Run to the Railroad in Arizona - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Prescott, AZ
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Run to the Railroad in Arizona

Here's a run I took on Tuesday with a gang of eight Rubicons, a plain old Wrangler, a beat up CJ-5 and me, all part of the "Prescott Off-Road No Club Club". https://www.meetup.com/The-Off-Road-AZ-No-Club-Club/

The trip was called "Verde Canyon RR via FR-155" and went from Perkinsville Road (north of Jerome) to the railroad tracks where the Verde Canyon Railroad runs their daily sightseeing trips to Perkinsville in the valley north of Clarkdale. Originally the guy leading the trip ranked the run as a "3.0" but raised it to a "3.5" on what I assumed was the standard "scale of 10" so I thought it would be a nice, mild scenic drive with just a few bumps along the way. Insert a loud grunt here, it was nothing at all like that. The 3.5 part was the first mile or so of the section on FR-155. As we progressed along the route it became increasingly difficult and by the time we were heading down the grade into the Verde Valley I swear we were at or approaching a good solid 6 on that scale of 10. Rocks, washes and lots of shale going down became extremely difficult sliding back up. A friend in a beefed up JKU with huge tires and a winch led me back out because I was sure I was going to get stuck on the climb back up the mountain. The Trailhawk amazed everyone (myself included) when I managed to get all the way out unassisted and I can only attribute the success to the awesome power of the Trailhawk's unique powertrain. I was in low range and rock mode with the locker on for most of the climb out and I can say that the stock skid plates and (Rocky Road) rock rails certainly earned their keep as they took an awful beating in both directions of the run. I'm glad I had the Toyo Open Country II (LT) tires rather than the Firestones as I'm sure the rocks would have eaten the Firestone's sidewalls.

If you want a real challenge, give it a try but plan on bringing a Rubicon along to lead the way and yank you out if you get stuck. I sure don't want to do that one again, the climb from Lake Pleasant to Crown King is a lot easier.

In case you want to see the route on a map, the "Prescott National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map" shows most of the route along the top edge of the "Woodchute Wilderness" area. Follow route 318A east to FR-155 north to the end near the "Sycamore Siding" and from there you just follow along under the power line towers due East (mostly) and down into the valley. You can (not according to the track maintenance guys we ran into) cross the tracks and go all the way to the Verde River but once there, it is a one way trip and you have to double back to get out as there is no other route than the way you came in.

The only two incidents on the run were when the CJ-5 blew a fuse in his ignition system and he had to figure out the problem of his engine not running (and then fix it) and one guy in a Blue JKU who didn't understand the use of the long skinny gas pedal next to his brake. He was up near the front of the line and kept everyone slowed down such that only the few of us who were able to pass him got to the railroad tracks in time to see the daily train. The rest of the folks could only see the train passing by in the valley below as they came down the long hill.

Just for the record, the Rubicon drivers were all amazed that the Trailhawk had such capability. I insisted that they all pass that tidbit along to their 4x4 friends. I still find people underestimating the 9-speed tranny, computer modes and the locking rear.

This was one of those four wheel drive excursions where I am glad I went but would not ever want to challenge the route again unless I was in a Rubicon or a Razr. Check out the NCC link. In the comments are a video link and a bunch of pictures. I took the one with the locomotive passing by my Trailhawk. That's proof I made it!

http://jeepcherokeeclub.com/images/d...ht/pdf-128.png
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File Type: pdf Trailhawk at Train.pdf (2.37 MB, 27 views)
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:30 PM
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Location: Arizona
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Sounds like fun Warzim.
I've never been in that area. Looks rugged just north of Jerome there.


Awesome train pic too!
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