From Glendale to crown king on the DRZ
Had a great solo day trip yesterday. Left my house in the west valley about 0830 and it was brisk for AZ, maybe 40 degrees if that. Ran pavement until just outside new river, then followed some pipeline and power line roads parallel and under I-17. Some really nice hill climbs and one tricky step up into a tunnel under I-17. Here's a view outside black canyon city.
I hit a couple miles of pavement in black canyon city, then headed out Maggie Mine rd, eventually meeting up with the crown king road. This is where the ride gets adventurous. I had tried this rout this summer, but got rained out and almost stranded. You can read that one here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808966
The water level was much lower this time around, nothing more than about 9 inches deep at the crossings from some snowmelt up on the bradshaws.
There were more rocks to come. I did run across a group of about 10 havalina. You can make out the face of one staring at the camera here:
Los of rocks, wet from the crossings, with areas of deep sand between. These are a couple of the rockier sections.:
There was a lot of dried grass up there, making me think of rattlers everywhere, though its a bit cold for them this time of year.
I eventually made my way to Cleator, then headed north.
The scary part to follow...
Certainly a different Crown King Rd than I know. Curious:huh
Most of the last pictures were on a trail along black canyon creek. It had a sign somewhere, but not sure what trail number it is. Maybe a piece of fr239, then 688 to 101? The signage out there sucks and I can't find a definitive map. The MVUM map is next to worthless because it doesn't overlay topo's or google earth.
Out of Cleater I took blue bell mine road, maybe 9273a/9263r? Then turned left onto some unknown number to me trail.
Anyway back to the story.
This trail had a couple pretty decent hill limbs, but led to an almost vertical 1/2 mile ish long descent into a dry riverbed ( mostly dry, it was a raging torrent last time I attempted this). I though the grade was tough when wet and slippery, but dry and slippery was bad too. I did see some other bike tracks, one definitely a trials tire. That sure beat my cheap- o Shinko dual sport tires at 15 psi by a long shot!
Here's a view before starting the decent. We're looking over the edge with the snowy crown king in the background.
Here's a view the other direction off towards Phoenix area.
The drop ended straight down cliff wall type trail into the bottom of the riverbed. The river is called turkey creek. I got off the bike and hiked down then about 1/4 mile up the riverbed to where the trail exited, just to see if it actually went through. Once I went down the last drop, I was committed as there was no way to get back up this hill unless Geoff Aaron was hiding somewhere nearby. Here's the view from the bottom. My bike is on the top right corner and I hate to admit it, but I bulldogged the bike down the last 10 yards. On the right of the picture, that rock face is an almost vertical drop. Being solo, sold me on bulldogging, so I could get out of the way and hike out if all went to hell.
Not many pictures here, but the climb back out was extremely tough. I spun the tire to a dead stop twice and was surprised to get going again. It just kept climbing straight up loose rocky hill for about a mile.
So, I eventually ended up on Peck Mine rd, then swastika mine rd, finally on 89a, then onto the crown king road. It now after 1 pm and I'm starving having assumed I'd be to crown king before lunch. Other than some road grading and dump trucks, it was a breeze the rest of the way to Crown King. Not much running on a Monday, but I grabbed a sandwich and orange cream soda at the Prospector. Then. Put a couple gallons of gas in the bike and headed out. I forgot to mention, my carb had a small intermittent leak out the overflow. Not sure if the float was sticking, or if the seal is bad, but it definitely hurt my mileage a bit. It was pretty snowy in CK. I had planned on taking a single track trail down (Lane), but as it was pushing 3pm, it was very snowy/ icy up there, I had never ridden lane and heard it was a bear, and I didn't want to get back after dark, I just took the "regular" back way down through orobelle and FR 711 to Lake Pleasant. Here' some snow.
This was 1000 ft below CK, there was much more up on the mountain. I really don't like this trail as its heavily used by jeeps, quads and UTVs. I passed a group of 5 quads heading down. Only scary an counter was a group of 5 of those RZR or Rhino things, playing Dakaar and going like bats out of hell opposite direction. Luckily they kick up a metric ton of dust, so I had an idea I was about to get rammed, so had slowed and pulled to the side of the trail. I still almost got clipped by the first one, but at least he had the trail etiquette to indicate the 4 more following. That's why I generally stick to single track or difficult jeep trail. Then the only cages I have to avoid are on the streets.
I pulled into the driveway about 5:30, right as the last bits of daylight were leaving. About 160 miles total.
Thanks for reading.
Much of the trail is thanks to Nightstalker
I should have put this in the first post, but this ride was inspired by a ride report from Nightstalker. I love reading his stuff and if you haven't checked out his ride reports you are missing out.
Good ride report i like seeing different ways to crown king i am still trying to find a BB friendly one but this looks like a solid solo ride
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