The Backway to Crown King is one of Phoenix's most popular trails. Situated in parts of the Prescott National Forest travelers will definitely get a taste of what this state has to offer for scenery. The beautiful part of this trail is that it can be as easy or as difficult as needed but 4x4 is still required. If you plan on trying any of the optional and more difficult lines your vehicle and your 4x4 prowess must be adequate. The trail begins as an easy dirt road following along the northern borders of the Lake Pleasant Regional Park and through some secluded residential areas. After turning onto the Crown King Trail at Waypoint 6, the adventure has started. Gradually climbing to an elevation of 6441 ft before dropping into the town of Crown King, this trail offers tight shelf roads, steep rocky climbs with shelves, seasonal water crossings, and blind corners so please be careful. It is also very important to note that there is private property along this trail. Please respect all private property signs. At Waypoint 18, the road was recently routed down into the creek to serve as an alternate route around a private mining claim. The creek bottom is rocky but depending on weather and the time of year, this creek may have water in it. As such, obstacles under the water are not easily seen so please take care through this section of the trail. Also, please respect the miners’ wishes and do not enter into his property. It is also important to mention that in the winter months, depending on snow fall, the trail may not be passable. The snow can also create very dangerous situations on the narrow shelf roads. This is especially important after passing Waypoint 25. The descent past this point is on the north face of the mountain where ice and snow are the most treacherous. Please be prepared with the proper equipment, food, and water. Temperatures can also be very low so if you have to spend the night on the trail, please be prepared. If an overland adventure is what you are looking for, the Backway to Crown King can easily be connected to the [Senator Highway (FR 52)](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/76-senator-highway-arizona) for a scenic trip to Prescott, Arizona. This trail is shared with all kinds of OHV users including: motorcycles, side by sides, quads, and 4x4's so please respect the rules of the road.
During heavy snowfall, this trail could become impassable especially nearer to waypoint 25 and beyond.
There is a nice wide shoulder here for airing down tires and disconnecting sway bars. The road turns to dirt at the Primitive Road sign.
2. Right Turn at Cow Creek Road (2.8 mi)
Turn right/north onto Cow Creek Road from Castle Hot Springs Road. There is a large staging area here on the right.
3. Veer Left At Y (8.6 mi)
Continue north on Cow Creek Road. Columbia Trail enters from the right/east.
4. Continue Straight (10.3 mi)
Continue straight at this intersection with Champie Road. Please be respectful of all private property signs.
5. Stay Left Over Cattle Guard (12.2 mi)
After crossing the cattle guard stay left and continue into the residential area. Please respect the signs and drive slowly.
6. Right Turn At Crown King Trail (14.5 mi)
The "Crown King Rock," is the noticeable landmark here. Turn right and continue onto Crown King Trail.
7. Optional Line To Right (15.1 mi)
There is an optional line here to the right. Easier to the left and more difficult to the right. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
8. Optional Lines To Left (15.5 mi)
There are optional lines here to the left with varying degrees of difficulty. Easier to the left and more difficult to the right. Both options converge to continue on the main road.
9. Stone Chimney (16.1 mi)
No history on this stone chimney could be found but is certainly odd to see it here.
10. Optional Line To Left (16.7 mi)
Here is another optional line on the trail. This line is steep going with decent sized ruts. A mistake on this optional line could be catastrophic. It should only be attempted by skilled drivers with properly equipped vehicles. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
11. Optional Line To Right (17.1 mi)
While the main road continues straight then bends to the right, the optional line here crosses the road and continues on going uphill for a very long obstacle, rejoining the main road above. While the second pictures shows where the optional line crosses the main road, the third pictures shows not only the length of the obstacle but also where it rejoins the main road.
12. Optional Lines at Y (19 mi)
There are two lines at this Y intersection. Both lines converge to rejoin the main road.
13. Option Lines At Y (19.1 mi)
The main road continues to the left here while the more difficult line is on the right. The line on the right is steep, off camber, with rocky ledges, and an exposed shoulder on the right. This line is for experienced drivers only with well equipped vehicles with good suspension articulation and traction aides. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
14. Optional Line At Y (19.2 mi)
The more difficult line here is on the left while the easier is to the right. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
15. Option Line at Y (20.6 mi)
The easier line is to the right where the more difficult line is to the left. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
16. Optional Line At Y (21.4 mi)
The easier line is to the right. The line to the left requires good suspension articulation. Both lines converge to continue on the main road.
The name comes from the topographical map and although no history could be found on this location, this spot is a great place to pull over for lunch or to simply take a break. It is a fairly large area which makes a perfect spot for large groups to stop. Now within the Prescott National Forest, the road is now numbered FR 711.
18. Right turn down into Creek (22.3 mi)
At this location, FR 711 has been routed down into the creek. A miner has exercised his rights to his claim here and as a result the road has been re-routed. Please be respectful of the private property signs along the way.
19. Private Mine to Left (22.5 mi)
This is the entrance to the mine located here. It is clearly marked with signs, please be respectful of the signs and keep out.
20. Fort Misery (23.4 mi)
Turn left at this Y intersection to find Fort Misery. Both roads converge on FR 711 to continue. Fort Misery was built by a man named Al Francis and is not to be confused with the Fort Misery, "Arizona's Oldest Log Cabin," at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. Fort Misery was said to have been named by it's builder either by the nearby Misery Spring or by the living conditions at the time; [Arizona Pioneer and Cemetery Research Project](http://www.apcrp.org/Fort%20Misery/Ft_Misery_010708.htm).
21. Optional Line at Y (23.6 mi)
FR 711 continues straight and bends around the corner to the right. The optional line here to the right converges with FR 711.
22. Car Over Edge to Right (24.5 mi)
A sobering reminder here on how things can go bad quickly on the trail. This car may very well be a new addition to the trail as it was not recognized as being there on the last trip to Crown King.
23. Memorial to Right (26.9 mi)
This memorial was placed here within the last couple of years to pay respects to a couple who lost their lives on the trail. The memorial was in very good condition and it was apparent that other fellow travelers have stopped to pay their respects.
24. Keep Right FR711/FR192 (27.1 mi)
FR 711 intersects with FR 192 here, FR 192 will be used to continue on into Crown King. FR 192 enters from the left. Keep right and follow the road uphill.
25. Highest Elevation (31.5 mi)
This is the highest point on the trail at an elevation of 6441 ft. The remainder of the trail is on a northern facing slope. In times of inclement weather conditions this is where the trail can become dangerous especially in the ice and snow. The trail now continues downhill towards the intersection with the [Senator Highway (FR 52)](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/76-senator-highway-arizona).
26. Continue Straight (32.2 mi)
FR 192 intersects with the Senator Highway (FR 52) here which comes from the left/northwest. There is a stop sign here. This is a pretty heavily traveled area now so please take care and stop at the sign before continuing on. Continue straight on FR 52 to continue on into Crown King.
27. Left On Crown King Road (33.5 mi)
FR 52 intersects with Crown King Road (FR 259) here. A left turn here will lead into the town of Crown King. This is a pretty heavily traveled area so please take care and stop at the sign before continuing on.
28. Left On Main Street (34.1 mi)
Turn left/north here onto Main Street to find the town of Crown King.
29. End of Trail (34.3 mi)
Welcome to Crown King! Parking can sometimes be difficult to find but please be respectful and find a designated spot along the road to park.