Backway to Crown King, Arizona

4.8/5 (31 reviews)
Crown King, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 10/14/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

The highlight of the Backway to Crown King is the town itself and serves as a welcomed destination after a long day on the trail. Whether stopping for lunch or staying the night, it is well worth the time to check out the general store, saloon, and prospector mall. If you need supplies or a souvenir t-shirt, the general store is the place to go. It is also the place to go for Crown King's famous fudge. If you are looking for a cold adult beverage or a meal, check out the Crown King Saloon. Local musicians also frequent the saloon for good music. The Prospector Mall is also a great place to stop for supplies and a meal. Their breakfast is fantastic. There are also several cabins in the area that are available for travelers to spend the night. You can find any and all information about the services available in Crown King on their [website](http://www.crownkingaz.com).

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

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.

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (31 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/11/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

We ran the trail with 4 diverse vehicles; my Ranger, a stock Ranger Tremor, a stock, non-TRD 4-runner, and a JLUR on 35"s with a winch. The recent rains made the trail much more difficult. The Jeep and my Ranger made it unassisted with only minor body damage to my Ranger. The rock hump/ledge (picture of my buddies Ranger) after the waterfall required winching of his Ranger and the 4-Runner. The left turn 1000' so past that spot did the damage to my Ranger and required the winch line again for the other Ranger and the 4-Runner. We camped right before way-point 25, overnight temps were in the low 20's. much of the trail past way point 15 is more washed out than the pictures show.
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Jon Houchin
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Jon Houchin
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We did the trail with https://valleygladiators.com club on 10/23. We had 7 Jeeps and were able to finish the trail in about 6 hours. Nearly all obstacles have bypasses. This also includes the waterfall at the end which never had a bypass until this year! Overall, the trail was a relatively easy 4 for well equipped Jeeps. Biggest challenge for Gladiators or anyone with a long wheel base is the last obstacle after the waterfall. You absolutely need to have a spotter because the margin of error is only +/- 6 inches of either passing through or sliding off a 50 foot drop.
James
2200
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Enjoyed this trail on a Sat. I expected it to be busier than it was but we passed less than 10 vehicles going the opposite direction. We took all the obstacles and made it through the trail just fine. Beautiful views and a good lunch at the end of the trail. Full day experience but really enjoyed it.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/26/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

The rating was off just a little. There are 2 obstacles with no bypass that require a modified rig with high clearance and oversize tires. One of our stock 2020 Rubicon had to be towed off one of these because he got high centered. He tried several lines but none worked for him. As you can see in the pics I included, he got way too close to the rocks on his passenger side. I had to use my winch to pull him away from the wall while another Jeep towed him off the rocks. Other than these, the trail rating was spot on. We came from Florence so this total ride took 12.5 hours.
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Billy Crowell
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Billy Crowell
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/25/2022

We entered the southern end of the Trail - knowing we were too novice to make it all the way to Crown King.. The trail was every easy early on. We hung a right on China Dam/Tule Homestead, a very cool side trail with spectacular views of Lake Pleasant. Traveling on we headed West on Champie Road Trail, pretty easy but surprised at the wild life and houses scattered throughout the trail. Headed back home toward Carefree on a very easily missed trail head Morgan City Wash.. An easy 3/4 with even more wildlife and completely different terrain. All in took us about 6 hours to do the loop.. Well worth the time and fairly easy on the Wrangler.
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Russ Parsons
Trail Review: Backway to Crown King, Arizona - Russ Parsons
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