By Sherry Jackson

No need to drive all the way to Flagstaff to enjoy cooler weather and tall pine trees, Crown King, located less than two hours north of Phoenix offers cool breezes, lots of history and plenty of outdoor recreation.

Set in the Prescott National Park and nestled in the Bradshaw Mountains in a 6,000 feet-above-sea-level basin, Crown King is approximately 20 degrees cooler than the Valley during the day and 30 degrees cooler at night, providing the ultimate summer retreat.

“It’s like an oasis in the mountains,” Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch innkeeper Taryn Denyce says.

The Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch provides lodging in Crown King and has several options for visitors including one-bedroom suites, one or two-bedroom cabins or a bunkhouse that can accommodate up to 10 people. And while you may feel away from it all, you can still stay connected with free Wi-Fi & satellite TV. Full kitchens in many of the cabins and suites offers all the conveniences of home. Don’t feel like cooking? Crown King has two restaurants in town. The Mill menu features a world-famous beer bread, ribs, lobster, salmon, homemade corned beef and cabbage. At the Prospector Smokehouse and Grill smoked meats dominate the menu.

The most important thing, Denyce says is to “sit back, hang up your phones and enjoy nature at its finest.”

The secluded mountain town celebrates its former mining town history and boasts the oldest-standing, working saloon in the state, a 100-year old general store and one of the oldest one-room schoolhouses in Arizona.

“It definitely sets you back in time,” Denyce says.

The Crowned King Mine was the largest mine in the Bradshaw Mountains in the 1800s giving root to the local settlement of Crown King that sprung up along the long the road that connected the mine to a saw mill constructed in 1888 and was used to assemble machinery. By late 1897, Crowned King Mine had a post office, a company store, several saloons, two Chinese restaurants and a feed yard. In 1898, the Prescott & Eastern Railroad was built, making transportation to the mines in the southern Bradshaw’s much easier.

Visitors to the area enjoy plentiful outdoor activities. Quad and ATV trails are popular with rentals available nearby. Hike one of the many trails, fish at nearby Horsethief Lake or relax around a crackling camp fire.

Even getting to Crown King is an adventure. Take the Bumble Bee exit off I-17 North (exit 248) and head west on the graded road about 28 miles. The road follows along the old rail road bed and in parts it’s one-way traffic only. On the way, stop off at the historic Cleator Bar (aka as the Red Neck Yacht Club) for a cold beverage before getting into Crown King.

Celebrating a special event or looking for a wedding venue? Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch has an event center that can accommodate 200+ guests. Host a reunion, corporate retreat or other special occasion. Get married in the one-room Chapel of the Crowned King, in the colorful garden courtyard or among the pine trees on the property-minister included.

The Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch hosts special events throughout the year. On August 11th, Petey’s Playground, a non-profit corporation providing short and long-term care for pets of seniors, will be at the Crown King Event Center. Visitors can compete in corn hole and horseshoe tournaments and kick back and listen to live music by Todd Perroud. Prizes, food and raffle tickets will be available. September 29th will bring the second annual Wheels of Freedom Horseshoe Tournament to the Crown King Event Center. Proceeds from the event will benefit the nonprofit Wheels of Freedom Project, which provides mobility solutions for Veterans and their families.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway, week-long vacation or quick day trip, the Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch and Crown King is truly a place to relax and unwind amidst the cool pines and mountains.

For more information, visit or call 928-632-4477.