June 4, 2019
Off-Roading in Prescott
Prescott’s mild year-round climate makes it an ideal place for off-road trails adventures. Head out from nearly any direction from downtown Prescott or Talking Rock and you can find trails for dirt bikes, four-wheelers and quads.
Goat Peak Trail
A nice 14.6-mile trail, Goat Peak trail winds through the back country connecting the small town of Cherry, Ariz., east of Prescott, with Mingus Mountain, Mingus Lake and Cottonwood. The trails take you through varied vegetation, from cool pines to oak and brush. There are some rocky, bumpy mountain shelves and water crossings, but overall a wide, satisfying and picturesque trail.
Directions: I-17 north to AZ 169 west. Follow for approximately five miles, then turn north on to W. Cherry Creek Rd/FR 372 which is the Goat Peak Trail. Continue to FR 413 which is Mingus Mountain Loop Trail, follow to FR 493 into Cottonwood.
South of Prescott and west of Interstate 17, enjoy a beautiful mountain drive through many important historic stops, including Bumble Bee, Cleator and Crown King. Crown King Road is a wide gravel road suitable for passenger cars when dry. The road climbs rapidly as it nears the town of Crown King. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended for Senator Highway beyond Crown King where the road is rough and narrow.
Directions: Coming from Prescott, get off I-17 at exit 259. Head west, then south to connect to Crown King Road north of Bumble Bee. You can also head south on the Senator Highway and drive in the reverse direction.
Watershed Trail #299
South of Prescott, near the Groom Creek area which overlooks the upper portion of Goldwater Lake, the 2.5-mile trail begins at Senator Highway and climbs several hundred feet to Deer Lick Spring. It climbs to the top of the ridge at an elevation of 6,840 feet (spectacular views!), then turns south until it intersects FR 52A, Spruce Mountain Lookout Road. Trail #99 takes its name from the high ridge between the Bannon Creek and Lynx Creek watersheds. Open to hikers, horseback riders, mountain bicyclists and motorized vehicles less than 50” wide.
Directions: Travel south on Senator Highway from Prescott to the trailhead.
North of Prescott, Chino Valley offers many great off-road opportunities off Perkinsville Road. Visitors to that area can spend days exploring. Trails from Chino to Williams Arizona are almost entirely off-road. Several trails lead to beautiful red rocks.
Remember: Trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather and land ownership change constantly so every trail goer must take personal responsibility – both for their safety and complying with all laws.
- Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure. Follow safety guidelines, wear protective gear and bring plenty of water.
- Do not go alone and tell a responsible person where you are traveling and when you will return.
- Check your vehicle before the trip and equip your tow vehicle with a survival kit, with extra water stowed. Check fan belts, hoses, coolant level and all lubricants and fluids. Make sure the jack is working properly.
- Wear protective gear—helmet, eye protection, gloves, long-sleeved shirt/jacket, over-the-ankle boots and long pants.
- Carry extra water, a flashlight, blankets, flares, first-aid kit, a cellphone and snacks.
Click here for more tips from Arizona State Parks
Enjoy your adventure and remember, if you haven’t been stuck, you haven’t been four wheeling!
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If you love Prescott, but like your independence, visit Talking Rock at talkingrockaz.com. Thirty minutes from downtown Prescott, this private, guard-gated master-planned community offers a variety of home sites and new customized homes, whether you want to live on the golf course or adjacent to Arizona State Trust Land. Home sites are ½ to 10 acres in size.