Cleator, AZ is a town with about 8 year round residents. Established in 1864 as a placer mine railroad station named Turkey Creek, it is now a tourist stop on the way to Crown King.
The town boasts a general store and bar, home of the Cleator Yacht Club. Situated at the edge of the Prescott National Forest, Cleator is a quirky place.
The bar owner/bartender is friendly, and happy to talk to you for as long as you are willing to listen.
We made a detour on our way home from Sedona because I had heard a lot about this town, and wanted to see what $999,000 would buy. Yeah, that’s right, the entire town is for sale.
We arrived shortly before 11am on a Monday morning. We were a bit concerned that the bar might not even be open. As I started taking photos, the owner came out and said that taking pictures in the bar was free!
We ordered cold beers, and wandered around the back patio area. In short order, five locals and three tourists arrived. Not bad considering you have to drive a half hour over unimproved roads to reach the town. Immediately upon exiting I17, the pavement ends, and you pass over a series of cattleguards as you traverse property owned by cattle ranches.
Switchbacks, a lack of guardrails, a one lane bridge and washboard roadway makes for slow going. However, it is possible to take a sedan to your destination, and that cold beer waiting at the end of the journey makes it all worth it.