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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.
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