Diamond Creek Road
Drop over 3,500 feet from Peach Springs as you follow only one of two roads that end at the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The scenery is constantly breathtaking on this mostly easy road on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
Because this trail is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, you need to stop at Hualapai Lodge on the south side of Route 66 to get sightseeing permits. This is a fairly easy process but expect to dish out some money. In-state, single day sightseeing permits were around $16/person. Out of state rates were $26/person. Prices subject to change. Once you get your permits, you’ll get a single page map and list of rules you need to follow – including sticking to the main road, no alcoholic beverages, 25 mph speed limit, no ATV’s or UTV’s and so on. It’s worth the drive and the money.
Where to go:
This trail begins in Peach Springs northeast of Kingman. Follow Route 66 east from Kingman for 50.2 miles to Peach Springs. You’ll need to stop at Hualapai Lodge on the right to get permits for completing the trail. Turn left on Diamond Creek Road from Route 66 and follow it north 1.2 miles until the pavement ends.
From Route 66, follow paved Diamond Creek Road north for 1.2 miles. The road turns to dirt and passes over a cattle guard. Within half a mile, the trail begins on a permanent descent towards the Colorado River. Because this road is in a narrow canyon, there really aren’t any turns or navigation to worry about – simply follow the main path. The road surface is very washboardy and bumpy for nearly the entire length. You’ll cross wash bottoms countless times as the road meanders along the floor of the canyon.
After a right turn at 5.5 miles, the scenery dramatically improves. The road continues dropping as the walls of the canyon get taller and narrower. Continue crossing normally dry wash bottom several times. At 17.8 miles, you’ll pass a small parking area as Diamond Creek joins from the right. From here until the end, expect water on all or part of the road. It is usually just a couple of inches deep and is a nice change of pace, but use caution after a storm as the trail can become impassable. From here until the end is the best part of the trail. The trail forks at 18.9 miles near the end. To the right, bathrooms, parking, and picnic tables. To the left is vehicle access to the Colorado River where the trail ends at 19.1 miles. You can drive your vehicle literally right up to the water and take a picture. Expect a ranger at the bottom to check your permits. Return 19.1 miles the way you came back to Peach Springs.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
The entire trail is a semi-maintained dirt/gravel road. Expect lots of washboards and a few rough sections at the end. Low clearance vehicles can make this drive most of the time unless there was a serious flood that changed the trail. Check with conditions at the Hualapai Lodge if you’re worried. We’ve rated this trail a ‘2’ out of ‘10’ because it is slightly rough in a few places. You won’t need 4-wheel drive or even high-clearance. Unfortunately, this trail is not open to ATV’s or UTV’s. To complete the 38 miles to the Colorado River and back, allow for about 2 hours. You’ll want to stop at the end to get some pictures.