From the parking lot follow the trail East to the abandoned railroad bed then turn left (North). After about a half mile the trail will leave the railroad bed and head East toward the river. After crossing a second abandoned railroad bed follow the trail for about a mile and a half North. Here there is a junction with a short trail leading down to the river with a view of the site of the old town of Contention across the river. For this ride follow the trail North. It follows along side of, or on top of, the abandoned railroad bed for five more miles to the Cienega parking area. The Cienega (the Spanish word for marsh or swamp) parking lot was primarily established to facilitate the study of this ancient marsh by Arizona universities. This is the official
Northern end of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. From this primitive parking area a rough road leads about one mile North across private land to meet up with Escalante Crossing Road in Saint David. If you go West on this road it will change into Apache Powder Road and lead to Hwy 80 at the North end of Saint David. If you go East it will cross the now dry San Pedro River bed and lead to hwy 80 at the South edge of Saint David. I've included these road descriptions to facilitate access to the Cienega parking area from Saint David in case someone wants to plan a group ride with more than one vehicle and make this a one-way ride. For the out and back ride turn around and ride the 8 1/2 miles back to the Presideo parking lot.