Directions: go north of Phoenix in I-17, take Table Mesa exit left over Interstate, take frontage road north, take left turn to Little Pan staging area. Look at map at staging area. Go where Map tells you to. Tip Top is twelve miles of bad road from the Interstate. You will need four-wheel drive high clearance vehicle. Trust me.
We last visited Tip Top in November 2011 and the road was awful so we hiked the last couple miles. I vowed to return when I got a real off road vehicle. Ta Da! The Green Monster had no problem, however the people inside were knocked around pretty good. This road in is so rough that the pedometer I carry in my pocket to count the steps I take racked up over 20,000 steps with me just sitting in the drivers seat.
Tip Top is pretty much the same as last time, maybe a few rocks have fallen off the walls. We had the place to ourselves except for a couple cows. This time we drove past Tip Top as I understand there are more mine ruins up the canyon. Apparently we took the wrong road and ended up at Boulder Creek Ranch.
Plan this trip as an all dayer. You get to cross the Agua Fria River in a real pretty spot and see Saguaro Cactus forests and plenty of back country scenery. If I get this way again I plan to take the jeep trail down Cottonwood canyon and see If it really goes to Lake Pleasant.
Will was here 1/15/14