The Coronado Trail winds
through through the White Mountains
The Blue River Primitive Area is once
again home to the Mexican Gray Wolf after an absence of 70 years.
Very remote, the Blue is the sole remaining Primitive Area in the
national forest system. It's home to a few ranching families, their
cattle, and a variety of wildlife, including deer, javelina, elk,
turkeys, black bears, and the wolves. What would you give for a
chance to see a wolf running free?
Stop for lunch, or for a few days, at
Hannagan Meadow Lodge & Restaurant, built with the road in 1926.
It's a rustic, relaxing place far from your everyday routine. Stick
your feet in the creek, ruin a trout's day, hike in the woods! I
continued on through Alpine to Springerville, before returning to
Phoenix the next afternoon by way of the "Rim" road (another
Clifton Railroad Depot
Is US-191 the twistiest road in the USA?
It's got to be close! The high mountain scenery is magnificent.
Go in spring for the wildflowers, summer for cool mountain air and
camping, and autumn for the fall colors!
The Federal Highway Administration considers this drive to
be the curviest road in the nation. There are nearly 450 switchbacks,
(many marked at 10 mph) along the route. There is a 6000-foot
change of elevation, starting from the topography of the Upper
Sonoran Desert to near-alpine meadows high in the White Mountains.
The route provides access to the Apache Sitgreaves National
Cell phone coverage is nonexistent. Make sure you are prepared
with whatever tools you might need and an emergency road kit.
Other drivers, especially locals, will stop to help you, but
you may have to wait awhile (cars can be few and far between).
This is one of those roads where everyone waves to everyone
else. You're friendly, because you know you might need
them! (For more info, check out RTA's
Mountain Driving tips & links.
The Coronado Trail drive can be reached from Safford in the
south (from US-70), or from Springerville in the north (US-60).
While the road is technically open all year, it is not snowplowed
regularly in winter. Check to see that it is open before you
go. The drive itself takes about six hours. This allows plenty
of time for roadside stops and lunch. Because of the curves
and amazing views, drivers tend to travel around 25 mph for
most of the distance. Total mileage from Safford to Springerville
is 164.9 miles. Round trip from Phoenix, Arizona is 575 milesabout
twelve travel hours.
here for a Mappoint Map of the Coronado Trail
Meadow Lodge: This lodge is generally considered to
be on par with the famous Kohl's Ranch Lodge near Payson,
Arizona, and the historic El Tovar Lodge built on the southern
rim of the Grand Canyon. In addition to hiking, fishing, relaxing,
and enjoying winter sports.
Lodge in Springerville: This historic hotel was built
in 1949 and features rooms decorated with locally milled aged
knotty pine walls and log beams. John Wayne was known to stop
by the lodge and play poker from time to time. Bob
Schaller stayed here while on his US-191 roadtrip and
recommends it highly.guests are invited to participate in
chores at the working cattle ranch. He reports that it is
reminiscent of the popular film "City Slickers."
(He declined the opportunity to shovel manure
Links and Resources
Sitgreaves National Forest:Trails, road closures and
Delight: The White Mountains is home to hundreds of
species of birds and other critters.
of Springerville: Attractions, list of
motels and recreational opportunities in the area
Trail Scenic Byway