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Author Topic: AZ 89A/Old US 89A  (Read 677 times)

Max Rockatansky

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AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« on: April 01, 2020, 07:39:47 PM »

I've been wanting to get to AZ 89A/US 89A for a long time in the 2016 Fall Mountain Series since it was one of my favorite highways when I lived in Arizona.  AZ 89A mostly consists of highway which made up former US 89A.  AZ 89A between Prescott and Jerome has origins as a state road that was built in 1883 to service the mines around Jerome.  AZ 89A entered the State Highway System originally as AZ 89 when US 280 ran through Prescott.  AZ 89 became AZ 79 when US 89 was extended south of Flagstaff but it would seem that the intention was from the outset to get US 89 through Jerome.  The rest of AZ 79 was built through Oak Creek Canyon through the 1930s and eventually was assigned US 89A in 1941.  US 89A stuck around until 1993 when US 89 was truncated back to Flagstaff.  AZ 89A has two scenic segments in the form of the Mingus Mountain Scenic Road and Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road along with a signed Historic US 89A.  My personal favorite segment of AZ 89A is over Mingus Mountain to Jerome but the highway is just as well known for Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/04/2016-fall-mountain-trip-part-24-arizona.html
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kwellada

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Re: AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 02:15:04 PM »

I went to college in Flagstaff and lived there for a couple years afterwards.  I can't even count how many times I hopped into my car and drove down 89A to Sedona or beyond.  One of the best drives in Arizona (if traffic is light).  It probably is why I still like to seek out curvy mountain roads on my various roadtrip adventures.
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US 89

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Re: AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 03:17:15 PM »

The last time I was on 89A, I was heading back to Utah from Sedona and it had just snowed the day before. The road had been plowed by then but it was absolutely fascinating to see Oak Creek Canyon covered in snow.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2020, 04:45:05 PM »

The last time I was on 89A, I was heading back to Utah from Sedona and it had just snowed the day before. The road had been plowed by then but it was absolutely fascinating to see Oak Creek Canyon covered in snow.

Back in December of 2011 I drove through Oak Creek Canyon in a snow storm at about 10 PM at night.  I was tired because I was dragging my boss all over Mohave Country touring work locales all day.  I didnít want to back track up AZ 179 to the hotel in Sedona so I went for it on 89A.  Given he was from Texas that ended up being the ride from hell for him since I donít think I ever dropped below 30 MPH on that descent.  It was one of the few times I went through Oak Creeak Canyon with no traffic. 
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Konza

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Re: AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 06:38:22 PM »

I think I've driven from Sedona to Flagstaff on 89A twice.  The first time was at night, and the road had just been resurfaced but the lane markings had not been reapplied.  Interesting drive to say the least.

The second time was on Christmas Eve in 2016.  I left Sedona at about 4 PM; it was raining there.  At about 5000 feet elevation, the rain turned to snow, and it snowed all the way into Flagstaff.  They got a foot that night.  I'm a midwesterner, and I had a front wheel drive rental car, so I didn't have much of an issue getting to Flagstaff, but the word was that I-17 was quite the mess with people who were far from accustomed to driving in those conditions.

Hoping to make the drive in good conditions sooner than later.
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kwellada

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Re: AZ 89A/Old US 89A
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 11:22:39 AM »

That reminds me a story from my days in Flagstaff.  My roommate worked in Sedona during the weekends and had an old rear wheel drive Ford car.  It was starting to snow pretty hard when I got a call that she was having troubles coming up the canyon.  I had a 4x4 GMC at  the time (and having grown up in the Colorado mountains, I was very comfortable with snowy conditions) so I headed down the canyon to find her basically unable to make a curve.  If I remember right, I very carefully put my bumper on hers and got her moving away from the spinout area, which was enough momentum to get her going again. 

It's beautiful in the snow but it doesn't take much to make the roads impassable.
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