Devils’ Highway/Coronado Trail Road Trip Tempe

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.21.32 AMHow about an article about one of my favorite road trips? At All Tune and Lube in Tempe I’m often surprised by the number of our customer who live here in the best of the United States but have never been outside of the major cities, sometimes not even out of the valley! Here’s a road trip that I really enjoy and I hope you’ll try.

Once upon a time there was a road called State Route 666, The Devils’ Highway. Spooky sounding , huh? Superstitious folks complained and the road signs were stolen faster than ADOT could replace them so the state finally gave up and in 1993 changed the road designation to US Route 191. The Coronado Trail is a road that runs along the eastern side of Arizona from Clifton to Eager. It’s listed as being 123 miles long but the best part of it is about 88 miles. Clifton is at an elevation of about 3500 feet and the road tops out at an elevation of something near 9,000 feet then drops down the north side of the mountains to Eager at an elevation of 7,000 feet. It’s a great road in a sports car or a sport bike but also just to cruise, just watch for folks cruising a bit more quickly than you are. With that much elevation change you can bet there are a number of changes in topography and a ton of turns! Turns! More than 525 of them! There are wide, flat sweepers, decreasing radius left handers, slightly off-camber turns, turns over crests and through slight depressions. The road sees very little traffic, the asphalt is in beautiful condition and the views are amazing. Of course I would advise anyone who travels this road to obey all traffic laws. : )

To get there you take Hwy 60 East to Globe then grab Hwy 70 East. Just past Safford you’ll turn north on Hwy 191 to Clifton. Outside of Clifton as you start heading up the mountain you’ll see the Morenci Mine on your right. As you get to a cut just past the overlook for the mine there is very often a small herd of bighorn sheep that hang out on the left side of the road. They don’t seem to be concerned about cars and people at all and it’s very cool indeed! As you continue uphill you get out of the typical high desert brush and cactus and start seeing more oak and sycamore then in to pines and aspen. Toward the top there’s an overlook to the west with views of the Mogollon Rim. The front side has most of the tighter turns, as you drop down the back side toward Alpine and Eager the turns loosen up a bit and tend to get flatter. Once you get to Alpine and the intersection of Hwy 180 most of the really fun driving is done but the scenery is still amazing. Stop in Alpine and get something to eat just because it’s a beautiful place to be.

To get back down to the valley just continue on Hwy 180 to Eager and Springerville and get on Hwy 60 west through Show low and Globe.

It’s a long day trip or a great two day run. Just do it!

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