This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Castle Creek Trail #239, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
2.5 of 5 
121 9 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 5.55 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,200 feet
Elevation Gain 3,137 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,339 feet
Avg Time One Way 3-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.68
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15  2019-04-23 joebartels
21  2018-02-10
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop
30  2018-02-10
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop
16  2018-02-10
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop
12  2013-09-21 joebartels
27  2010-06-10 The_Eagle
author avatar Guides 264
Routes 2,432
Photos 13,649
Trips 5,524 map ( 27,909 miles )
Age 53 Male Gender
Associated Areas
list map done
Prescott Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred May, Sep, Oct, Aug
Sun  6:10am - 6:38pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2021 Tiger Fire36.1 mi*
🔥 2020 Bumble Bee Fire10.7 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
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it might make you cry
by joebartels

 Likely In-Season!
A rarely used trail that travels from FR 684 to FR 697 where Senator Highway (FR 52) ends. It follows the Castle Creek drainage in the Castle Creek Wilderness.

Hundreds if not thousands admire this trail daily from Sunset Point Rest Stop on I-17.

A carsonite post marks the beginning of the trail. In late September it was quickly camouflaged by tall green grass. The course is questionable at times. Follow the cairns. They are easier to spot when the grass is low. A GPS route loaded into a GPS device will make it easier to follow if you know how to use the device.

According to topo "Castle Creek Cabin" is only a few paces north of the trailhead. Judging by satellite view all that remains is a corral or possibly a foundation.

At 1.35 mi you enter the Castle Creek Wilderness. There is a four-post square sign(2013), (2018, new steel signs). Twin Peaks Trail #240 heads north. It was among the worst catclaw adventures of my life in 2010. It appeared no different 3 years later, perhaps worse if that is possible.

Our trail continues west another 4.7 miles to Senator Hwy. The lower portions are predominantly catclaw with low lying chaparral such as shrub live oak. It can be irritating at times. Remember to look up and around. The surrounding mountain views are impressive. From midway to the top look back to the east in the I-17 corridor. You can make out Black Mesa (near side) and Perry Mesa separated by a canyon which is the Agua Fria River.

Fauna is on display for those with a sharp eye. We spotted a ring-necked snake, one gopher snake, a mild neurotoxin gila monster, one or two large ear mule deer and even a Jerusalem cricket.

Aside from a quarter-mile at the end in the pines, this trail is exposed. There are a few dead to gnarly looking white oaks ( or similar ) midway up that provide nice shade for a break.

So far you have been traveling through what seems like rolling hills. Sporadic pines on a ridge will come into distant view. Due west is where you are going. At 3.75mi you cross the last creekbed which is the uppermost tributary for Castle Creek. 3.75 mi to 5.2 mi is a series of switchbacks. Route finding becomes easier due to thicker vegetation.

The pines up top will be most welcome. Aside from shade and cooler temps, the trail is open and wide. A loop with the Twin Peaks Trail is possible. The catclaw can be brutal.

Nice inviting areas around the upper trailhead. Personally, I wouldn't be camping on this trail unless in a pinch. I didn't notice any well-used spots.

Pools in Castle Creek after recent rains.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-09-23 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.


    To hike
    Lower Trailhead
    Most likely 4x4
    From I-17 take Exit 248 for Bumble Bee / Crown King. This soon turns to the high clearance dirt road to Crown King. From I-17 follow 4.8 miles to FR 684 on the left. 684 is a 4x4 road, follow it 4.7 miles to the trailhead.
    GPS Route for lower drive

    Upper Trailhead
    From I-17 Exit 248 ( high clearance ) 36.6 mi. About 1 hour 55 mins
    1. Head northwest on Bumble Bee Rd 11.6 mi
    2. Continue onto Crown King Rd/Forest 259 Rd 0.5 mi
    3. Slight left to stay on Crown King Rd/Forest 259 Rd
    Continue to follow Forest 259 Rd 16.4 mi
    4. Continue straight onto S Senator Hwy 3.3 mi
    5. S Senator Hwy turns slightly left and becomes Horse Thief Rd
    Destination will be on the right 4.8 mi
    GPS Route for upper drive
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on May 14 2010 11:28 am

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