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Powerline Trail #549, AZ

Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.5 of 5 
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,635 feet
Elevation Gain 403 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,080 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.7
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,659
Trips 1,751 map ( 9,078 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:36am - 7:33pm
Official Route
5 Alternative

Oso wild on the north slope
by PrestonSands

The Powerline Trail #549 is a dead-end trail that contours high along Mingus Mountain's forested north slope, south of Jerome, Arizona. One can expect solitude on this trail, whose route entirely follows an old, closed road. This is bear country, so be alert.

Lacking its own trailhead, the Powerline Trail can be accessed from the Bug Hollow Trail #548, Mescal Trail #547, or the Upper Mescal Trail #550. The hike statistics listed above are for the Powerline Trail only. The shortest access to the Powerline Trail is via the lower (and unmarked) end of the Bug Hollow Trail, which requires a 1.35-mile hike from Highway 89A. The easiest (preferred) access is via the upper end of the Bug Hollow Trail, which requires a 1.9-mile hike from Highway 89A.

From its junction with the Bug Hollow Trail, the Powerline Trail, marked by a "549" signpost, begins a steady climb up the side of a ponderosa studded ridge, along the route of a long-closed road. The route makes a switchback over to the west slope of the ridge before surmounting its flat, boulder-covered crest. Turning east, the road begins to fade a bit but one can still see the level shelf of the old roadbed carved from the mountainside. Cairns mark the way.

For the next mile or so, the trail contours its way east along the steep, forested, northern slope of Mingus Mountain. Locust and other shrubs cover the route of the road but a continuous path still exists. A few ravines along the way shelter bigtooth maples, white firs, and Douglas firs. A couple of small ridges allow views to the north through the trees.

About a mile and a half in from the Bug Hollow Trail, the Powerline Trail rounds a ridge where one has a pretty good view of the Verde Valley. This is where most will likely want to turn around, as the remaining half-mile of the Powerline Trail gets a bit more overgrown.

If you decide to continue, the trail turns south onto a more open, east-facing slope, which forms one side of a large forested bowl. As it nears its end, the Powerline Trail descends a bit into a ravine, where it suddenly dead-ends among tall pines. Aside from returning the same way, one can turn this hike into a loop by continuing off trail down the ravine for a half-mile to where it crosses the North Mingus Trail #105. A left turn onto the North Mingus Trail will take you back to Highway 89A and the bottom end of the Bug Hollow Trail. Having a topo map or GPS is helpful for this option.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2012-07-19 PrestonSands
    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 junction of U.S. Highway 89 and U.S. Highway 89A just north of Prescott, drive east on U.S. Highway 89A toward Jerome approximately 18.8 miles to the Mingus Summit (the turnoff to Mingus Mountain and Woodchute Mountain). Continue on Highway 89A for another 0.9 miles to the trailhead on the right, located at mile 337.5. The trailhead is a small dirt parking lot/turnaround area next to the highway. Bug Hollow Trail #548 leaves the north side of the trailhead next to a #548 trail signpost and follows a closed road downhill (see Bug Hollow Trail #548 hike description for more information).

    ACCESS TO BOTTOM OF TRAIL: 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 pull-off 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 0.25 miles to the first road on the right (unsigned as of this writing). This is the beginning of Bug Hollow Trail #548.
    page created by PrestonSands on Jul 19 2012 3:08 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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