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Yankee Doodle Trail #284, AZ

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Guide 32 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.1 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance One Way 11.15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,118 feet
Elevation Gain -1,625 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,476 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 19.4
Interest Peak
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2019-06-15
Bradshaw Mountains Trifecta
20  2019-04-25
Bradshaw Mountains Trifecta
16  2019-02-07
Mount Union
13  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
6  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
13  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
17  2018-06-23
Mount Union
6  2018-05-12
Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Sep, Jul
Sun  6:17am - 6:27pm
Official Route
18 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
it's a dandy!
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Yankee Doodle Trail #284 is one of the longest trails on the Prescott National Forest. It ascends Longfellow Ridge, and follows along the top for several miles. This part of the Bradshaw Mountains is remote and scenic, thickly forested with ponderosa pine. As this trail travels north, it continues to gain elevation, cresting Yankee Doodle Peak and skirting the west face of Moscow Peak, before approaching Mount Union. At 7,979' Mount Union is the highest point in the Bradshaw Mountains, as well as in Yavapai County. A short trail coming off of the Yankee Doodle Trail #284 leads to the picnic area and fire lookout tower on top of the peak. Travelers may visit the lookout when it is manned. Not surprisingly, the views from this high point are spectacular. This trail continues down the other side of Mount Union where ponderosa pine, fir, and Gambel oak stand tall among a dense carpet of grasses and wildflowers. This area, high in the mountains, is home to a wonderful array of songbirds.

This trail is open to hikers, horses, mountain bikes, and OHVs. Please use caution and watch for other users. Motorized vehicles may not exceed 50" in width, and are prohibited on the portion of trail that ascends Mount Union between Forest Road 261 and Dandrea Trail #285. Sections of this trail are steep and rocky. There is no dependable source of water along this trail--please come prepared.

***For those without 4wd: Yankee Doodle Trail can also be accessed along the Senator Highway, near the Orofino Mine, one mile east of Palace Station***

Source: Prescott NF

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 15 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
    I had a few loops drawn up in the Bradshaws and we decided to see how we were feeling as the day progressed. The trip up to Davis and Union was the first leg of the trip, and I was actually surprised that John welcomed us up on a windy day with extreme fire danger. He informed us we were the highest people in Yavapai County, and also mentioned something about the elevation. :sweat:

    I'm glad there's a tower here as it makes it possible to hit 8,000 feet on the second flight up. :)

    I do prefer the views from Davis though.

    Did you know: Mount Union was named during the civil war, and in response confederate supporters countered by naming the adjacent peak after President Davis. So there's that.

    Back down to Potato Patch where the headwaters of the Hassayampa was flowing to my surprise. A quick break at the truck and up Isabella. At this point, I opted for the shortest of the options on the day and took the old Transcendent Mine trail down to 307 before heading back up to the Spruce summit. To the surprise of nobody, the tower was not open to visitors.

    After a quick snack we headed back across the Spruce Mountain ridge and dropped back down to the car via Isabella. We saw surprisingly few people today. There has been a lot of thinning on both Davis and Spruce, but both are still littered with large slash piles that have yet to be burned. Still an improvement over last time.

    @tortoise_hiker I promise 9L was there.

    Side note: Don't speed through Mayer.
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Union Davis Loop via Yankee Doodle
    I put together this nearby valley loop above 7000' to try to beat the summer heat. My regular hiking crew joined me at 5am for the 90 minute drive up the I17 to 69, through Mayer and Breezy Pines. Chased a flock of turkeys, both young and old, up the road between Breezy Pines and 5 points until my hiking companions jumped out and shooshed them off the road. Once up to the 5 points intersection, take the hard right onto Big Bug Mesa road, trailhead is about a mile up the road on the left.

    There's a nice little parking/camping area at the Yankee Doodle #284 trail complete with a fire ring. A typical forest service carbonite sign marks the beginning of the trail. The Yankee Doodle and Dandrea trails are multi use; hiking, biking, horseback riding, motorcycle, and ATV. We would not see another soul on the trails today.

    Yankee Doodle trail quickly ascends the side of Mount Davis through an infinite number of switchbacks. The surrounding low brush affords little shade in the morning on this eastern slope. After about a mile tall trees provided some much needed relief from the already blazing sun.

    We took a side trip on Mount Davis trail to check out the views. Did I say trail? Yeah, there's no trail. There is a nice thick patch of knee high cat claw to get you started. Fortunately, it doesn't last very long and you find yourself wandering under a delightful canopy of pines until you get to a pile of rocks at the top. I searched around a bit for a summit register but didn't find one. There's great views over to Mount Union and up Walker Road to the north.

    Down off Davis and back on Yankee Doodle, it's a short walk to the 4 way Dandrea Trail intersection. There's a shady clearing with a log bench to relax on and pick the debris from the Davis excursion out of your boots. Just a little over 0.5 more miles up Yankee Doodle a side trail splits off to the right and takes you to the Mount Union Lookout Tower road. The side trip to the tower rewards you with 360 degree views and some interesting banter with a 20 year veteran of fire lookout service. After filling our packs with Smoky the Bear swag we retreated back to the main trail, slipping and sliding our way down to Forest Service road 261. Just across the road we found the Arizona Trail Riders dirt bike club doing a Yankee Doodle trail maintenance day with the Prescott National Forest. They were doing trail restoration on the section of Yankee Doodle between FS 261 and Senator Highway.

    We, however, would follow FS261 about 1 mile to its intersection with Dandrea Trail #285. Most of this road section is loose and rock with little shade. Dandrea gains about 400 feet in 0.6 miles to rendezvous back at the lovely intersection with Yankee Doodle. A sign at the beginning of Dandrea stated it was closed due to deadfall, however, it was clear all the way up to Yankee Doodle.

    It was hot, we were tired, and most importantly, there was talk of stopping in Rock Springs on the way back to Phoenix for some pie and ice cream. We made haste back down Yankee Doodle to the truck and fired up the AC. I couldn't believe to find that it was already 96 degrees at 11:00AM at 7100'!

    It felt an eternity until we pulled into the Rock Springs Cafe parking lot. Tip for any future diners, if there's a long line, you can sit at the bar and get full service, as we did, and be eating before you'd be seated waiting for a table.
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Union has been on my wishlist for almost 5 years. I wanted more elevation gain than the standard approach and decided to take the Palace Station/Yankee Doodle idea off the back burner.

    I hit the road around 5:30am and didn't start hiking until almost 10am since I neglected to bring a road map. :D I wound up asking for directions near Potato Patch, promptly messed them up, and headed back towards Lynx Lake to check with Google. [-( Turns out I had it right the first time, but I backtracked after second guessing.

    The section of Senator Highway that heads down to Palace Station was a lot rockier than I had expected. The tread on my tires isn't what it used to be so I took it slow. Really slow. My car's old suspension was making noises I've never heard before. I parked a tenth of a mile north of Palace Station and finally set out on the hike.

    Continuing my theme of ignorance for the day, I didn't realize the first half of #284 was in chaparral. Not so bad on the way up - kind of warm on the way down. The upper half of the trail was great once it was in the trees. Union has an exceptional 360 degree view. The lookout was unmanned so I helped myself to the stairs.

    Looks like the drive in took longer than the hike. It was probably worth it. :whistle:
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Dandrea - Mt Union - Yankee Doodle Loop
    Good times in the Bradshaws...

    A redo of a previous loop escaping the high temps of the Valley.

    FR67 on the way in was in great shape

    The sign for Camp Helaman [ photo ] has been removed. Not sure what's going on.

    We visited with John (19 years in the Mt Union Tower) for a bit.... and the highlight of the trip for me was finding out that RED from the Aztec Peak Lookout in the Sierra Anchas, is now manning the Spruce Mountain Lookout (Replacing Suzie)

    Time for a trip to visit Red
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Dandrea - Yankee Doodle - Senator Loop
    Hurling speed: The average moving speed, above which, I tend to hurl when hiking uphill at higher altitudes. That's what was going through my mind as we were approaching Mt Union, just below 8000 feet...just before I hurled. ](*,)

    The problem is I don't get enough oxygen at higher altitudes, causing me to breathe faster and faster to make up for the lack of it. The heavy breathing eventually brings on the symptoms of altitude sickness. Some people get headaches. I get nauseous. Prior acclimation works well for me, but I rarely have time for that. It's a drag because it really limits my hiking options during the warm months.

    In spite of my issues near the top, the hike itself was enjoyable, especially the company. Views from the summit and Yankee Doodle trail are awesome. Thick stands of pine highlight sections of this loop, providing shade and color for long stretches. Manzanita and alligator junipers provide variety. The route is a bit rough in sections from ATV and motorcycle traffic, which is allowed along most of this loop.

    I opted to shorten my hike when we reached the junction with Senator Rd. I was done climbing hills today. Joe joined me. Dave and Bruce continued on and finished the intended loop. We met back at the trailhead a little over an hour later.

    The weather was gorgeous. Clear blue skies for most of the morning, giving way to patchy clouds in the afternoon. It was a bit warm during the last few miles, but occasional cloud cover and a slight breeze made it bearable. I managed to stay upright the entire hike and made it home without a scratch, both of which are a first for me when hiking with Joe and Bruce! :y:

    Dave, it was nice meeting and hiking with you. Bruce and Joe, it was fun as always. Hope to see you all soon!
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Dandrea - Yankee Doodle - Senator Loop
    Always enjoy a nice loop in this area. Under a hundred today, clouds rolled in around noon.

    other versions from years gone by...

    2013-08-17 25mi / 5,100k
    Arrastra Pine Dandrea Yankee Loop, AZ

    Jul 05 2014 20mi / 4,500k
    Yankee Doodle Eastern Loop, AZ
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Yankee Doodle Eastern Loop
    One day Bruce hopes to have his own HAZ Forum thread. In preparation for his political run he took me through Mayer over to the Senator Hwy to Mt Union bringing the campaign home through Congress.

    We began our hike from the Senator Hwy & Turkey Creek. Over to and up FS 84. In just under a mile and half was the coolest part of the hike, Camp Helaman. It happens to be on Turkey Creek like the old defunct ranch we found last year at the Arrastra/Turkey confluence. Camp Helaman is still active.

    Keegan Trail #91 branches off to the NW, we continued north on the road up to what mytopo calls 289. Slightly questionable being a mile west of it's namesake. More so as it splits four ways from atop a mesa...

    Continued on 9404W. Which we should have stayed on until 9404V. Instead Bruce took me on a side trip through a very nice parcel. Albeit quaint my rural okie conscious was screaming unfavorable odds on leaving alive. We made do, aka lucked out.

    Passed up the old removed Dandrea Ranch as we did last year. This year continuing on Dandrea Trail #285 which mytopo calls 284 so who knows. Eventually we did pick up 284 and followed it around to Pine Mountain where we got pounded by rain last year. Storms churned this year too but held off until Pine Mountain. Showers were not as fierce this year. In addition we both had umbrellas to keep our core temps in check.

    Plans changed a bit. We backtracked to a bail option Bruce planned. After a thorny fifteen minutes we stumbled onto a nice single track that lead us down from Longfellow Ridge to the Senator Hwy. Bruce saw this on satellite. Not sure if it's named but it is very nice.

    The I-17 was closed so we rerouted through Yarnell. Aside from Helaman this was the highlight of the day since I've never traveled the White Spar Highway. Peeples Valley and Yarnell are righteously swank!
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Yankee Doodle Eastern Loop
    Another Trip to the little traveled portions of the Bradshaws.

    I like this access to the Bradshaws on FR67 out of Mayer, because you only have 10 miles of smooth dirt road before you hit the Senator Highway. Much nicer than the Road to Crown King through Cleator. We'd hit up parts of this before, ending in an epic thunderstorm high up on Longfellow Ridge.

    I put this loop together to visit new areas and return to Pine Mountain when we could spend a little more time.

    We started in the tall cool (68) pines close to the 67 / 52 intersection.

    The plan was to head northish following trails, old mining roads and two track that I cobbled together using Route Manager. I'd seen some buildings on the Sat. view that needed checking out.
    I thought they may be mining ruins of some sort. Ended up they were for a place called Camp Helaman. Nobody was there, not quite sure what type of camp it is/was. Nothing I could find on the web.

    We made the climb up the Dandria Trail #285 from the Old Dandria Ranch site and hit the Yankee Doodle #284. There was activity in the Mt Union Tower but we continued on and made the southern turn on the Yankee Doodle and started down Longfellow Ridge.

    I really like his trail. You start in high in the pines, then just views all over!

    The storms were starting to make noise in the area. We had a bit of lunch and got rained on a bit. You could see squalls starting up to the South and Northwest. Finally made it up to Pine Mountain to enjoy the views. The track I had drawn, had us doing about a mile of off trail, East down the mountain, to an area I wanted to check out. We made the decision to go to my plan B, since it had now started to pour and my off trail portion looked a bit "Thick".

    Plan B had us backtrack to a bailout track I put together getting us off the Ridge. It would have worked out better If I'd used the scale right on my GPS, but we still hit a pretty established, unnamed path coming down.

    I short road walk and we're back to the Truck.

    Short Video :next:

    On the way home we ended up taking the scenic route. When we got 1 mile from the 17 on Rt 69, traffic came to a standstill. After checking, we found a fatality accident at Sunset Point had Southbound 17 shutdown. So instead of a 40 minute drive to get to the Park and Ride, we opted to turnaround and go back through Prescott Valley, Prescott, Wilholt, Yarnell, Congress, Wickenburg, Lake Pleasant to get to the 17. 2:40 and 140 miles.

    Lots more to do in the Bradshaws!
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Bradshaws - Davis Union and Spruce
    Headed up to the Bradshaws for a nice hike. We parked at the Isabella Trailhead and then headed over to Davis and then Union. I really enjoyed heading up to Davis on the off trail portion of the hike. The hike over to Union follows an old road and was easy going. Once on Union we went up into the Fire Lookout Tower which was very cool.

    Afterward we returned to the vehicle and took our lunch break. From there we hiked up the Isabella Trail and then made a lasso loop stopping at Spruce Mountain. The return to the vehicle flew by and we were back in Phx around 6pm. Nice day hiking in some cooler temps.
    Yankee Doodle Trail #284
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    Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
    Somehow I got slightly more AEG but in nearly 1/2 mile less distance covered. I always walk on the inside of the curves. Over time it saves distance. But it's steeper, and that adds up. ;)

    Nice day. Good hike. Wasn't in the mood for a really long day. Need to spend some nights at home. John in the Union tower was happy to have visitors. Lots of very informative chatter. Surprisingly, at Spruce we were not invited up by Suzie? (I think that's what John said her name was) ... then again, sure sounded like a male-generated noises up there, so maybe that explains some things? :o

    The ridge on Spruce is a cf of downfall and needs a fire. It can't even be "prescribed" there is so much undergrowth and ladder fuels will bring even the calmest ground fire up into the trees. It's really just a matter of when.

    Those Potato Patch folks really try to insinuate that you can't drive to the TH, but there is parking for a couple of cars at the base of the hike up Union. Also a spigot with fresh water at the last house. It looked like a public/FS water source, but I can't verify.

    Missed the BobP shortcut, and it was just as well. On the way back when we paid attention to the track, we all decided it looked like crap anyway. Kudos to Tibber for putting up with that shit.

    Good day. Hit up this new-ish place in JJ's Chandler backyard. Cheddars. 10oz steak, half rack of ribs, loaded baked potato, plus some mac n cheese for good measure. $17. Good place to replenish some lost calories. Too bad Sierra was the best beer they had.

    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
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Southern Trailhead: From its intersection with Gurley Street, travel south on Mt Vernon Street as it becomes Senator Highway (also FR 52). Proceed 16.7 miles to the junction with Bodie Mine Road (also FR 82). Make a slight right onto Bodie Mine Road and travel 2.3 miles to 82A. Turn left onto 82A and proceed 3.2 miles to the trailhead on the left. Parking is poor. 4WD recommended on FR 82 and FR 82A.
    page created by PrestonSands on Jul 04 2012 10:52 pm
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