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The Iron King Trail begins in the community of Granville and heads west for an enjoyable 4.1-mile adventure. The trail's western trailhead is just beyond the Point of Rocks junction with Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail. Joining the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame together in 2010, the Prescott Peavine and Iron King Trails showcase the beautiful countryside outside of Prescott and offer visitors a stunning varied landscape of verdant green, stark desert, dramatic geological formations, striking views, and fascinating relics from the route’s railroad past.
From the Peavine, turn right at the fork at Point of Rocks and hop on the Iron King Trail where you are engulfed in scraggly desert woods. Off-shooting trails disappear in the underbrush, and every mile or so a haunting railroad relic stands guard.
Rusted and gutted, but plainly beautiful, old train cars (smaller than most) are mounted at intervals along the trail. They're striking in their isolation, especially against the pale desert backdrop. As the Iron King breaks free of the forest and rolls into an expanse of open land, the vistas on this stretch are marvelous as the land simply lays itself bare. Low, cream-tinted hills, grasses and a haze of dust reach out toward distant mountain ranges as the trail ambles slightly downhill. A tumbleweed rolls by so perfectly placed, you look around for the Hollywood props master.
In the distance, the town of Prescott Valley comes into view. About 1 mile before trail's end (and the miles stretch out deceptively on this trail) the railroad corridor merges into an extra-wide dirt trail to reach Glassford Hill Road and Iron King's somewhat unspectacular finish, though this convenient access point to the town makes it popular with daily runners and bicyclists.
To reach the eastern end of the Iron King Trail in Granville, from I-17, take Exit 278 for AZ 169. Head west on AZ 169, and go 15 miles. Turn right onto AZ 69, and head north 7.6 miles. Turn right onto N. Glassford Hill Road, and go 1.8 miles to the intersection with Santa Fe Loop Road. The trail starts at a large dirt parking lot. Parking is free.
Starting out in Prescott Valley can be a bit tricky as there building new homes in the area so the trail actually starts up the Santa Fe road and not at the intersection. (you can still park at the trail-head but you have to ride your bike up the Santa Fe road till it ends then cross the road and follow the sidewalk to the trail). Once you get past the houses and actually on the trail it's quite lovely, rolling grasses and beautiful Glassford Hill to start out then you will come up to the giant boulders and follow that into a bountiful boulder paradise to enjoy and take photo's. The trail will move forward and you'll have access to the back side of Watson Lake and some amazing views between the boulders, this will continue and you'll wind up coming to the Pevine trail-head. if you continue on the main trail you will go all the way to Hwy 89a. This should be around a 7 mile ride one way so make sure you have plenty of water for you adventure. There is a full bathroom and water fountain at this ending so you should be good to fill up for the return trip.
Moved to Prescott Valley April 2016. Rode my recumbent trike a few miles on the Iron King from the East end, which starts on the east side of Glassford Hill Rd, and runs along Santa Fe Loop road to begin with. Dual track - think dirt road with one lane, with washouts and small rocks scattered alonside it. Not a great biking/triking trail. Not good for pushing a baby buggy, roller blading, or even riding a road bike. Great scenery as you ride west toward the Peavine Trail, but keep your eyes on the trail to avoid potholes, sand, etc. Would be so much nicer if paved.
My husband and I have hiked this beautiful Trail for a year and a half(moving to the Southwest). We returned the other evening after a six month absence. I was disappointed and saddened by what we encountered.
Chain linked fences and a housing development. The GREEDY Land Developers wasted no time,did they? Remembering when on one side there were Pronghorns grazing,on the other side Cows. SHAMEFUL!!! We will not be returning to this uglyness.
We rode this trail in March of 2017 including the connecting Peavine trail. In the past. We have traveled across the country and rode some grand trails. The Iron King Trail is short but grand and offers scenery that is gorgeous. Many stops to take photos and just take in the beauty this trail has to offer. We rode out from the Trailhead on Glassford Hill Road. It has a dirt parking area. Going from the south on Glassford Hill Road. The trail is between Spouse Dr. and Santa Fe Loop Road. The trail will take you through a underpass that you will need to walk your bike through as the sand is very deep or you can cross Glassford Hill Road at the light. Either will put you on a large sidewalk that goes through a residential area before entering the trail. The trail is a gradual up hill climb for most of the way from the Glassford Hill Road Trailhead to the Prescott Peavine junction. The trail parallels open fields that cause a bit of a windy condition but only for a mile. The trail connects with the Prescott Peavine Trail and I encourage one to take that trail as the scenery only gets better. Short trail packed with a ton of photo moments and fantastic scenery. There are a couple of single track trails that are legal to go on and we hiked them. There is also plenty of signage of private property too. Over all between all the trails we did 20 miles. Well worth the time.
Overall this trail is easy to pass through by both biking and walking. Plenty of different sights along the route, but naturally its a point to point trail so be prepared for a long walk back after completing the trail.
29 Nov 07 A large Trail Head dirt parking lot on east side of Glassford Hill Rd., N34.61422 W112.34572.
Loose sand on the climb out from the square underpass required me to push my Tri-Cruiser clear,
The 0.9 mile of dirt road has good and poor sections. Once on the RR grade the surface is better.
Wide open view for the first 3 miles with a 1.3% grade and headwind, then into the narrows and over the summit and down to the Junction with Prescott Peavine Trail N34.60660 W112.40433
Make it longer! It's too beautiful to end so soon!
"What a beautiful and functional trail. Amazing rock formations and beautiful views of plains and Mingus Mt, the Granite Dells, Granite Mt and other surrounding mountains. Best of all, this trail is very functional, serving as part of the trail system connecting Prescott and Prescott Valley. It is flat and wide and awesome for walking or biking!"
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