Climbing the Backway to Crown King Trail with Ram Trucks

Backway to Crown King

Where can you go if you love off-roading and happen to be in or near Phoenix, Arizona? The Backway to Crown King is one great trail that combines challenging terrain, beautiful vistas and the historic town of Crown King as your destination. The route that starts near Lake Pleasant, AZ is approximately 34 miles long, and when you add time to get to and from the trail, it turns into an all day affair.

Ram invited me and Nathan Adlen to drive a selection of 2016 Ram Rebel and Power Wagon trucks on this trail. These are two capable off-road trucks. The Ram Rebel uses an air suspension system to gain an extra inch of ground clearance over a standard Ram 1500. It also has skid plates, specially tuned shocks and 33-inch Toyo Open Country tires. Naturally, it has a 4×4 system with low range gearing. All this makes the Rebel a truck that is capable of tackling a trail such as this, albeit via some bypass sections. The route offers several places where you can select a difficult driving line, a line of moderate difficulty, and sometimes an easy bypass. When driving a Rebel, we skipped some difficult lines along the journey. These paths presented extremely steep grades and large boulders that the Rebel could not jump over. A trail like this is a place where most standard full-size pickups dare not go. The Rebel showed 0ff-road prowess by completing the run.

off-road traffic jam backway crown king trail arizona
Ram Rebel and an off-road traffic jam

On the other hand, the Ram Power Wagon was able to take the difficult path throughout the adventure. That’s not to say we sought out every large boulder, ledge and steep grade along way. However, the ample ground clearance, lockable front and rear differentials, and disconnectable sway bar all made the Power Wagon an unstoppable force on this trail. We used the 4×4 low range gearing, but we never had to use the winch.

Ram Power Wagon and spring in the Arizona desert

We will publish a full story and video of this Rebel versus Power Wagon comparison soon. In the meantime, here is how the 2016 Power Wagon handles Rocky Mountain snow.