see if we could cross, but never found a spot. Nothing really difficult, but some really beautiful scenery.