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Explore / Back Roads

Cherry Creek Road

Scenic Drive

2 Cool Lizards travel guide

Cherry Road runs NE from State Hwy 169 on its south end to State Hwy 260 on its north end. It twists, rises and falls over approximately 24 miles, reaching an elevation of 5,000 feet as it runs through the community of Cherry.

Cherry Road Arizona

Allow 1 hour for the journey and bring food, water and enough gas to make the trip. There are no services in Cherry except one bed and breakfast.

The road runs past Powell Springs Campground (2 miles from Hwy 269), in the Prescott National Forest. See the paragraph below for information on the campground.

DO NOT make this drive when the road is wet.

warning sign Cherry Road

From I-17, take exit 278 and head west on State Hwy 169. 169 travels through wheat covered rolling hills dotted with green shrubs and cactus. Five miles from the turn-off from I-17, turn right onto Cherry Rd. The entire drive is in the Prescott National Forest.

You will be greeted with a warning sign stating that Cherry Road is primitive: use at your own risk. Licensed vehicles only are allowed on Cherry Road.

The route begins as a bumpy, "washboard" road. Shortly after the warning sign (see sign above left) the pavement returns for about 3 miles.

Cherry Road Arizona Powell Springs Campground
Powell Springs Campground

Powell Springs Campground
The scenery becomes greener and the scent of pine fills the air as the elevation increases. Watch for Powell Springs Campground on the left. The camp sites are well maintained and the primitive restroom is wheelchair accessible. There is no fee for camping (as of August 2014). The campground has several campsites, a picnic area, grills, and fire pits. There is no running water or garbage service. No RV hook-ups. See photo above right.

For more information go to:

Shortly after the campground, the residential community of Cherry appears as a country town from the past. This quiet community has one bed and breakfast - perfect for anyone who desires to be "away from it all".

Horses near Cherry Road
Community of Cherry
farm in Cherry

The road is dirt/gravel from Cherry to Hwy 260 and contains several one lane bridges. The road drops steeply and railings are totally absent. It is easy to understand why driving in wet conditions is prohibited. Two miles from Hwy 260 is "Grief Hill" trailhead.

Cherry Road road bends

Cherry Road bends around hill.
Notice the absence of guard rails.

Below right: Hwy 260

view from Cherry Rd approaching 260


From Phoenix, go north on I-17; take exit #278 west on Hwy 169. Turn right (north) onto Cherry Road. From Flagstaff, go south on I-17. Turn right (west) onto Hwy 260; turn left onto Cherry Rd.

USDA Forest Service: Prescott National Forest

USDA Forest Service: Powell Springs Campground

CLICK HERE for closer view map

accessible travel Accessibility
The entire trip can be made by vehicle. Powell Springs Campground contains a primitive, accessible restroom.
travel with children Children
Plan a picnic at the campground. Watch children carefully at all stops; the lack of guard rails is a danger to children.
travel with pets Pets
Leashed pets are allowed on trails and in the campground. Consider the weather and your pet's physical condition when choosing your destination. The Cherry road area can be hot in summer and slippery and muddy when wet. NEVER leave a pet unattended in a vehicle.