Description: This drive passes through historic mining country dating back over 140 years. Drivers enjoy a beautiful mountain drive and many important historic stops along the way, including Bumble Bee, Cleator and Crown King. Crown King Road is a wide gravel road suitable for passenger cars when dry. The road climbs rapidly as it nears the town of Crown King. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended for Senator Highway beyond Crown King where the road is rough and narrow.
Time & Distance: This is a full-day adventure especially if driven from Phoenix or Flagstaff. The dirt road portion of the trip is over 70 miles. You’ll want to stop frequently, so start early and allow plenty of time.
Trail Conditions: Prescott N.F., Bradshaw Ranger Districts. Call (928) 443-8000. In winter, call Crown King General Store @ (928) 632-7911.
Directions to the Trail: Get off I-17 at exit 248 and head northwest to Bumble Bee. If you are coming from the north, you might elect to get off at exit 259. Head west, then south to connect to Crown King Road north of Bumble Bee. Those coming from Prescott would likely head south on the Senator Highway and drive the trail in the reverse direction.
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Get yourself and your TOY ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!