Favorite roads: Devilish delight: U.S. 191 in eastern Arizona

Favourite roads: Devilish delight: U.S. 191 in jap Arizona

A piece of the Coronado Path | Arizona Division of Transportation picture

“If anybody has perception, let him calculate the variety of the beasts… His quantity is 666.” — Ebook of Revelation, Chapter 13, Verse 18

When it was commissioned within the mid-1920s, the street up the jap backbone of Arizona, from the border city of Douglas all the way in which as much as Cortez in Colorado, was designated as U.S. Route 666, aka the Satan’s Freeway.

One concept is that the 666 quantity was assigned as a result of the federal bureaucrats noticed the street as an offshoot of Route 66, which it intersected in northern Arizona. 

It wasn’t till 1993 that its street numbers had been revised and the previous Satan’s Freeway turned the Coronado Path, U.S. 191, a Nationwide Scenic Byway named as a result of in 1540 it was traveled by Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado as he sought the golden riches of the Seven Cities of Cibola, a visit that took him lastly to a small hill in what’s now Kansas. 

Historical past apart, whether or not you name it 666 or 191, the 120-mile phase from the mining cities of Clifton and Morenci within the south and the alpine-style villages of Eagar and Springerville within the north is without doubt one of the finest driving roads you may think.

I’ve pushed it in each instructions greater than as soon as, together with one yr when the route was a part of the Copperstate 1000 classic sports activities automobile rally and a small tree was the one factor maintaining a Ferrari from tumbling over a drop off after the automobile skidded off the pavement. 

From the south, 191 climbs from the desert ground previous the world’s largest open-pit copper mine and up via the Apache-Sitgreaves Nationwide Forest to greater than 9,300 toes in elevation within the White Mountains, crosses the Alpine-like Hannagan Meadow, after which descends via a neighborhood known as Alpine and on to Eagar and Springerville, the place Billy the Child as soon as punched cows as an alternative of lawmen.

When the route was first opened, it was a 2-day trek and thus institution of the Hannagan Meadow Lodge, the place you continue to can e book a room, or at the very least take pleasure in a lunch cease.

fwha.dot.gov map of the Coronado Path

What makes the street so great for driving should not solely the elevation change, an absence of visitors (at the very least on weekdays), and the spectacular views, however the truth that there are greater than 400 curves, together with round 100 hairpins, alongside the way in which. The Federal Freeway Administration has labeled that is the curviest street within the nation. 

A bonus is the surroundings, which might embody elk and even wolves.

Nonetheless, as Arizona Highways journal put it, “there are a number of sharp curves and steep drop-offs alongside this slender street — in some instances, there are not any guardrails, and in some areas, speeds could gradual to 10 mph.

Formally open yr round, the street could also be closed due to heavy snowfall at instances through the winter months.

For a extra detailed have a look at the street, see the Roadtrip America website report.

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