BEST RIDE/DRIVE IN ARIZONA?
We were introduced to this amazing road trip by some great friends when we first bought our Harley last year. Even as an Arizona native, I had never taken that road before and now i believe its the best we've been on so far in AZ, though Sedona to Prescott is a close 2nd. Are there any other suggestions out there?
Here's a great article laying out the trip down the mountain by John Stanley of the Arizona Republic.
Arizona scenic drive: Arizona 89 south from Prescott
by John Stanley - Sept. 21, 2012 06:51 PM The Arizona Republic
Prescott is a prime weekend destination for Valley residents. But with heavy traffic, the drive back home on Interstate 17 can be daunting. Why not try the back way?
Arizona 89 winds south from Courthouse Plaza into Prescott National Forest. The two-lane road twists here and turns there, bending and meandering through stands of ponderosa pines. The first part of the drive is pretty slow, but this trip is about having fun, not making time.
A few miles south of town you pass through a badly burned area, a reminder of the 2002 Indian Fire. Shortly thereafter you leave the pines and work your way down hillsides dotted with piñon and juniper. As your vistas expand, you'll see the impressive bulk of the Bradshaw Mountains to the southeast.
Peeples Valley, nearly 30 miles south of Prescott, is a bucolic oasis of horse pastures and white fences, its open meadows ringed by rocky hills.
The road hairpins down Yarnell Hill about 35 miles from Prescott. Stop at the overlook part way down and look for the distinctive crag of Vulture Peak, which stands a few miles southwest of Wickenburg.
Things to note along the way:
Whiskey Row: Montezuma Street, on the western side of Prescott's Courthouse Plaza, is lined with saloons and shops - OK, mostly saloons - a reflection of the town's Wild West history. Drop by the Palace Bar for a tall, frosty sarsaparilla and admire the ornately carved 1880s-era Brunswick bar that cowboys carried out of the building during the 1900 fire that ravaged downtown Prescott. Movie buffs might recognize the saloon from the 1972 film Junior Bonner, starring Steve McQueen. 120 S. Montezuma St. Details: 928-541-1996, historicpalace.com.
Bradshaw Mountains: Named for the Bradshaw brothers - William, Ben and Ike (Isaac) - who came to the area in the 1860s, the mountains stretch nearly 40 miles south of Prescott and might just be the most mineral-rich range in Arizona. You have good views of their western slopes once you break out of the trees on the first part of this drive.
Anita's Cocina: If you've worked up an appetite during your drive, you'll want to stop by Anita's for warm chips, hot (or medium) salsa and a hearty combination plate of traditional Mexican-American fare. The rustic Western-style decor gives the restaurant a down-home feel. You won't go away hungry. Or broke. 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 57 N. Valentine St., Wickenburg (about a half-block north of Wickenburg Way). Details: 928-684-5777, or find the restaurant on Facebook.