This is an exceptional motorcycle trip involving over a mile of elevation changes, mountain curves and grades, and open road. You get scenery ranging from the Phoenix valley to volcanic fields, Aspen mountain valleys, and ghost town tourism.
Leave from anywhere in Phoenix towards Wickenburg. I avoid Highway 60 because of all the lights. If you take Highway 17 north you can turn left towards Lake Pleasant onto Arizona 74. That road runs into highway 60 about 10 miles south of Wickenberg.
Any restaurant is fine for Breakfast in Wickenburg. Watch for the parked bikes and you can see where you want to eat.
Head North from Wickenburg towards Congress on 93/89. You'll follow 89 north through Congress. The road here is open rolling plains, but you will see Yarnell hill as you head east. You will climb over 1,000 foot from the rolling plains near Congress to the top of Yarnell hill.
Once at the top, you are in Yarnell. There are several artists selling their art, and a few tourist attractions, but Yarnell, an abandoned mining town, does not have much left.
Continuing on past Yarnell to Peeples valley the road is open and you are in a large mountain valley. You'll drive through Wilhoit (you can see it from ten miles away) and then begin to climb as you go over the mountain pass to Prescott.
Downtown Prescott is always worth a stay, with the Palace restaurant providing great food and a fine atmosphere. Tour around Prescott, but watch for 89A north, and head towards Cottonwood.
As you leave Prescott you'll again be in a large and open Mountain valley. You'll pass by a large arena and then begin climbing over Mingus Mountain. There will be ten miles of twisting mountain curves and grades, with some of the best scenery in the state.
As you come over Mingus Mountain, you enter Jerome, a really interesting ghost town with loads of attractions. I recommend parking the bike and walking the entire downtown area. Once you are done, and maybe caught a meal there, stop by the Jerome Historical Museum for a historical perspective on this fascinating town.
From here you can head back to Phoenix by 260 to I-17, or if you have time, continue North on 89A to Sedona, or to the East to the Verde Valley to Gambling or more sight seeing.
Montesuma's Castle is especially interesting.
For a complete day's drive, continue east on 260 to Payson along the the Moggolon Rim, then back down the Beeline highway (87) to eastern Phoenix.
If you have time, the Rim deserves exploration. I'll send another route along about it, but the scenerey is impressive.
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Arizona. This motorcycle route has 6 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by bdking in September. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by bdking
One of my favorite rides ever!
Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 9:41 PM
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM
Such a wonderful ride, especially over Mingus Mountain.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM
This ride takes you through 3 different elevations. The trip from Whitman to Prescott climbs thousands of feet and is complete with twistbacks. From Prescott 89a to Jerome entices you with another series of swistbacks until cresting over into Jerome.
Since most of us ride on the weekend you will more than likely prefer to cross General Crook Trail (260) heading East towards the tall pines through Strawberry and Payson before descending into the valley down (87). The route through Payson adds only 30 miles to the return trip and adds an additional set RIM scenery. The road is far less traveled than I-17 and rarely has tractor-trailers. Thank you for taking the time to develop this ride information. See you on the road!
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM