Arizona summers are hot! But this is the only central and southern part of the state called the Sonoran Desert. What many people do not know is that in Arizona, even in summer, you can still find beautiful and interesting places to go outdoors and cool off. So if you want to get wet in a new mountaineering adventure, visit the Polish Creek in the Castle Creek Desert, Crown King, Arizona and return through the beauty of the rugged desert and the old West West!
I have always been interested in traveling to the Taj King, which is located south of Prescott in the Bardshaw Mountains and adjacent to the Castle Creek Desert. If you have a truck or 4wd, you should do well because the Crown King is only accessible on 27 km of dirt road. “But I recently joined a great local hiking group called the TLC Hiking Group, and when they said they were heading for the King’s crown, they went to a 30-foot waterfall in a place called the Polish Creek with a large swimming hole called” The big hole. “I thought, ‘Wow, this sounds so interesting and I’m eager to sign up.
So bright and early Saturday morning, I met the TLC hiking group in Anthem, just north of Phoenix at around 6:15 am. Those of us who had cars got together with other members who had trucks, jeeps and 4wds. We were also advised to try the car pool together due to the limited parking space at the head of the track. By 6:45 a.m. we were on our way to Crown King, heading north on I-17, until we reached the bee exit, right next to Black Canyon City. We left the freeway and went to FR 259 on the left. Most FR 259 In the early 20th century, there was an old railroad called the Bradshaw Mountain Railroad, and single-lane bridges are still in use. We first passed the small town of Bumble Bee, then the smaller, much older, more rural town called Cleator. Driving with the FR 259 is absolutely beautiful and there are spectacular views around it as you slowly climb to the rugged mountains of Bradshaw and the Castle Creek Desert. In general, I thought the road was in very good condition, and in dry conditions it would be very passable if you drive slowly enough for normal roads.
We reached the summit, at an altitude of 5,500 feet, called Poland Vista Point, and on our way until 7:30 in the morning. This route is not easily recognizable from the road, but at mile 25, watch out for the outside and the small car park on the left. After a few group photos, we started our march at 7:45 AM. To reach the Polish Creek, you must first follow the Algonquin route. The views of the Horse Thief Canyon from the Algonquin route are stunning and convenient, albeit at a total of about 1000 feet, it is really quite gradual. After walking the path, we hung from the left and moved towards the valley valley and the Polish stream. This is where hiking actually gets a little more intense when you start jumping over rocks and large boulders in the creek bed. We made our way through the small swimming holes to reach the waterfall area, what we call the “big hole”. Unfortunately, the water level was very low at that time and there was no water flow. A small group moved in search of another possible swimming hole, while the others sat back and rested. When they returned, they reported seeing a Black Diamondback snake basking in the sun!
After about an hour and with the rapid warming up, we decided to go back. The journey back to the top of the cliffs and cliffs in the Polish Creek, then to a height of 1000 feet on the Algonquin route was more difficult at the time. However, the scenery from the surrounding area was still quite stunning, as I stopped here and there to catch my breath and take a few pictures. Most of us went back to the top of the hill, where our cars were parked around 11 a.m., and we walked about 3 miles back and forth.
After gathering our group on the sidewalk, we got in our cars and drove two miles off the road to the old town west of Crohn King. They had come a long way, but after only a few minutes of waiting, they allowed us to enter the city, and we were immediately greeted in person. We were also invited to have lunch at the Mill Restaurant on the Hill, an old refurbished gladiator mill built in 1893, and said we had the best food in town, and it did! The food was excellent and the service was general, very friendly, personal with everything with a homely touch. Really great! After lunch we decided to explore the rest of Crown King. The city was founded in 1875 after the discovery of gold and then grew for 45 years as a gold mining town on the Bradshaw Mountain Railroad to support the mining economy. But mines were not productive, they say, and railways disappeared in the early twentieth century. Today, they still have several gold mines operating and mining their own gold. It is definitely a very strange city that has not lost its old “rural” history and charm. The temperature on this August day was close to 6,000 feet in the pines, but in the late 80’s it was mild and the breeze was mild. Full! After visiting the Old Town Hall, Prospector Shopping Mall and the General Store and Post Office, we got back in our cars and left Crown King at around 2:45 p.m.
Driving downhill at 259 FR, it was a lane with many switchbacks and tight s-turns. With a large number of trucks and construction vehicles, all of which were driving with a fast clip, he seemed to grow his hair slightly. We almost went with a dump truck! But fortunately, my good friend Don was a great driver with a lot of experience behind the belt, so we were in good hands. We enjoyed the rest of the beautiful drive and headed back to Anthem, where our cars were parked until 4pm.
All in all, it was a great day of fun, amazing mountain desert scenery, a great “mid-level” hike with some really great people, and a very enjoyable visit to the old town of Croning King. So if you are ready for a hiking adventure and a spectacular day trip to the Old West, I would definitely recommend visiting the Polish Creek in the Castle Creek Desert in Crown King, Arizona.