Back Way to Crown King this weekend on Sunday 11/17
MEETING SPOT CHANGED to HOT BAGELS and DELI: departure around 7:30am so get there a little earlier to eat fill tank up prior ideally
34640 N North Valley Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Andrew - (adunkoma) + 1
Rodrigo - (Rodrigo)
Michael - (AZHornet)
Cody - (4runnercaged)
Nick - (GREEKBOY12295)
Ryan - (RPS1030)
4x4, slight lift and offroad tires recommended but there should be bypasses for the difficult obstacles.
It will take 4sh hours to get up there and we eat lunch at The Mill
Breakfast / Meet Spot
Right across the street (to the west) from the gas station at the meet spot is a place called Hot Bagels & Deli. Family owned and man do they make big huge fresh bagels. Their single egg and cheese with bacon or ham bagel sandwich is the absolute bomb, and they are cheap!
I highly recommend the double egg and cheese with bacon (or Taylor ham) on a toasted "everything" bialy (like an unleavened bagel) with butter. Awesome meal right before a trail run.
Here are more details about the trail so eloquently explained by Seabass
"Crown King coming in from the south end is a fantastic trip, one of my favorites, and totally doable with 4x4 and just a little bit of clearance. Sliders and skids aren't necessary anymore. The first time I did that run was about 4 years ago and the trail was in rough shape. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being hardest) I'd say it was about a 3.5. At the time I only had a spacer lift in the front, no armor, and just an AAL in the rear. I made it through everything except for one last spot near the end of the hard part of the trail where there was a big slick boulder the size of my truck right in the way. If I had a locker, I would have made it but I had to get winched up.
Anyways, after the next spring, the entire road was completely fixed. The road was graded and that big boulder was removed, making our convoy very easy as compared to the first time. There's always erosion on the trail but if you have any sort of 4x4 experience, then this trail has a rating of a 2 at most. I haven't been down it this year, but I was up in Crown King a couple months ago at the saloon and was talking with some Jeep guys that had just come up. They said it was still in excellent condition (they were disappointed) and they made it up to CK faster than expected for their group size. So, based on the review of a few folks that know that trail, they said it didn't have any obstacles that posed a real challenge. I wouldn't hesitate to take that trail at all, but I'll never do it without another truck "just in case". That would be a long walk out of there.
Now, the trail always has some spots that are tricky but nothing that is not doable by any means. There are a couple really challenging play spots if you have a rig for it, but there are also bypasses to those if you're not feeling too brave.
Just remember it's about a 36 mile dirt road to get up there, so plan on it taking a few hours and go prepped. If your group keeps going and only stops for pee breaks and a few pictures, you'll be up to CK in less than 4 hours easily. That's crawling carefully and taking your time to enjoy the area. The trail starts in the desert behind Lake Pleasant, goes for about 10 miles through washes, slightly eroded dirt trail, some river rock crossings (nothing extreme), and some tight turns. Then, the scenery changes to high desert and then more into scrub brush for the next 1/3 of the trail. It's when the trees start showing up that the trip is really worth it. Before you know it, you're at the top and it's full pine forest and you're at over 6,000' elevation.