Events/Trails Back Way to Crown King 4/1/22

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I am planning a trip this weekend to run Crown King, visit the Cleater Yacht Club, see what we can see, and have 2 nights of camping in the area based on recommendations from the club.

BACK WAY TO CROWN KING

My plan is to be on the road by 9:00am heading north. That should put us at the trail head around 12:00. From there, we will run up the Back Way to Crown King.

Saturday, we will wake up when we feel like doing so, have some breakfast, and then wander out bound for the Cleator Yacht Club

CLEATOR YACHT CLUB

When thirsts have been quenched, we will mosey on to Horse Thief Basin or somewhere else in the area. This is the first pass plan and subject to change to accommodate group desires and schtuff......

Let me know if you have any interest or if you have recommendations for camping, sight seeing, or other worthwhile trails in the area.

Jason
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Desoto Mine trail is interesting, in that area. Not particularly stocker friendly.
 
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There's camping up at Horsethief Lake. Great low-key hiking around the basin, and a fun stone dam which you can walk around on. This is all just a little ways up from CK. I've been up there a few times, but for the life of me cannot remember the condition of the trail. If you're coming up the 'back way' from Lake Pleasant, you should be just fine, however; I don't think it's any more severe.
 
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There's camping up at Horsethief Lake. Great low-key hiking around the basin, and a fun stone dam which you can walk around on. This is all just a little ways up from CK. I've been up there a few times, but for the life of me cannot remember the condition of the trail. If you're coming up the 'back way' from Lake Pleasant, you should be just fine, however; I don't think it's any more severe.
Very good! THank you.
 
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Too bad you aren't doing this run the weekend of April 16th. I've got that weekend off from work. It's been years since I've been through that area.
I have never done CK, but wanted to for years now. I hope its a good one.
 
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You may want to rethink your trail head arrival time, as in get there MUCH earlier. You'll be glad you did.
What is your recommendation for run time on the trail? If we start at 11, 10, ???? Should we plan to come in the front way and descend down the Back Way on Saturday?
 
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Your order listed in the first post is out of whack. You want to visit Cleator on the way up or down.... Once up top, visit the lake, the fire watch tower, south fort.

Also, as mentioned.......this trial is over run with side by sides. It can take awhile due to traffic.
 
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Your order listed in the first post is out of whack. You want to visit Cleator on the way up or down.... Once up top, visit the lake, the fire watch tower, south fort.

Also, as mentioned.......this trial is over run with side by sides. It can take awhile due to traffic.
This is exactly why I posted here. Would a better plan be to head up to Cleator on Friday, then run Horsethief and camp there? Do CK on Saturday?
 
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If you have all day Friday, head up the back way on Friday and home the front way on Sunday. Plenty of time to "see/do" most everything.
 
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If you have all day Friday, head up the back way on Friday and home the front way on Sunday. Plenty of time to "see/do" most everything.
The Backway on the weekends can be a mess. By a mess I mean dozens of side by sides, jeeps, etc.

If you want it to be enjoyable do it early, and on a weekday.

Horsethief Lake is awesome. and the road is stocker friendly. Lots off cool camping in the area.

Jim
 
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Too bad you aren't doing this run the weekend of April 16th. I've got that weekend off from work. It's been years since I've been through that area.

x2. I am off of work that weekend. Plan is to spend 11 uninterrupted days working on my lexus, but id be up for a CK trip....



There are a lot of trails, mines and history in the area, you could spend a few weeks in the Bradshaws and not see most of it. You could also spend 3 days up there not seeing or doing much and have a great time.

My favorite 3 day trip is the back way up (lately I like the Minnehaha back way more due to less traffic), camp, desoto mine loop back (which brings you back to senator highway right before cleator), camp, then turkey creek. There are really nice group camp spots at the start of desoto mine loop and at the start of turkey creek.

There are a few fun and short trails up by south and east fort (horsetheif basin area) as well.

If you want to check out mines, ask @JackA since he has seen more of the area than anyone since the 1800's.

Let me know if you have any questions.

By the way, my avatar photo is on the back road to CK on St Patrick's day 2010.
 

Pitch

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X3 on JackA and peacesells63’s recommendations. The “History of Crown King and the Southern Bradshaws” book adds a lot of great color to the area as well. I’ve got a copy, but probably could not get it to you before the trip.
 
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Run the back way to crown king Friday if you can, traffic is awful on the weekends

Another way to come out is Senator Highway to Prescott and then down Yarnell Hill back through Wickenburg. Bypass I17 traffic on Sunday at all cost.
 
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Run the back way to crown king Friday if you can, traffic is awful on the weekends

Another way to come out is Senator Highway to Prescott and then down Yarnell Hill back through Wickenburg. Bypass I17 traffic on Sunday at all cost.

Am very much agree w/ this. CK back way on Friday, out via Senator Highway and Wickenburg. Take time to explore the Bradshaws.
 
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Thanks to all who gave advice on the route. It was a great weekend and I look forward to heading back to the Bradshaws again. We left Tucson at 7:30am and made it to he trailhead about 10:30am. We aired down and headed up. It was a very good idea to do it on Friday, we saw very few other rigs and really enjoyed the climb. There are some pretty knarly little climbs if you feel so inclined and a few that were obviously the result of some ballsy SxS owners. We had a relaxed pace up the mountain and made it to Horsethief Basin about 3pm. We took a brief rest at the lake(pond) and let the dogs get wet. We then headed on out of the recreation area and searched for a good campsite. Luck was on our side because about the time the parent/child patience began to run out in the other rig, we came upon a site that had able wood, space, and level ground. We made camp and happy hour began! Great night of tritip on the griddle, smores, and cold beer from the fridge. It was a bit nippy later on, and I was thankful for my swag and warm sleeping bag. I slept like a rock. Next morning, we had breakfast and broke camp after sufficient caffeine infusion via pour over with half and half. We headed back to Crown King where we stopped for more frosty barley pop and some mozzarella sticks and onion rings. As good as it all was, they are not a dog friendly watering hole, so we sucked up our beers and a couple gallons of $7.99 87 octane before heading on. We cruised out CK Road and pulled of to pay a visit to Desoto Mine. The trail was really fun. Technical enough to be interesting, but easy enough to be relaxed. The mine was pretty cool. It is still open to anyone who wants to step foot inside and the horizontal shaft disappeared into darkness. Rubber boots, extras lights, and some caution could yield a deeper look next time. From there we ran the rest of the loop out and around the mine where we took some pics on the summit ahead of closing the loop back to CK Road. We timed it just right on the way back. We pulled over and gave way to a train of 28 SxSs heading up to the mine. Judging by the way they were all kitted out, we figured there was close to $1M rolling past us there. Our next stop was Cleator, AZ and the Cleator Bar and Yacht Club. Really fun little dive with character to spare and cold beer. Closing down the bar at 6pm, we moseyed down the trail a ways before locating our next site of lodging. The second night was much warmer than the previous, and we had burgers and beer enough to swirl stomachs and brains alike. It was a much needed break from life as it has been day in and day out. We called it quits about 11:20pm when all beer stores were exhausted. Sunday morning greeted us with yet another beautiful clear AZ day. After a fine breakfast of tacos al pastor with eggs, we conceded that the end was nigh, and started making our way back to Tucson with as much low range as we could squeeze in. I failed to download the maps ahead of the weekend, as well as failing to hit record on the track, so I cant tell you where we were. I can say it was wonderful and a great track to finished the weekend on. All in I made it home right around 3pm Sunday having spent 3 great day out bush and feeling like a shower and nap were the next great priorities.

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A couple more pics from the weekend.

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IMG_6425.JPG
 
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Thanks to all who gave advice on the route. It was a great weekend and I look forward to heading back to the Bradshaws again. We left Tucson at 7:30am and made it to he trailhead about 10:30am. We aired down and headed up. It was a very good idea to do it on Friday, we saw very few other rigs and really enjoyed the climb. There are some pretty knarly little climbs if you feel so inclined and a few that were obviously the result of some ballsy SxS owners. We had a relaxed pace up the mountain and made it to Horsethief Basin about 3pm. We took a brief rest at the lake(pond) and let the dogs get wet. We then headed on out of the recreation area and searched for a good campsite. Luck was on our side because about the time the parent/child patience began to run out in the other rig, we came upon a site that had able wood, space, and level ground. We made camp and happy hour began! Great night of tritip on the griddle, smores, and cold beer from the fridge. It was a bit nippy later on, and I was thankful for my swag and warm sleeping bag. I slept like a rock. Next morning, we had breakfast and broke camp after sufficient caffeine infusion via pour over with half and half. We headed back to Crown King where we stopped for more frosty barley pop and some mozzarella sticks and onion rings. As good as it all was, they are not a dog friendly watering hole, so we sucked up our beers and a couple gallons of $7.99 87 octane before heading on. We cruised out CK Road and pulled of to pay a visit to Desoto Mine. The trail was really fun. Technical enough to be interesting, but easy enough to be relaxed. The mine was pretty cool. It is still open to anyone who wants to step foot inside and the horizontal shaft disappeared into darkness. Rubber boots, extras lights, and some caution could yield a deeper look next time. From there we ran the rest of the loop out and around the mine where we took some pics on the summit ahead of closing the loop back to CK Road. We timed it just right on the way back. We pulled over and gave way to a train of 28 SxSs heading up to the mine. Judging by the way they were all kitted out, we figured there was close to $1M rolling past us there. Our next stop was Cleator, AZ and the Cleator Bar and Yacht Club. Really fun little dive with character to spare and cold beer. Closing down the bar at 6pm, we moseyed down the trail a ways before locating our next site of lodging. The second night was much warmer than the previous, and we had burgers and beer enough to swirl stomachs and brains alike. It was a much needed break from life as it has been day in and day out. We called it quits about 11:20pm when all beer stores were exhausted. Sunday morning greeted us with yet another beautiful clear AZ day. After a fine breakfast of tacos al pastor with eggs, we conceded that the end was nigh, and started making our way back to Tucson with as much low range as we could squeeze in. I failed to download the maps ahead of the weekend, as well as failing to hit record on the track, so I cant tell you where we were. I can say it was wonderful and a great track to finished the weekend on. All in I made it home right around 3pm Sunday having spent 3 great day out bush and feeling like a shower and nap were the next great priorities.

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Awzum, and great trip report. Stuck the landing.
 

DSRTRDR

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