Forest Road 44 Hike Overview
This is a great place to stop and stretch your legs when you are driving the Bloody Basin Road. It’s flat and in a pine forest! Because it’s around 4000 feet it’s also a bit cooler.
Map & Elevation Profile
Max elevation: 4794 ft
Min elevation: 4601 ft
Total time: 01:20:25
We parked at the eastern side of Forest road 44 (it’s a loop). There is a little pull out at the start of Forest Road 44 and another area to park 30 feet or so in.
Forest Road 44 Hike Trail Notes
The first time we drove Bloody Basin Road, I noticed this little road on the mesa and thought next time we are walking this. Secretly, I really wanted to camp here but we weren’t able to due to the forest closing for the month of July. Next time!
This small hike was a great break from the car. We had already been in the car for a couple of hours and it felt great to stretch our legs. This mesa top has pine trees and grassy meadow areas. It’s beautiful! The road was definitely driveable but I am glad we walked it instead.
Our goal was to walk to the mesa edge on Forest Road 3159 and look out over the Tonto. Forest Road 3159 started as a nice wide forest road, got narrower and less road like, and then just disappeared. Note that on the Nat Geo #850 map it is marked as a high clearance road. It is in the beginning but quickly fades. There was a fence recently installed and what looked like a trail next to it. We followed this until it just got too brushy and there was a section that would have required stepping/getting over the barbed wire fence. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the mesa edge but we did spend some time in the trees. Definitely still a win!
So, is hiking on Forest Road 44 worth it?
Absolutely. Especially if you love these dry higher altitude areas with pine trees and need a break from the car while driving the Bloody Basin Road.