Coronado Trail Scenic Byway is the road with 460 turns in Arizona

Coronado Trail Scenic Byway is the name of a very exciting drive in the U.S. state of Arizona. The road is chock-full of challenging switchbacks and hairpin turns, with 460 curves. It's one of the highest roads in Arizona.

Coronado Trail Scenic Byway

Where is the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway?

Part of U.S. Route 191 (formerly Route 666, aka "The Devil's Highway"), the road runs from Apache County to Greenlee County, in the southeastern part of Arizona, near the New Mexico-Arizona border, skirting the eastern edge of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The highway is the primary route to access Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

Why is it called Coronado Trail Scenic Byway?

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.

How long is Coronado Trail Scenic Byway?

The road is 207km (129 miles) long, running from Springerville (in Apache County) to Clifton (a former copper mining center in Greenlee County). It’s totally paved.

How many turns on Coronado Trail?

With 460 curves, the road is a true gem: narrow and winding, dipping from one curve to the next. The drive is spectacular and uncrowded. This is a dangerous mountain road with many sharp curves and little or no shoulders on steep cliffs. It’s one of the least traveled federal highways, characterized by a meandering, moseying, slow-motion drive. In many places, the road has no shoulder, so it's not a good place for either novice or nervous drivers.

Is the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway open?

The road tops out at 2,860m (9,383ft) above sea level, 4 miles south of Hannagan Meadow, in Greenlee County, across the steep and heavily wooded White Mountains. It’s usually open all year round; however, it's common to encounter ice and snow along the route in the winter, as well as during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Snow is not plowed from the road on weekends or at nights in the winter. It’s the only upland 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.

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

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 4 and 5 hours. Remember it has many stops to get out and stretch and take photos. This is a good drive at any season of the year. It has it all: snowy mountains, grassy valleys, animals aplenty, driving excitement, and ridiculous views. Be sure to gas up in Alpine before heading out. There are no service stations along this stretch of road.