Posted Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 12:08am
Great driving roads take on so many variations, but what most have in common are great scenery spiced with challenging curves and elevations. One of my favorite driving roads in Arizona is the twisting climb of State Route 89A as it crosses over Mingus Mountain from Prescott Valley to the old mining town of Jerome.
The 12-mile trek is a favorite of motorcyclists and sports car drivers. It’s loaded with hairpin turns and sweeping overlooks that are either inspiring or frightening, depending on your disposition. It climbs from high-desert country into dense pine forest (watch out for elk!), through canyons and along ridges, and winds up in the funky but highly picturesque town that clings to the slope of Cleopatra Hill.
Naturally, you want to be driving something that you can wring out and enjoy as you wind through the pines. My latest drive was in a car that suits this road perfectly, a 2018 Toyota 86, the compact sports coupe formally known as the Scion FR-S before the Scion brand went away.