Wickenburg to Crown King

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Wickenburg to Crown King:
section 5 of the Arizona Traverse
AZ Traverse:5
Trail in Google Maps
creator: Jeremy Edgar (edgear)
Dates: June 23-24, 2009
Distance: 53 miles
Trail time: 12 hours
Difficulty (1-5): 3
Vehicle classes: High-clearance 4WD
Small/medium dualsport moto

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Location details

Southwestern United States, Arizona, Northern Arizona, Yavapai County, Wickenburg, Prescott, Bradshaw Mountains, Lake Pleasant


Old mining trails winding through the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains south of Prescott, AZ heading up to the old mining town of Crown King.

Detailed description

This trail starts just north of Wickenburg, AZ (elev. 2,000 ft) on some very wide & graded dirt roads. The trail soon becomes much more narrow and difficult as it winds up into the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains. There is a 3-mile section of deep sand through a wash bottom that can be very challenging on a motorcycle. Beyond that are several boulder/rock-crawling sections that require a good level of ground clearance, articulation, and driving skill. This trail passes several historic and abandoned mines; notably, Minnehaha and Copperopolis. It also takes you by the Isaac Bradshaw gravesite. The end point is the town of Crown King, AZ (elev. 5,700 ft) nestled high up in the pine trees. Gas, food & water are available here, either at the saloon or gas station/general store.

Terrain type / brush factor

Graded dirt road; not-maintained ranching/mining trails; sandy/boulder wash bottom; steep & loose climbs; 9+ feet wide trail
Medium brush factor

Permits? Fees? Seasonal closures?

Must have a street legal vehicle. If not street legal, the AZ OHV sticker is required for use on trail where permitted. No known fees at the current time for dispersed camping in established campgrounds. Much of the trail is not maintained, so based on snow/rain/flooding, trail conditions could change.

Attendees (vehicles/people)

Suzuki DR200 / Jeremy Edgar (edgear)
Suzuki DR650 / Nathan Kroeker (Alpine HooHa)
KTM 950 Adventure / Scott Brady (expeditionswest)

History, geology, etc.

Crown King was an important hub for the mining industry in the area from the late 1800's to the mid 1900's. The town was named after the Crown King gold mine. The current saloon was, at one point in the past, a brothel. Some of the more notable mines that you will pas by on this trail are Orobelle mine, Minnehaha, and Copperopolis. Isaac Bradshaw was an important Arizona pioneer, and is buried alongside this trail. Wickenburg was named after an Austrian gold miner named Henry Wickenburg. The Wickenburg and Hassayampa River areas were unknown to non-native peoples until about 1860.

General considerations

All services are available in Wickenburg. Nothing until Crown King, so be sure to fill up on fuel and have enough food & water for at least 3 days. Fuel is available in Crown King at about 50-100% more expensive than regular prices, but is not open 24 hours a day. There is a saloon/restaurant in town, and can get very crowded on the weekends. Also small convenience store at gas station.


GPS units/laptops used for tracking/navigation: Garmin eTrex Vista C; Garmin Vista; DeLorme PN-40; MacBook running WindowsXP
Navigation software used for planning/navigation: National Geographic TOPO!; Garmin MapSource Topo; Google Earth
Books/maps used for planning: Arizona Gazetteer
Crown King and Wickenburg histories
History of Isaac Bradshaw gravesite

Important waypoints as coordinates

Wickenburg trailhead: N33.9719 W112.723517
Important turns:
N34.042383 W112.61275
N34.084317 W112.53125
N34.093467 W112.512483
N34.08915 W112.504767
N34.025667 W112.4266
N34.0913 W112.4197
N34.147917 W112.450633
N34.1639 W112.407633
N34.1726 W112.361167
N34.198083 W112.35315
N34.20535 W112.33765
Crown King trailhead: N34.20605 W112.339633

Track/Waypoint file attachment (.gpx)

File:AZ Traverse5-WickenburgToCrownKing.gpx