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View Point-North Mingus Loop, AZ

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Guide 73 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Cottonwood
4.1 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 4.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,620 feet
Elevation Gain -1,100 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,322 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.86
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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5  2019-06-23 watkins11
18  2019-05-30
Upper Mingus Figure-8 Loop
13  2018-04-22 DixieFlyer
17  2018-04-12 DixieFlyer
8  2017-10-21
Upper Mingus Butterfly & Martin Woodchute Loop
15  2017-10-21
Upper Mingus Butterfly & Woodchute Martin Loop
10  2017-10-21 Tortoise_Hiker
15  2017-10-08 Tortoise_Hiker
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Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:33pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Black Hills gold
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
This loop hike consists of the View Point, 105A, and North Mingus Trails, atop Mingus Mountain, in central Arizona's Black Hills. Awesome views and a wide variety of plant life on this hike provide an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Beginning at the Mingus Campground trailhead, the View Point Trail #106 immediately drops off the eastern edge of Mingus Mountain. Leaving the mountain top forest behind, spectacular panoramic views become a hiker's constant companion, as the trail descends along the steep, brushy mountainside. The entire Verde Valley, along with Sedona and the volcanic peaks of the Williams-Flagstaff area, are visible along most of this hike. At the three quarter mile point, the trail levels off somewhat and contours along the 6800 foot level, among pinyon pines, beargrass, and chaparral. The city of Cottonwood lies far below to the east, while dark ledges of basalt guard the top of Mingus Mountain one thousand feet above you to the west. At around 1.6 miles, the View Point Trail reenters forest, and soon arrives at the signed junction with trail 105A at 1.85 miles (34.71048 N, -112.10741 W).

Turn west and follow the 105A trail, as it climbs up through prolific gambel oaks and traverses the rugged northeast corner of Mingus Mountain. Trail 105A soon comes to an end in a saddle at the 7000 foot level, where it meets the North Mingus Trail #105 (34.71449 N, -112.11158 W). Woodchute Mountain, and Jerome, clinging to the side of reddish Cleopatra Hill, can now be seen.

Turn south onto the North Mingus Trail and begin climbing up the narrow, rocky ridge that runs down from the north face of Mingus Mountain. The trail becomes steeper, and encounters some switchbacks, as it enters the beautiful fir forest on Mingus Mountain's north face. Some bigtooth maples and an aspen grove along the trail add to the beauty of this steep-walled, forested bowl. Throw that in with the incredible views of the surrounding area, and you've got one sweet stretch of trail! After a 700 foot climb, the North Mingus Trail reaches the top of Mingus Mountain, and heads south through the forest. About 0.2 miles after hitting the top, the trail arrives at a double rock cairn, where the trail splits (34.70651 N, -112.11435 W). Take the left fork to the east. The North Mingus Trail soon reaches the eastern edge of Mingus Mountain, where the awesome views return. A couple of hang glider launch ramps are passed, before the trail comes to an end at forest road 104 (34.70259 N, -112.11641 W).

Head downhill on the road now, past the forest service's Mingus Work Center, and many no camping signs. After 0.7 miles on the road, you will arrive back at the Mingus Campground trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-04-20 PrestonSands
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Prescott FS Details
This is one of a number of well-maintained trails serving the Mingus Mountain recreation area and campgrounds. The trails in this area and at these high elevations offer splendid views to the east of the Verde Valley and the Cottonwood area. In the fall this area is especially attractive when the maples and oaks turn to varying shades of red and brown. This is particularly true of the northern and western slopes of Mingus Mountain.

The trails in this area offer opportunities for a number of loop trips back to the campground area. Descending on TR #106, the hiker can return to the campground by way of TR #105A and TR #105.

Maps, other resources: Prescott National Forest, east half; U.S.G.S. topographic 7.5' quad for Cottonwood.

Trail layout: Leaving the campground, the trail descends very steeply for the first 0.75 miles. At about mile 1.35 the trail intersects the TR #105A coming in from the northwest. From here the descent is somewhat more gradual to where it ends on FR 413.

Precautions: The initial descent from the campground area may be difficult for horses and should only be attempted by experienced riders.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 31 deeper Triplog Reviews
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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This was a wonderful late afternoon hike to get out of the valley heat.

It was interesting getting up here, driving through the burnt remains of the Badger Springs fire. I wasn't aware of the fire and found it quite eerie as I had driven the same route the last two weekends. In fact, I noticed all along the 17, a stark difference from week to week. Today was particularly dry.

After getting to the trailhead, I discovered that all the parking areas did require a day use fee of $5. Unfortunately, I was not prepared. So, $10 next time to make up for it.

I got on the trail around 3:15 and the hike itself was amazing. The trail was easy to follow, though starting to get a little overgrown with tall grasses on 106. I only saw two other groups of hikers on the whole hike, and hardly heard any vehicles either.

It was also a great workout. Heading back up 105 kicked my butt! Once I got up to the top though, the forest was just incredible. Overall, an awesome hike and one that I plan on repeating.
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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I like this little loop hike, so I decided to do it again -- with a meetup group this time. Like my last hike here, we started at the Mescal Springs TH, which is where FR 338 exits off of Highway 89-A. We saw no other hikers the entire day, and the only people we saw were some hang gliders pilots who were preparing to launch at the hang glider launching pad. I know nothing about hang gliders, and it was interesting talking to those guys.

This is a nice hike imho. On the way up to the top of Mingus, you have nice views of Sedona, the San Francisco Peaks, and Kendrick Peak. On top of Mingus, you can look down below at Cottonwood, and also see the Bradshaw Mountains in the distance. On the way back down, we saw some smoke off in the distance west of Flagstaff, which I think was a prescribed burn.
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I decided to make our first trip up to Mingus Mountain on a windy Thursday.

We parked on Highway 89A, just across from where Forest Road #338 turns off of 89A. We started a lollipop look hike by first hiking on FR #338 for about 1.7 miles until we came to a turnoff for North Mingus Trail 105. We took Trail 105 for another 1.7 miles, and came to a junction with Mingus Trail #105A at a saddle below Mingus Mountain. From there we began a counterclockwise loop by continuing on Trail #105 until we go to the top of Mingus Mountain. We stopped at the top next to the hang glider launching area and enjoyed the views to the south of the Bradshaw Mountains. From there, we continued south through the Mingus Mountain Campground until we got to a parking area. From there we took Viewpoint Trail #106 until we came to a junction with Trail #105A, and we then took 105A back to the junction with Trail #105, thus completing the loop. Then we retraced our steps by taking Trail #105 back to FR #338, and we took FR #338 back to the parking area.

As other trip logs have mentioned, Trail #105 was the best of the trails on this hike. Trail #105 had some nice scenery and it had a good bit of shade and some filtered sun from numerous large trees that were along the trail. Trail #106 was a bit steep and slippery, and it had a lot of sun exposure.

We did not see any other hikers all day. We did see one person who was parked in a car near the hang glider launch. On the way back we saw someone driving a 4WD vehicle on FR #338 -- and you would need a 4WD vehicle on this road.
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Upper Mingus Butterfly & Woodchute Martin Loop
The Upper Mingus loop portion of this hike consisted of a CCW track along
View Point Trail #106 :next: North Mingus Trail #105 :next: Mingus Trail #105A :next: FR 104 :next: Coleman Trail #108 :next: FR413 :next: Gaddes Canyon Two Trail #9037 :next: Gaddes Canyon #110 :next: Back to the Truck.

Gaddes 9037, 106, 105A, 105 are my favorites.
Coleman 108 needs some love.

Missed prime color by at least a week.

Ate lunch on the way over to Martin Canyon/Woodchute.

We did this one CW. FR106D :next: Martin Canyon Trail #103 :next: Rick Tank Cutoff Trail #104 :next: Woodchute Trail #102.

Martin Canyon's oak tunnel is the highlight as well as the area around Woodchute Tank.
Rick Tank Cutoff is a steep 1000' climb.

40's to start, 70's to finish.... Perfect
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Upper Mingus Butterfly & Martin Woodchute Loop
Mingus always delivers. Well past Autumn foliage prime we got crunchy oak leaves for large stretches. Outstanding cool weather throughout the day.

Coleman Trail #108
Rocky and is starting to get overgrown again. Hope this one sees a clipper and rake crew before summer.

Only passed 2 hikers all day. Consumed a whopping 1.2 quarts water.

The area is a good 7-10 days past prime.
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Mingus Butterfly Loop
Met up with Kyle for another hike up north. We wanted to hike in the desert but it was still too hot so we decided to return to Mingus. The hike went well. We made a clockwise figure eight and the temps were pleasant. Later in the day Lee and Carrie arrived with the pups so we did some short hiking with them before returning to the valley. I really enjoy the hiking on Mingus. It’s easy going and the views are nice plus it’s a great way to get out of the heat. Thanks Kyle for driving!
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Mingus the Butterfly & I
what do you do when life offers you robin eggs? hold your hand out...duh

i unexpectedly got thursday off so i checked the list of hikes i wanted to do and texted Count Tacula, consulted Gumdrop and next thing you know, we had a plan!

great hike in a totally new area to me. i'm sure this hike is awesome in summer and fall and hopefully i will see it during those times too, but i always enjoy spring in the mountains. everything is waking from it's winter slumber and there is such a different feel to it. the early views towards Sedona were cool and the Peaks with snow topping was an awesome sight as well

i enjoyed all the trails, though the final big climb up the Gaddes trails was probably my favorite. great weather and nice to hike with the boys again.
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Mingus the Butterfly & I
Nick asked if I was interested in one of my favorite hikes. Almost like stopping along the road and asking a stranger if they would be interested in some robbin eggs... duh!

Road gates were locked so we started from the road to Potato Patch Campground. This worked out well as it was a chilly 52 degrees. This allowed us to knock out the low elevation stuff first, which is probably always prefered.

I'm a huge fan of Mingus and all the trails. That said, summer and autumn are best in my opinion. The dominate oaks and accent maples are still in winter mode. Despite being cooler we still felt toasty at times. Everything is relative, when it's 25 degrees warmer in the summer it's still seriously cooler than the Valley!

Pretty quiet on the mountain. Just one elder couple walking the roads up top. They may have got in the back road as that gate was open. Signs were out for fire control crews but we never encountered any. Did spot several new slash piles heading over to upper Coleman Trail #108. It's still brush free. Usually hit it in the beginning of the loop. Noticed after 11 miles on the legs it's a little rockier than memory served.

My fav Gaddes Canyon Two is a tad drab without leaves. Imagine it'll be nice and shady in a few weeks.

I'll probably hold off posting the one photo I took in all the breaks of the day. Nick and I did our best to hold back the hairy beast. Seriously, he needs to go to Mexico pronto to take care of the Kramer Shag!

The boys treated to dinner and somehow I got to pick. Decided to support local with Guido's Pizza in the bustling metro of Dewey AZ! Wiki reports a population of 3,894 in 2014. They were busier with take out than I would have expected for 4-5pm on a Thursday. It won't make any best of lists, hit the spot for hungry hikers!
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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I had heard some nice things about Mingus, but that was never enough to motivate me to check the area out until today. With Phoenix still embroiled in summer temps and seeking a close cooler weather dog and GF friendly hike, this one popped up into my conscience.

The loop started off with some great fall colors, a possibility mentioned by @joebartels in one of the descriptions for the area, but also as mentioned we seemed to miss the short period when they are at their best on Mingus. The colors steadily fell off after the initial splash and it was even a little warm on the the first leg of the loop, but the north side grabbed our attention again with its nice forest and mixture of trees. In particular, the pines mingling with the outcroppings of rock and dwindling fall colors had a nice effect and complemented the tremendous views to the north nicely. One can't ask for much better trails and the dogs enjoyed. A great area and nice hike, who knew Mingus had so much potential?
View Point-North Mingus Loop
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Personal issues have kept me from hiking for several months, so it was nice to get back out there and get some exercise. We brought our pup on his first real hike as well.

I've been wanting to do this hike for a while now, and it didn't disappoint. Great views almost the whole time. Lots of wildflowers, and bees, everywhere. Some parts of the trail were very overgrown, but never any issues with finding the trail. Saw lots of poison ivy. The climb back up was pretty killer, and we were in full sun exposure most of the time. Got pretty toasty. Only saw a couple small groups of hikers the whole day.

Time to get back into hiking shape!

Permit $$

Prescott Forest
Prescott National Forest Pass

Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From the Highway 89/Highway 89A junction just north of Prescott, head east on Highway 89A, towards Jerome, for 18.9 miles. At the top of the mountain (milepost 336.6), turn right onto forest road 104, and follow it for 2.5 miles to the Mingus Campground. There is a parking area and trail sign for the View Point Trail #106 on the far east side of the campground.
3 pack - loud whistle
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