The quest for the ultimate weekend getaway starts at a local gas station as we top off the Gladiators extended range tank ensuring we have ample range for the following trail. The start of the real journey begins as we exit I-17 and make our way to the beginning of Bloody Basin trail. Nearly 40 miles of off-road travel in one direction leads you towards some of Arizona's most scenic views.
As you make your way through the Bloody Basin trail, you'll find yourself amidst constant changing elevation. The trail starts at almost 5,000' and ends right around 2,000' above sea level. Views of surrounding mountains and saguaros line this scenic route as you meander through a sweeping hairpins in the mountain pass.
Pro tip: Make sure to use your low gears to save your brakes as you descend down in to the valley.
History Of Bloody Basin Road
Bloody Basin received its name after the Battle of Turret Peak which took place in March 27th, 1873 when a group of soldiers led by Captain George M. Randall surprised the Apache natives in the middle of night when the stormed the peak. Startling the natives, many escaped and fell off the mountain tumbling to their death.
The site of the battle is now maintained by the Forest Service.
As you drop further into the valley, you are greeted with views of the Verde River which you will eventually make your way down to as your final destination.
With the immense length of corrugations and rock we were able to gauge the capability of the new American Expedition Vehicles Dualsport Suspension for the Gladiator platform. Our initial thought is "wow". Allowing the Gladiator to feel planted and with added comfort, this system has been fantastic for our intended use of overland travel.
Through The Saguaros
The Final Stretch
Constructed in 1943, the purpose of the Sheep Bridge was to minimize loss of livestock with local farmers crossing over the Verde River.
ARRIVING AT CAMP
Making the final leg of the journey to camp after the bridge required some added light from our AEV 7000 lights. These lights have been a godsend as we explore in later parts of the day. Featuring vibration isolating brackets, the AEV 7000 lights are beyond solid on any stretch of off-road terrain.
Home For The night
Built to conquer global expeditions, the Adventure Imports Gladiator is complete with an AT Overland Summit wedge style camper and diesel heater powered by Redarc components. We think this is the ultimate way to stay cozy in the backcountry.
With a long day ahead, we made our way back towards the main roads and opted to take the scenic drive from Bloody Basin into Scottsdale. Once hitting pavement, our InDeflate 2-Hose was crucial in assisting both tires reach proper tire pressures for highway driving use.