Back Road Scouting Run from Lake Pleasant to Crown King

12/30/2006

Everyone is always talking about the back road running between Lake Pleasant and Crown King. Some say it is for only the most hard core dirt riders and 4x4s. Others say it is not so bad. It is a route I have been dyeing to try ever since moving to the area and decided today would be the day. I decided to do this one solo to allow me the opportunity to go at my own pace and to allow me to photograph the trail conditions without holding up others. Of course trail conditions are only relative to how well you ride and the type of riding you enjoy. Hopefully this will enlighten/inform those still debating whether they themselves should try this trail of avoid it..


Click any picture to enlarge

01 Airing Down
01 Airing Down
I am not sure if 15psi is too low or not. I have had 5 flats in the past year but never any of the off road. Wonder if I am airing down to low and damaging my tubes???
02 Aired Down and Ready to Go
02 Aired Down and Ready to Go
03 OhOh Already Loosing Parts
03 OhOh Already Loosing Parts
Just as I was about to take off I noticed I had dropped
04 Zip Tie to the Rescue
04 Zip Tie to the Rescue
Since I have been riding with Karla so much I have gotten in the bad habit of leaving my tools in the trunk of her Ural. Since she was not on this ride I had ZERO tools to speak of. Luckily I always carry plenty of Zip Ties :-)
05 Lake Pleasant1
05 Lake Pleasant
05 Looks Like a Jeep Comercial
05 Looks Like a Jeep Commercial
06 Lake Pleasant
06 Lake Pleasant
07 Bad Place to Plant a Tree
07 Bad Place to Plant a Tree
08 Keep Your Eye on the Birdy
08 Keep Your Eye on the Birdie
I think that is a Herein in there or some sort of Crane.
09 Let the Fun Begin
09 Let the Fun Begin
10 In to the Canyon
10 In to the Canyon

11 Where Did This Come From
11 Where Did This Come From


A little history of Castle Hot Springs:

Castle Hot Springs touted for boutique resort
By Mike Padgett  
The Business Journal of Phoenix
Updated: 7:00 p.m. ET March 27, 2005
 
Arizona's first resort is for sale.  
 
Castle Hot Springs opened in 1896 in central Arizona. Back then, the dirt road leading to the oasis northwest of Lake Pleasant was typical fare. Today, civilization is heading straight for the long-dormant property, which has changed hands several times in search of new life.  
 
The current owner, Garrett Hotel Group of Burlington, Vt., envisions a 50-room luxury hotel and spa. Asking price is $10.5 million. Owner David Garrett's preferred option is to find a joint venture partner for the boutique hotel, said Paul Sexson, associate broker with Russ Lyon Realty, which is representing the owner. However, he also would sell the site outright, and the owner could turn the property into a residential compound or a personal retreat.  
 
The 207-acre property with year-round natural hot springs is about seven miles northwest of Lake Pleasant and 55 miles from downtown Phoenix. Sexson said he already has heard from several developers interested in joining forces with Garrett and from a couple of financial companies.  
 
Garrett, part of a group that owns and operates several exclusive boutique resorts in the Northeast, could not be reached for comment. To work on redevelopment of the property, Garrett has assembled a design and construction team that includes companies in metro Phoenix and elsewhere. They are:  
* Truex, Cullins & Partners Architects of Burlington, Vt., the lead architect. Tom Cullins has designed palaces and commercial buildings for the Saudi royal family. He also has designed small luxury hotels in Vermont and New York.  
* Candelaria Design Associates, a Phoenix company that will assist Cullins. Candelaria has worked on previous development plans for Castle Hot Springs.  
* Linthicum, a Scottsdale company that specializes in luxury homes, golf clubhouses and other high-end work, the construction manager and primary contractor on the project.  
* Bowden Design Group, also of Scottsdale, the landscape designer.  
* Joszi Meskan, a San Francisco designer of hotel interiors.  
* Sylvia Sepielli, a luxury spa designer in Sedona.  
 
Garrett bought the property in 1998 for $4.2 million from Charles and Steve Trainer, two heirs to the Schlitz Brewing Co. fortune, and their partner, Scottsdale developer Fred Unger.  
 
When Garrett bought the property, it had 167 acres. He later bought another 40 acres to the west. The property is nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains.  
 
First opened in 1896, Castle Hot Springs operated as a luxury resort and a private getaway for some of America's wealthiest families, including the Wrigleys, Rockefellers, Cabots and Carnegies, and Western author Zane Grey, according to press accounts.  
 
In its early years, Castle Hot Springs functioned as the first territorial winter capital of Arizona, as well as the local jail.  
 
Hangings were said to have been carried out on the administration building's balcony. The property also was the first in Arizona to receive a telephone line, and the telephone number was "1."  
 
Closed during World War II because of rationing and food shortages, the site was leased by the military for the recuperation of pilots. In 1945, a young naval officer named John F. Kennedy spent three months at the property recovering from combat injuries.  
 
After fire in 1976 destroyed the main building, called Palm House, the property and its remaining cottages were donated to Arizona State University, which used it as a conference center. ASU sold it in 1987 for $3 million to the Trainer brothers, who visited the property when they were children in the 1950s.  
 
In 1996, fire destroyed a cottage once owned by the Wrigley family. The remaining structures on the property include two buildings, each with two stories. One is an administration building and the other had bedrooms for guests, Sexson said.  
 
Garrett's goal, according to his joint venture proposal, is to create "an intimate, luxurious and romantic hideaway where guests can come for true relaxation and rejuvenation." One of its key features would be "a private restaurant at the three-star Michelin or Relais Gourmand level."  
 
The proposed redevelopment has been approved by Yavapai County, Sexson said.  
 
Garrett's plan calls for 50 guest accommodations -- 20 in a rebuilt hotel and 30 individual cottages. The cottages could be marketed as fractional ownerships.  
 
The proposal says the market for the luxury hotel "will be primarily affluent residents of metropolitan areas between the ages of 35 and 65, who seek a temporary escape from their generally high-stress professions, as well as a rejuvenating spa experience."

12 Where Rich Arizonians Live
12 Where Rich Arizonians Live
Another shot of Castle Hot Springs Resort.
13 Trail Shot
13 Trail Shot
14 So Far TOO EASY
14 So Far TOO EASY
The first several miles are very easy and could be done on any duel sport.
15 Tail Shot
15 Tail Shot
16 Getting Fun
16 Getting Fun
16 The Hard Way
16 The Hard Way
17 The Road Less Traveled
17 The Road Less Traveled
18a Someone Should Have Told These Guys
18a Someone Should Have Told These Guys
Actually plenty of people did tell these guys to head back, but they kept trucking along. On my way back this way latter in the afternoon they had gotten themselves stuck and had to wait for help to come get them. DUH!!!
18b Red Neck 4 Wheeling
18b Red Neck 4 Wheeling
19 Trail Shot
19 Trail Shot
20 My Money is on the Bank
20 My Money is on the Bank
I love flying up a bank to take a corner! Just wish I could see if anything is coming around the other side :-\
21 Little Climb
21 Little Climb
22 ATV 2up Leads the Way
22 ATV 2up Leads the Way
23 Getting Bumpy
23 Getting Bumpy
24 Trail Shot
24 Trail Shot
25 Trail Shot
25 Trail Shot
26 Trail Shot
26 Trail Shot
27 Getting Rocky
27 Getting Rocky
It started getting a bit tougher. Defiantly had to think about where you are going to put the tire. Not sure Karla's Ural could make it this far because of her limited clearance.
28 Time for a H2O Brake
28 Time for a H2O Brake
29 Time to get Back on the Saddle
29 Time to get Back on the Saddle
30 Just Like Oregon
30 Just Like Oregon
Can't say as I miss the ruts in Oregon!!!
31 Love My Teeks
31 Love My Teaks
32 More Rocky Climbs
32 More Rocky Climbs
errr Camera is wiggy out on me.
33 Sharing the Trail
33 Sharing the Trail
I got stuck on this step just after passing these guys so I thought it best of I let them go on by. There is a 21MB video here of me going up the step. It was not nearly as hard on the 2nd try (of course).
uickTime MOVIE: (21.MB)
34 Baby Steps
34 Baby Steps
35 Slow Pokes
35 Slow Pokes
36 Next
36 Next
40 Trail Shot
40 Trail Shot
41 Damn Traffic Jams
41 Damn Traffic Jams
Luckily after I took this picture I was able to squeeze just to the left of these guys. The reason for the jam was another step to climb but was a piece of cake on the Bike!!! Didn't stop to take a picture of that step as I didn't want to get passed again.
42 Is that Snow
42 Is that Snow
43 Trail Shot
43 Trail Shot
44 That Really Looks Like Snow
44 That Really Looks Like Snow
45 I Really Think that is Snow
45 I Really Think that is Snow
46 Wrong It is ICE
46 Wrong It is ICE
N34.10.246 W112.20.933
I tried 5 timed to get up this icy hill but each time I would spin out. The last time I laid it down. It is hard to tell from the pictures that even that brown dirt is icy. As you can see there wasn't a lot of room to get a good run at this climb (which get steeper behind this picture). Also there is a 90 degree hair pin turn at the top. I was afraid that even if I did make it to the top I would not be able to stop in time for that turn. Also all those 4x4 were on their way and I didn't want to hold up the show again and decided that was going to have to be the end of this adventure. It was already very late in the afternoon and I had a very long ride back. Definitely one of the best rides I have had in the Phoenix area. Once the weather warms up a bit I am definitely heading back!!!