Four Wheel Drive Trip to Sheep Bridge, Arizona
January 23, 2013
We took Cave Creek Road east and branched north toward Seven Springs on FR 24. At the junction with Bloody Basin Road we took FR 269 about 12 miles to the Sheep Bridge over the Verde River. The original suspension bridge was built in 1943-44 for $ 7,277. The walkway is 476 feet long and three feet wide. The purpose was to enable to sheep herds, owned by the Flagstaff Sheep Company, to be moved from one side of the river to the other (from high country pastures to low desert pastures). Previously fording the river was dangerous and resulting in losing several sheep each time. In 1978 the bridge was entered in the National Register of Historic Places. The old wooden bridge weakened by time and flooding was disassembled in 1988. In 1989 the current bridge was built. Below the bridge hiding in the bulrushes is a hot spring (90 degrees) contained in a stone and cement pool about the size of a hot tub. After leaving the Sheep Bridge, we made a short drive down Red Creek, literally driving in the creek over and around various boulders. We then traveled Bloody Basin Road to I 17.