Silverbell Sasco Loop

Total Miles
53.2

Elevation

809.29 ft

Duration

1 Hours

Technical Rating

4

Moderate

Best Time

Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Titan Missile Interpretive Center, Silver Bell Mine, Silverbell Cemetery, mutant saguaros, and Sasco ghost town. A fun day on easy roads. Our friend that suggested the trip said it could be done "in a lifted Prius". That is slight hyperbole, but it is quite easy. Passable by most vehicles with a bit of clearance, but bumpy. The trail can be done in either direction but is described as driving clockwise. The mutant saguaros are about halfway through the trail. Must be a dozen in a very small area. We have no explanation. The Titan II Missile Interpretive Site is well worth a visit. The Titan II Missile sites were located in Arkansas, Kansas, and Arizona as a deterrent to nuclear war during the cold war period, and they were manned 24/7 for 24 years, from 1963 to 1987. Each site was capable of launching a Titan II Missile in 58 seconds in case of an attack on the United States. The road skirts overburden piles of the Silver Bell Mine started in 1880 and currently operated by Asarco. Open pits are not visible from the road. We found one crested saguaro visible from the road. Nobody seems sure of what causes the crest, but theories include frost, insect infestation, or damage from birds, animals, people, and weather.

Difficulty

Uneven, rutted dirt trail with loose rocks, sand, erosion, and washes. Potential water crossings up to a foot deep, mud holes, and obstacles up to 18", including ledges and short, steep grades. Roads are typically one vehicle wide with places to pass.

Technical Rating

4