Coronado Trail

Coronado Trail Scenic Byway: 123 miles with 460 turns

Coronado Trail Scenic Byway is a stretch of U.S. Route 191 between Springerville and Clifton, in Arizona, USA. The road is narrow and winding, dipping from one curve to the next and it’s said to have 460 curves. The highest point of the road is located 4 miles south of Hannagan Meadow, in Greenlee County, topping out at 2.860m (9,383ft) above the sea level. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Arizona.

How long is Coronado Trail Scenic Byway?

The drive is spectacular and uncrowded. It’s a difficult road, with uncountable turns and twists. It was named after the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who explored this area in 1540 on a quest to find the Seven Cities of Cíbola. The highway is the primary route to access Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This is a very dangerous mountain road with many sharp curves and little or no shoulders on steep cliffs. The entire road is paved. It’s one of the least traveled federal highways. This is a meandering, moseying, slow-motion drive. The 197.9 km (123.0 mi) of pavement between Springerville and Clifton feature 460 curves skirting the eastern edge of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Thrilling, scary and dramatic, but speedy it’s not.

How long does it take to drive the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway?

This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Snow is not plowed from the road on weekends or at night in the winter. Be sure and gas up in Alpine. There are no service stations along this stretch of road. This is a good drive at any season of the year. It’s the only up-land road on the district kept open during the winter when it’s plowed between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm—weekdays only. Allow four to five hours of driving time, including over 400 switchbacks. Make sure your gas tank is full before heading out. In many places the road has no shoulder, so not a good place for either novice or nervous drivers.

 

NOTICE: Roads may be closed due to local orders related to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The towns and countries you drive through to get to specific roads may be closed due to local orders. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off.