A friend of mine booked three of us at the Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch for a trip this past weekend to see historical Crown King. I was slightly concerned because of a couple of the previous reviews but realized only having four so far was hardly a good way to judge a property. Still, we steeled ourselves for whatever was to come.
I had only been through Crown King once before, but we wanted to explore some of the amazing history of this too-often-overlooked corner of our state. On arrival, we rang the bell to call the proprietor who greeted us very cheerfully and directed us to the small cabin just across the (usually dry) creek bed. She walked over while we parked our car in front of the cabin, and she showed us around, letting us know how everything worked and making sure we had everything we needed. She suggested the saloon and The Old Mill restaurant (which I cannot find reviews for here?) and directed us to some of the literature in the cabin about Crown King. She also told us a couple of stories about some of the buildings, and then left us to unpack.
A word about the cabin: It was really quaint, the kitchen is older but everything does work and works well (including the very cool, very old refrigerator!) There are windows all around for views of the pines and surrounding area and to let in light. There is a fireplace in the cabin, which is both gas (fake logs) and the heating system (on the thermostat). That can surprise you if you forget about it while you're having dinner!
The claw-foot tub in the bathroom does not hold water (as a small sign informs you) but is only for showering. The water is hot! The windows all close well, but the back bedroom's door lets a little air in. Despite this, the bedroom stays warm. Both of the stores, the saloon (okay, the bar) and the restaurant are within easy walking distance (five minutes if you walk slowly).
One thing we were told was a breakfast basket would be put outside of our door. I don't know if that's what is done with the suites. On day one, we had fresh bananas, grapes, we each got a bagel with cream cheese packets and a butter pat (on the side), and yogurts. Everything fresh. On day two, we had hard cooked eggs, some banana bread, more fruit ... I forget all what was in it but it was just terrific.
The town is generally really quiet, but I had a little trouble sleeping because of folks leaving the bar on Saturday night being a little loud (just one small group, honestly). We had a heck of a storm Friday night, which resulted in a lovely blanket of snow on Saturday morning - always a treat for us desert dwellers! Our host couldn't have been nicer, more accommodating or more polite.
Crown King is definitely out-of-the-way but so are so many of the best historical sites in Arizona. The dirt road from I-17 is maintained right up to town, it used to be the rail bed and has switchbacks on the slope up the mountain which afford some pretty amazing views! The total time from where I live for the three of us was just about two hours, and well worth it. When - not if! - I go back to Crown King, I will absolutely be staying at Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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