Senator Highway

4.4/5 (20 reviews)
Crown King, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 01/07/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

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 Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (21 reviews)
Status: Open
Visited: 01/14/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Todays ride in our Jeep Gladiator was a bit more difficult then expected. Lots of snow…. A Lot! Lots of sliding at the top
Status: Open
Visited: 01/14/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Road the trail today in our 4 wheel drive gladiator. Beautiful trail, but when you get to the top there is A LOT of snow. Be prepared to slow down, gear down and do a lot of sliding.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 01/07/2023
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 11/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

The locals in Crown King shared that there had been some issues with the road following the fire and additional runoff. There is a spot or two that I would rate a 2/3. This trail makes for a long day, but I felt like it was worth it considering you can explore Crown King and Prescott.
Trail Review: Senator Highway - Ken Broermann
Trail Review: Senator Highway - Ken Broermann
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/01/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I started this trail from way point 3, after the scout trail wagoner. this was a great trail, I had a couple of pucker factors on this trail. I have a full size truck and luckily it a high clearance 4x4. don't recommend doing in a vehicle that's not high clearance.

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