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Mescal Trail #547, AZ

Guide 20 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,200 feet
Elevation Gain 514 feet
Accumulated Gain 514 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.11
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
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Black Hills Loop
2  2016-10-14
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6  2015-08-09
Bug Hollow Trail #548
4  2015-05-22
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10  2015-05-02
Mingus North - Inner Basin
Page 1,  2
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,500 map ( 7,599 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:16am - 7:45pm
Official Route
8 Alternative

history and mystery in the oak jungle
by PrestonSands

Conveniently located along Highway 89A between the Mingus Summit and Jerome, The Mescal Trail #547 ascends the shady, forested confines of Mescal Gulch, between Forest Road 338 and the Bug Hollow Trail #548. It can be hiked by itself or in conjunction with its connecting trails: Upper Mescal Trail #550, Bug Hollow Trail #548, and North Mingus Trail #105.

The bottom half of the Mescal Trail roughly follows the route of the original wagon road to Jerome (see the "Jerome-Prescott Wagon Road" hike for more on that). One can see evidence of Mescal Gulch's historical use in the form of old rock walls and an abandoned rock watering trough below a now dry spring.

The Mescal Trail begins below the highway embankment, near the start of Forest Road 338 and is marked by a fiberglass signpost with "547" on it. The Mescal Trail begins following a closed road up a grassy flat, paralleling Highway 89A. A brief and unexpected jog to the right near the beginning of the trail is marked by a few cairns. This is the only potentially confusing spot on the hike.

As one hikes up the western bank of Mescal Gulch on the old roadbed, large gambel oaks and ponderosa pines close in on the Mescal Trail, creating a pleasant, shady environment. Elevation gain is minimal. High above and out of sight on the mountain slope to your right is Highway 89A.

About a half mile in, the trail passes what appears to have been a long abandoned rock watering trough below an old (and now dry) spring. Beyond this point the old roadbed that the trail has been following becomes overgrown, and eventually vanishes. The trail continues, however, as a well cairned path.

The gradient of Mescal Gulch increases and the Mescal Trail climbs steadily through big trees, weaving around rocks and repeatedly crossing the rocky creek bed. Though the trail appears to see little use, cairns are plentiful. After a nice little climb, the Mescal Trail comes to an end where it meets the Bug Hollow Trail #548 at a signed junction amid tall ponderosa pines.

A nice return hike option is to hang a left on the Bug Hollow Trail and follow it back to the beginning of the Mescal Trail. See the Bug Hollow Trail #548 hike for more information on this option.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2012-07-07 PrestonSands

    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.

    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the Highway 89/Highway 89A junction just north of Prescott, head east on Highway 89A, towards Jerome, for 21.9 miles. At the bottom of Mescal Gulch (milepost 339.6), there is a pulloff and parking area on the left, near the Prescott National Forest sign. Forest Road 338, which is marked by a brown fiberglass signpost, starts on the right side of the highway here. Follow Forest Road 338 for about 0.1 miles to the bottom of the highway embankment. At this point, on your right (south) is a brown fiberglass signpost with "547" on it (34.73002 N, -112.14129 W). This is the start of the Mescal Trail. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on Jul 07 2012 5:27 pm
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