Iron King Trail

View on the Iron King Trail

Today we found the parking lot for the Prescott Peavine Trail off Highway 89A. We hiked 1.8 miles where the Sante Fe Railroad used to travel from Ash Fork to Prescott. Much of this area is grasslands. Those not from Arizona are usually surprised to learn that Arizona has grasslands and forests, not just desert. The predominant blue grama grass is called chino ( “curly” in Spanish) for its wavy leaves. At the junction known as Entro or Point of Rocks we learned that in 1897 Frank Murphy organized the Prescott and Eastern (P&E) Railway to connect a 26 mile line to Mayer. The P&E hauled ore and livestock from Mayer while bringing in machinery, manufactured goods, and passengers. In 1901, he incorporated the Bradshaw Mountain Railway with two branches. One branch traversed 8 miles to the rich Poland Mine. The other branch ascended a tortuous 28 miles to Crown King. In 1926, the branch to Crown King was abandoned and in 1932 the branch to Poland was discontinued. In 1958, the route to Mayer was no longer used. The tracks for the P&E were torn up in 1974. We hiked about a half mile of the 4 mile Iron King Trail which ends in Prescott Valley. We noted paw prints that might be from a mountain lion. On our way in one runner was working out on the Peavine Trail. On the Iron King Trail one mountain biker passed us. On our return trip on the Peavine Trail we passed a fellow wearing a white cowboy hat sitting on a bench and talking on a cell phone. Near the parking lot three riders on horses passed us. After seeing the film Selma yesterday, today, MLK Day, was an interesting time to take a hike and to reflect on the 1965 Selma march and why it is still necessary to ensure voting rights for all Americans.

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