Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Hell's Hole Day Hike

when? Trip Report : November 22, 2014
where? Crown King, AZ
the hike     Looking for great scenery, an overgrown trail, and a tough road to drive on? If so, this hike may be your dream.
    The road from I-17 to the trailhead is 25 miles long, of which 23 miles are bumpy gravel. There are no major ruts or protrusions but no speeding, either. Along the way you'll pass througt the historic towns of Bumble Bee and Cleator.
    From the trailhead the hike immediately drops about a thousand feet. Most of the trail is rocky, not especially steep, and overgrown. To enjoy it you'll need long sleeves and long protective pants. Despite this, however, the trail is obvious and never disappears. There's just a lot of tall dry grass and catclaw.
    After the initial descent the trail undulates along Horsethief Canyon, which has water all year. This is what makes the area so scenic, just as years ago it made a good stopping place for horses and cattle. There was also mining in those days, and we'll see both assorted equipment and a full historic building along the way.
    After we reach a good stopping point along the canyon we'll turn around and head into Crown Point for a great lunch in an authentic old mining building.
    Here are some links to Web sites describing this hike:
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Long sleeves and pants
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 7 miles
time 5 hours
EC 1400 feet elevation change
elevations 4434 to 5506 feet
type Out and back
starting at
Hell's Hole Trailhead
on trail 100%
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Crown King, AZ
meet 7:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride.
  1. From Phoenix drive north on I-17 to exit #248 for Bumble Bee and Crown King. (This is also the exit for the Horse Thief Basin Recreation Area).
  2. Drive west on the main road (SR 59) until you're about 150 feet short of mile marker 25. The trailhead will be on your left.
    After passing through the town of Bumble Bee the road changes from paved to well-graded gravel. The road is passable to sedans but exercise care on the blind corners, narrow bridges, and one-lane sections.

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updated December 15, 2014 © Copyright 2014, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.