This trip is majority paved however, there are several routes to add a little challenge to your route. The Backway to Crown King which travels from Lake Pleasant to Crown King is the toughest. It's 26 miles and will require a capable 4-wheel drive vehicle. Crown King Road (the front way) is the most popular and easiest route. It is an easy 25 mile drive from I-17 through Bumble Bee and Cleator along graded roads to Crown King. Alternatively, there are also trails from Prescott (Senator Highway) as well as Mayer and Cordes.
Begin this trip by heading north on the I-17 from Phoenix. Follow the I-17 for 33 miles, taking exit 248. After about 1.2 miles, turn right at the ‘T’. The road turns to dirt shortly after this. After 5 miles, you’ll pass through historic, Bumble Bee, Arizona. At the 9.9 and 11¼ (from the start of Crown King Rd.) stay straight where two roads lead right to Cordes. You’ll pass by the Hidden Treasure Mine, then the Golden Turkey Mine before getting to Cleator, Arizona, which sits at the 14 mile mark. At the 17 mile mark, pass through Middleton, which doesn’t have much left. However, look up the mountain to the west, where the historic DeSoto Mine sits. At 20 miles, you’ll hit the first switchback. You’ll pass a couple more before arriving in Crown King at mile marker 26. Turn right across a bridge at mile marker 27 to get to “downtown” Crown King. “Downtown” Crown King has a General Store, Saloon/Restaurant, and the Prospector Mall, all of which are great places to stop. More local attractions are the Del Pasco Mine and Horsethief Basin (continue down Crown King Road and stay left). Crown King offers a lot to do from trail riding to camping.
Total drive time is under 5 hours, but plan for most of the day because you’ll really want to relax and have fun. This 120 mile round trip is fun for the entire family. It’s got something for everyone, from pines, to pictures, to history. We’ve been on this trip many times, and still look forward to doing it again, every time!
Overview of the entire trip from Phoenix to Crown King.
85 miles from Phoenix | Food | Gas | Scenic Spots
A trip to Crown King, Arizona is guaranteed to be a good one. Whether you spend a couple of hours or a couple of days, Crown King is a nice escape from the city life. Crown King sits just a mere two hours from Phoenix, however, it is 4,000 feet above Phoenix and offers cool weather and great scenery. There is food, gas, and more ameneties available up in Crown King.