Senator Highway

4.4/5 (24 reviews)
Let’s get something straight right now. Senator Highway isn’t a highway. And it has nothing to do with politics, well, almost nothing. But the Senator is an amazing trail through a beautiful, rugged land with a great history. In 1863 William Bradshaw discovered gold and other mineral deposits in... Read More
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Highlights of Senator Highway

Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
Forest Category Icon Forest
Ghost Town Category Icon Ghost Town
Mine Category Icon Mine
Mud Category Icon Mud
Overland Category Icon Overland
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Snow Wheeling Category Icon Snow Wheeling
Water Category Icon Water
Highest Elevation
7182 ft
Shape of Trail
Straight Through
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
North
Official Trail Name
52
Nearest Town
Crown King
Nearest Services
Prescott
Management Agency
Prescott National Forest
District
Bradshaw Ranger District

Overview

Let’s get something straight right now. Senator Highway isn’t a highway. And it has nothing to do with politics, well, almost nothing. But the Senator is an amazing trail through a beautiful, rugged land with a great history. In 1863 William Bradshaw discovered gold and other mineral deposits in a largely unexplored Arizona mountain range that would one day bear his name. By 1871 the Senator Mine southeast of Prescott, the off-and-on territorial capital of Arizona, was producing fine-grade gold ore. One of the partners in the Senator Mine was the then Territorial Governor John Goodwin, who may or may not have had aspirations to be Arizona’s first Senator once it achieved statehood. A toll road, begun in 1866 from Prescott towards Groom Lake, was continued on to the mine in 1875 and became known locally as Senator Highway. By then, the first mining claim was established near what would become the bustling new town of Crown King. By fits and starts, Senator Highway was extended across the spine of the Bradshaws to connect the Crown King to Prescott. Today Senator Highway troops through verdant pine forests and classic high desert chaparral, climbing and descending the varied topography. Portions of the trail are nicely maintained, while others are often rutted and rough, receiving little attention. Sections of shelf road offer broad vistas across the rugged Bradshaws. Approximately at the halfway point of the trail lies the historic log cabin known as Palace Station. Built as a homestead in 1875 by Alfred and Matilda Spence, the cabin was used as a stage stop until 1910. Today it is an administrative site for the Prescott National Forest and is not open to the public. As one of the oldest structures in Arizona still in use, the cabin is a treasure and a highlight of the Senator Highway.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
13 Waypoints
41 Trail Photos
1 Trail Concerns
24 Community Reviews
1 Video
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