Explore The Backway to Crown King Trail

Submitted by Summit 4×4 Company

Not for the faint of heart, the backway to Crown King Trail most certainly is among some of Arizona’s tougher trail systems.

It features a bit of everything from washboard roads, large rock gardens and boulders, to steep ascents and challenging obstacles. If you’re looking to put your rig and skills to the test, this is the trail to do it on.

The trail is 27.3 miles, a distance certain to take no less than four to five hours to complete if being cautious.

Like many trails in Arizona, monsoon season and bad weather have left their mark with changes in the trail seen year after year. That being said, be prepared to take alternate routes around washouts or fallen boulders.

Preparedness is key on a trail like this, and it starts with having the right equipment on your rig and the know-how to use it. Be prepared to use rock sliders and skid plates as you traverse this old mining route. We caution you not to tackle the trail with anything smaller than a 33-inch tire.

Have a decent understanding of yourself and your vehicle’s capabilities, and travel with someone who is knowledgeable in spotting or has completed the trail before to ensure you crush the adventure, not your door panels.

Winching has been done on this trail, however, it can be completed just the same without one — or, at the very least, with the use of some decent traction boards. Something we always say: “There’s no better piece of recovery gear than a good spotter.”

Take your time with this trail; it’s incredibly scenic and overlooks Lake Pleasant with plenty of opportunities for photos. In the summer, you can expect to see plenty of others on the trail as it’s a fairly popular destination for side by sides and 4×4’s.

With cell service being intermittent, make sure to download your trail map for offline use and to tell someone where you’ll be going and when you intend on returning as a safeguard should anything go wrong or a mechanical failure occur.

The backway to Crown King is an Arizona gem and is featured as one of Jeep’s Badge of Honor trails. Download their app and get credit for completing the trail, along with a slick badge to display on your Jeep.