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Tour of the most fun and challenging trails west of Ajo, Arizona!

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1,839' 560 m


1,625' 495 m


786' 240 m


787' 240 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown


The trails west of Ajo are under-appreciated but offer much of what the more popular trails to the south have to offer - but closer to town and more compact.

There are several challenging climbs that can't be surpassed by anything south or east of town, namely Danny's Climb and the climb at the end of Into The Vortex (BLM 8112J) / beginning of Escaping The Vortex. Other challenging trails included here are D to FMZ Connector and Floaty McZebratail. Floaty McZebratail is one of the area's most amazing, hidden gems!

Need to Know

There are three private inholdings within BLM west of Ajo, so please respect private property and any trails marked with "No Trespassing" signs. Sometimes these signs are vandalized, so best to stick to trails mapped here.

There is ok cell reception closer to town, and downslope closer to Rasmussen Road Extended (8112), at least as of May 2021. There are some cell phone deadspots on the upper bajada slopes west of town. Be cautious - there is no E.R. in Ajo and it is a long helicopter or ambulance ride to a hospital if you get hurt!


Start off riding west on Rasmussen Road Extended (8112) to the D Road (8112 D Road) D Road (8112 D Road) is one of those rare trails that is a blast to ride both up and down - highly recommended for an amazing start and end to this loop (although there are several alternatives).

From the top of D Road (8112 D Road), hang a right (west) onto the D to FMZ Connector that is both fun and has a challenging deep wash crossing. The conditions of the wash crossing can vary greatly depending on recent rain and OHV use, so some caution is appropriate when approaching the descent.

Not enough can be said of how fun Floaty McZebratail is relative to many of the area trails! There is a great mix of conditions, including a short section of sandy wash that is perhaps fastest on a fatbike or after recent rains have firmed-up the sand. Note: as with many trails in the area, there are several flat or off-camber turns that should be taken with caution so as not to slide into a saguaro or chain-fruit cholla cactus (or rocks)!

From Floaty McZebratail, suffer up to the top of Danny's Climb and enjoy the view (and much-deserved break) before heading across Solifuge Connector to J.5. J.5 is fairly rocky and gets more fun as you head north, including a short hill to roll over. After a very brief jog east on Rasmussen Road Extended (8112), head back upslope (south) to Into The Vortex (BLM 8112J) and be prepared for a challenging climb / hike up the hill at the end. Similarly the downside of that hill is quite steep, rocky, and with a sharp turn at the bottom - best to walk it if you're not an experienced rider. You can also just truncate the hill altogether by Escaping The Vortex at the first pinch point (see map).

Once you're almost back to Rasmussen Road Extended (8112), hang a right (east) onto the F Road Cutoff and again upslope onto the F-Road - FMZ Connector.

From here, you can continue back up Floaty McZebratail, or hang a left onto F-Road East (8112F) to Heloderma (8112H), and catch Floaty McZebratail just before the sandy wash section (again, easiest to ride that section on fatter tires!). Another fun, short out-and-back for more miles is Heloderma (8112H) to the terminus and back down to Floaty McZebratail. From here, you can ride out on Coachwhip, but we recommend D to FMZ Connector and back out on D Road (8112 D Road) for the high fun factor!

History & Background

There are some old copper mines in the area. These can be deadly if you fall in them, so best not to approach any old mine pits.


Local Club: Bike Ajo

Land Manager: BLM - Lower Sonoran Field Office

Shared By:

Danny Martin

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Ajo


  5.0 from 1 vote
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in Ajo


in Arizona


11 Views Last Month
243 Since May 9, 2021
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Short steeper section that often has large rocks in the trail dislodged by OHVs.
Feb 24, 2021 near Ajo, AZ
Looking up from the bottom of the hill at the southern end of Into The Vortex. Note short, steep hill with loose rock.
Feb 13, 2021 near Ajo, AZ
Western terminus of 8112F, viewed from Rasmussen Extended looking west.
Feb 20, 2021 near Ajo, AZ
This is the top (upslope start) of "Floaty McZebratail" (to left) as viewed at the turn from "D to FMZ Connector" (to right).
Feb 7, 2021 near Ajo, AZ
This is the trailhead for Into The Vortex (8112J, to left) from the main road (Rasmussen Road Extended, to right), looking southwest.
Feb 12, 2021 near Ajo, AZ
Western terminus of F-Road Cutoff (8112F), as viewed from main road (Rasmussen Road Extended / 8112) looking south towards the Little Ajo Mountains on the horizon.
Feb 13, 2021 near Ajo, AZ



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 53 days ago
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