Hitched My Horse at the Palace Station

From Prescott, the “Palace Station” stagecoach stop, located approximately 17 miles south of Prescott along old Senator Highway in the heart of the Bradshaw Mountains, is a great adventure motorcycle day-ride destination!  The buildings now administered by the US Park Service were first built in 1874 by Alfred Spence, who decided the location, half-way between the lucrative Peck Mine and the town of Prescott, would serve as an ideal spot for a stagecoach stop.  Travelers could get a meal from Alfred’s wife, Matilda, and water their horses before continuing two hours in either direction to the Peck Mine or the Town of Prescott.  In looking for information on the Palace Station, I found one website that claims Doc Holiday and his girlfriend “Big Nose Kate” passed through the “Station” on their way to Phoenix and then on to Tombstone.  For many years, the “Station” served as a meeting place for local miners who I’m sure enjoyed the outdoor kitchen and saloon!  Alfred died in 1908 and is buried in a local cemetery only a hundred yards from the “Station.”  Alfred’s wife sold the “Station” in 1910 and moved to Prescott.

To reach Palace Station, from Prescott, head South on Mt Vernon Street (Old Senator Highway) for about 17 miles.  The first 5 miles of road are two lane asphalt, the rest of the highway is a single lane hard packed dirt (and lots of rocks) road.

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Old Senator Highway in the heart of the Bradshaw Mountains.

The dirt road climbs for a few miles to the junction with Golden Eagle Road and then descends along Groom Creek down to the “Palace Station.”  There are numerous tight hairpin turns along the route that should be taken with caution.  Mainly because of the many ATVs traveling in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed.  Many side roads off Senator Highway are worthy of exploration, particularly Golden Eagle Road.  The views from Golden Eagle are spectacular!  Getting lost in the area is not a big concern.  As long as you can make your way back to Old Senator Highway you can easily find your way back to Prescott.  So, top-off your gas tank, pack a lunch and escape Prescott for the day with a visit to the “Palace Station.”

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A hitching post at the Palace Station.

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The Palace Station has been owned and administered by the US Parks Service since 1963.

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Along Old Senator Highway, you will encounter half a dozen  minor water obstacles.

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Groom Creek runs along Old Senator Highway. This time of year the creek was flowing steady with clear water!

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On the way back to Prescott from the Palace Station I took a detour on Golden Eagle Road, the views were amazing.

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Golden Eagle Road.

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Golden Eagle Road.

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Like I said, many rocks along the road, add to the riding pleasure!

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A great place to escape for the day!

 

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