Jerome AZ-89

Jerome AZ-89A – Bad Roads for RVs

Jerome AZ-89A – Bad Roads for RVs is located on Arizona Highway 89A and goes through Jerome Arizona. This road is crazy steep, two lanes with hairpin turns. This is probably the worst paved road in Arizona for an RV and might be the worst paved through-road in the western United States.

You should visit Jerome Arizona! The entire town is crazy steep! You should not visit Jerome in your RV. You should not travel through Jerome in your RV. This includes every RV bigger than a truck camper.

Arizona Highway 89A is the primary road between Prescott and Cottonwood. It has multiple hairpin turns and once descending into the town of Jerome is crazy steep. Instead of AZ-89A take Highway 169, south of the mountains, through Camp Verde. Even with the extra distance, it will probably be faster.

Once northbound in Jerome Arizona Highway 89A is called Clark Street until the hairpin turn at the Fire Station, then the name is Main Street. When the road turns back north it is renamed Hampshire Avenue.

We have a friend who took an older Class A RV northbound through Jerome. While in town his brakes faded and he came to a stop, only by the grace of God, just short of crashing.

This is a link to the Arizona Department of Transportation interactive map. ADOT

We did not travel Arizona Highway 89A in our RV.


Elevation: 7050 feet near the Forest 104 route at Mingus Summit

Length: 23 miles

Terrain: up to 12% including one turn in the town of Jerome.

Turns: Numerous hairpin turns, on both sides of Mingus Pass, including in the town of Jerome. Trucks longer than 50 feet prohibited.

Rest Stops & Turnouts: Going uphill, especially in the summer can cause overheating. The one rest area is at Mingus Summit. Another stop, north of the summit, but near the top is at Mescal Tank. One more pull out is at the Jerome Grand Shaft (a mine shaft) about halfway between Jerome and Mescal Tank. Other than that, you can stop in Jerome.

Runaway truck ramps: None

Starting at Mingus Summit, southbound the road descends for nearly five miles at a grade of 5-6% with numerous 20 to 30 mile per hour turns. The second left turn is a 15 mile per hour hairpin switchback. After the steeper section, there is a two-mile stretch of at about 4% grade.

Starting at Mingus Summit, northbound the descent starts gradually building to 6% for twelve miles with numerous 20 mile turns and 15-mile per hour hairpin turns. After this, the road gets seriously steep and narrow through the middle of Jerome including one narrow ten mile-per-hour hairpin turn at 10-12% grade. After leaving town there is another four-mile section of 6% grade.

Unlike most roads, this road gets steeper in town.

Jerome AZ-89A – Bad Roads for RVs
Jerome AZ-89A – Mingus Summit

Jerome AZ-89A – Bad Roads for RVs — Our experience

We have crossed Arizona Highway 89A to and through Jerome in our car and would love to go back. We will not be taking our RV to Jerome.

Here is our link to our interactive map. Bad Roads for RVs

3 thoughts on “Jerome AZ-89A – Bad Roads for RVs”

  1. When my wife and I drove to Sedona–some time ago–I believe we drove through Jerome, in the middle of the night.

    It was pitch dark and we could barely see the road–it was narrow and twisty and going was slow. But the next day we drove back along the same road and we realized that we had been driving only a few feet from disaster after disaster–precipice after precipice.

    I don’t recommend it for a Sprinter Van—unless you like thrills with your healing energy.

  2. I did it southbound pulling a 40′ 5th wheel.

    I was brand new to RVing, I had just bought it a week earlier in TX on my way to CA.

    Anyway, I saw the 50′ restriction sign but continued on. It was a bit of a challenge and only think I was able to pull it off because it was midweek and light traffic.

    There is no way I could have done it had there been oncoming traffic through the hairpin sections. I just looked at the sign again on Google maps and it says no trucks over 30′.

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