Skip to main content

National Park Wednesday; Maricopa Road through Sonoran Desert National Monument to Arizona State Route 238

Back between 2010 and 2012 I frequently traveled through Sonoran Desert National Monument on Maricopa from Gila Bend to Arizona State 238 in Mobile.






The route between AZ 347 in Maricopa in Pinal County east to AZ 85 in Maricopa County is 44.27 miles in length.  Despite the current Maricopa Road being quite good and a solid shortcut from Phoenix to Yuma only the first 20.27 miles west from AZ 347 is state maintained as AZ 238.  AZ 238 ends slightly west of the Pinal County Line and Mobile but continues as the paved county maintained road another 24 miles to AZ 85 in Gila Bend.  Much of Maricopa Road from the west terminus of AZ 238 to AZ 85 traverses the Sonoran Desert National Monument along a Southern Pacific Line between the North Maricopa Mountains and South Maricopa Mountains.  The photos below are from Maricopa County just east of Gila Bend in the Sonoran Desert National Monument between the twin Maricopa Ranges.




AZ 238 is a recent addition to the Arizona State Highway system having been created in 1986.  AZ 238 was meant to serve a hazardous waste station in the community of Mobile which was ultimately never built.  AZ 238 is mostly signed on Maricopa Road but a small portion is signed on Smith Enke Road within in the City of Maricopa.  While AZ 238 was paved relatively quickly it wasn't until some point between 1996 and 2001 that Maricopa Road was paved all the way west to Gila Bend. 

Sonoran Desert National Monument lies within a fairly undeveloped part of Sonoran Desert south of the Phoenix Area.  Sonoran Desert National Monument extends south of I-8 into the Table Top Wilderness and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Sonoran Desert National Monument was declared in 2001 but it is largely thought that it was created to impede the southern sprawl of Metro Phoenix.

Sonoran Desert National Monument Map

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages