- FR 318A
The United Verde & Pacific Railroad was once described as the "crookedest line in the world" because it had 126 curves along its 26.3 mile length. For the most part, this trail follows along the path of the old railroad. It traveled between Chino Valley and Jerome.
10 miles southwest of Wickenburg, Arizona.
Vulture Peak Trail is a short, but steep, trail that takes hikers 2 miles from the base of Vulture Peak, elevation 2,480 feet, to a saddle at 3,420 feet, just below the summit. The trail is located in the Sonoran Desert and treats visitors to a larger-than-life garden including saguaro cactus, palo verde, mesquite, bursage, creosote, jojoba, ocotillo, ironwood, and numerous cactus species, including prickly pear, teddybear cholla, barrel cactus, hedgehog cactus, and various shrubs and grasses. Years with abundant winter rains can result in springtimes with hillsides awash in thick blankets of wildflowers. Hikers can expect to see globe mallows, mariposa lilies, blackfoot daisies, lupine, red penstemon, desert poppies, and brittlebushes. The area provides habitat for a number of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
From Wickenburg, drive west on U.S. Highway 60 for 2.5 miles, turn left at the Vulture Mine Road, and drive south for 7 miles, then turn left at the Vulture Peak Trail sign to the parking lot.
A photographer’s dream. Beautiful Sonoran Desert with towering red buttes on all sides of the trail. A fun drive offering real adventure.
Washouts possible and rock stacking may be required. A lovely lunch break at the river provides fun for the kids.
Beautiful Sonoran Desert with towering red buttes on all sides of the trail. A fun drive offering real adventure. Hike into the nearby White Canyon Wilderness area north of the trail. Winding, rutted road with moderate climbs and descents. Narrow in a few places. Our group drove the trail following a period of torrential rains. Several places were badly washed out, which required some rock-stacking for several stock vehicles in our group. While the road is well defined most of the way, one section crosses a low sandy area along the Gila River. Rains had washed away previous tire tracks making route-finding difficult. Skid plates and high ground clearance recommended for stock vehicles. Brush may lightly touch your vehicle. Go with other vehicles in case you need help.