Off-Road Trails – Northwestern Arizona, Part 2
Northwestern Arizona Trails, Part 2 Cont.
This is another trail that takes off from SR68; however, this time we’re going north instead of south from the highway. And it’s on the west side of Union Pass instead of east of the pass as the other trails have been, and there’s a bit of pavement on which you can start your journey. Plus, I hate to sound redundant, but this is another favorite of mine. It is also not recommended to travel this trail during the summer because temperatures are regularly above 100°.
Turn north off SR68 on Old Kingman Road (this is the old grade). You’ll see the Katharine Mine over your hood, which was huge gold producer in its time (Louis L’Amour, the noted author, worked there as a teenager). About 0.3-mile in turn left on the trail. After 2 miles, take the right turn and watch for a less-traveled trail to the right (about a mile and half). The Vega book warns against attempting this route, so be prepared to a very technical trail from this point on (rated 3, depending on weather and trail deterioration).
Within a mile or so you’ll drop down into a shallow arroyo and see a minor trail come in from the left—this is where you’ll rejoin Sleeping Princess if you decide to take the Bob Miller Extension (rated 4) just ahead. About a half mile on a second track goes to the left. If you’re prepared for a hair-raising almost vertical drop down a slide into a narrow canyon with a very tight left turn at the bottom of the slide, take this left. This is known as the Bob Miller Extension and it contains several steep dry waterfalls, some stair steps, and some off-camber sections.
Once you come out again on Sleeping Princess, you can either turn right and return to SR68 or turn left and continue on up to the top of the ridge for an excellent lunch spot. This is another in-and-out trail, not a drive-through.