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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Powerline Trail #549, AZ

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Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Cottonwood
3.5 of 5 by 4
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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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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2019-09-14
Mingus Inner Basin
4  2015-05-22
Mingus North Loop
10  2015-05-02
Mingus North - Inner Basin
20  2012-09-08
Mingus Meander
15  2012-09-08
Mingus North - Sands Mint Julep Loop
15  2012-07-08 PrestonSands
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, Oct, Sep, Apr → Any
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:34pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Oso wild on the north slope
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: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. 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.

Hike: From it's 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 it's 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 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, eastern 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Mingus North - Mint Julep Loop III
    A good loop that few will try. Other Mingus loops rank higher. This one has plenty of character. I'd guess 40% or more is along or under tree cover. Most will leave with memories of pines. Gamble Oak has a solid presence for autumn foliage opportunity.

    1 hour in we passed a rafter of turkey hens. Neither of us captured one for the annual 4-H county fair exhibit.

    #550, #549 and west #503A offer pleasant hiking. Best-of destination slayers might ponder if options run low.

    In addition to countless redos we have a reason to try and loop up Mingus. However, no trace on satellite. FR500E needs to be utilized in a Woodchute Loop too.
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mingus Inner Basin
    A return to the Mingus area for cooler temps.
    This hike features tall pines, decent trail and some off trail. A start in the 60's was perfect.

    There was some smoke in the area in the AM, that dissipated in the afternoon.

    Goal on this loop, was to try and find a way down from the dead end of the Powerline Trail. I'd seen on satellite, what appeared to be undocumented sections of a trail. Bingo, we found it and it was a much easier way down than the Ravine. Next time, I need to find where this goes up to? This is an old trail with great tread. I'd love to know the history of this one.

    Now on the Mescal Gulch-Hull Canyon Trail, this one is fading away on the south side of the ridge. The steep north side of the ridge, has seen some recent and welcome love, all the way to Walnut Spring.

    Out of the tree cover for the most part, we followed the old Jerome-Prescott Wagon Road, back to the TH.

    A couple miles from the finish, some poor sole had lost a tire (not wheel) on his Silverado, and wound up 10' down/off the trail.

    A good day for wildlife. 2 miles in, 3 deer with the buck still in velvet. 3 miles in, a dozen turkey lazily sauntered away from us. 12 miles in by Walnut Spring, a couple of Javelina.

    The rain held off until the drive home.
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mingus North Loop
    We pretty much followed the route posted by Joe and the Eagle, with just slight changes. This is a great loop, although we did find ourselves on the wrong side of a No Trespassing area.

    We did find the logo placed along the route so if there is a prize for that let me know how I collect it :D
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mingus North - Inner Basin
    A redux of a hike we did almost 3 years ago. Going CCW this time made the off trail a much easier downhill. With the added bonus of finding a use trail to replace a thick bushwhack.

    Old 503a extension > Mescal > Bug Hollow > Off Trail to Upper Mescal > Powerline > Off trail to North Mingus > FR > Old MTB trail > J-P Wagon Road

    May the Weather stay like this the rest of the year, for this couple welterweights. It was perfect on the day. Clouds and brief very light sprinkles kept the temps down.

    Bug Hollow and Upper Mescal are the highlights on the day for the thick tree cover. (Best viewed in the Autumn). The recently cleared Powerline trail does yield some big views to the north, past Sedona and to "The Peaks", Bill Williams, Sitgreaves and Kendrick.
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Mingus North - Sands Mint Julep Loop II
    Returned to this classic I threw together and Bruce streamlined in 2012. Temps forecasted around 71 degrees held well. It had it's warm moments in the sun. Ultimately big fluffy clouds made the day. I love this mountain and the variety it offers.

    Bruce suggested we flip the direction of travel to ccw. That decision along with a pinch of experience put this hike into the virtual breeze category.

    The Powerline Trail #549 has been seriously cleared so that was a nice surprise. Our little off trail jaunt over Mescal Ridge ( no name really ) was perfected today. Last time we found partial use-trails on each side. Today we scored use-trails the entire way!

    Down in Hull Canyon, near Walnut Spring, Bruce slipped and gashed his finger. Luckily he survived applying pressure and setting a makeshift bandage. Next found a nice spot to lunch near an old city of Jerome tank.

    All and all a pleasant day hike. Instead of bushwhacking a few areas we danced around the mahogany demons unscathed. We left in what sounded like a motorcycle rally. Which seems typical for weekend afternoons on Mingus.

    Cliff-Rose and yellow flowered bush dominated the upper end of #503A, lupine, skyrocket, thistle & paintbrush
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Mingus North - Sands Mint Julep Loop
    I threw together a collage of Preston Sands(aka "the yeti") routes with a new feature on MapDEX called Plot Routes in View. Bruce worked it a little to eliminate a 2.5mi segment on the paved highway.

    The alarm tortured the ear drums mid coma. The decision came quick... screw Piestewa, I'm sleeping. Ah back to dreamla... wait a minute, this is big hike day... let's go!

    With a forecasted high of 75 and 50% rain my concern was warmth so in went the umbrella, pants and long sleeve shirt.

    Jerome-Prescott Wagon Road #503A
    Our journey was a descent. It was pleasant, enjoyable and very nice views along the way. The bottom end is steepish. I prefer other hikes in the area more.

    Off Trail
    From our low point on 89A we headed up a road then off-trailed through the undesirable for under a half mile. Luckily we merged into some sort of unknown trail.

    North Mingus Trail #105
    We took the 105 for about 2.1mi. I prefer the upper stretches of the 105 but it was nince to finally see this end too.

    Off Trail 2
    Next we followed Preston's previous 600ft off-trail route up a ravine to Powerline Trail #549. It wasn't too brushy yet once cured my curiosity.

    Powerline Trail #549
    This old jeep road has twenty year old pines reclaiming the road. It's a little brushy but nothing bad. The views are most enjoyable. If this was better maintained and had a non-off-trail looping option I'd give it a 4 out of 5. As is I went with a 3 and figure most causal hikers would prefer to avoid.

    Bug Hollow Trail #548
    We strolled in glee on a segment of Bug Hollow. The oaks give this one a nice crisp flavor most should enjoy.

    Upper Mescal Trail #550
    This one has a very nice segment in a ravine and a short jaunt across. It also has a drab treeless segment with highway noise.

    Off Trail 3
    This was a painless jaunt to hook back up with Bug Hollow. Right next to the highway it was loaded with litter.

    Mescal Trail #547
    We took this down to almost complete our loop. I was very impressed, it reminded me of the Pinals. We were descending with the added bonus of late afternoon shade from the mountain... so that probably played into my impression.

    Off Trail 4
    Just a short quarter mile on an old jeep road to complete the loop. Old 1930-1950s car in the drainage.

    I don't even know what this word means. Randal uses it at the end of his triplogs so it's gotta be cool. Preston's Mint Julep Loop was fun to learn up on Mingus. 548 is a definite game player come Autumn. 503A is one-and-done for me. The others are toying with my emotions.
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mingus Meander
    First, Thanks to Preston for collecting all the GPS Data in this area.
    Second, Thanks to Joe for taking the time to paste together all of Preston's tracks into a loop in the area.
    My only contribution was coming up with a route that took us off of the planned 2.25 mile road walk on the busy, twisty turny 89a that the original route had us doing.
    I found a way, but it appears there is a better choice (Better = Trail vs. no Trail)

    We started by caching at the 7 mile mark, avoiding carrying some weight up the steepest portion of the hike.

    We parked off 89a and made the clockwise Loop of #503A > Off trail > FR338 > #105 > Off trail > #548 > # 550 > Off Trail > #548 > #547 > Off trail.

    While not overly spectacular, each of these sections offered unique views, From the almsost Irish like countryside on the North Side of the #503A, to the Pinal feel of #547 and #548.

    My favorite was #548 - Bug Hollow, for the views.

    Saw a lot of Pronghorn on the Drive in, and out on this day.
    Saw one doe that did not care if we were around on the Mescal Trail and
    LOOK OUT DENNY, There's a new Butterfly Whisperer in town.
    HERE ==> ... ature=plcp
    Powerline Trail #549
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The Powerline Trail looked like it could be a good one. On a Sunday afternoon I went to find out...

    After checking out a cave I had seen recently (which dead ended after 10 feet) and a quick trip to Jerome, I headed for Mescal Gulch. Parking on FR 338, I hiked up the lower end of the Bug Hollow Trail, doing trail maintenance along the way.

    Turning onto the Powerline Trail I entered an area that obviously doesn't see much human traffic. It soon became apparent that I was in an area of high bear activity. About every 50 feet for the entire length of the trail I would see something: flipped over rocks, freshly dug holes, poop, etc.

    Arriving beneath some giant Douglas firs, I spooked something; an unseen beast slowly smashed through the brush away from the trail. A little further down the trail I stopped to admire a nice backpacking spot. Not more than a hundred feet away, I heard a log being torn apart, followed by loud slurping or licking. With my video recorder in one hand and bear pepper spray in the other, I peered into the ravine below. The sounds stopped and the thick vegetation hid what I'm positive was a bear.

    I continued on through more beautiful forest, stopping occasionally to enjoy views of the Verde country from rare open spots. The last half mile of the trail, where it turned south, was even more primitive. "Nobody comes this far" I guessed. The Powerline Trail made its final descent into a densely forested canyon bottom, where I weighed my return options. With darkness almost upon me, I decided not to go back through the Bear Country Jamboree. I turned downhill to follow the canyon bottom down to its crossing of the North Mingus Trail. A half mile and only twenty minutes later I was on the North Mingus Trail. I followed its winding, rocky route back to my truck in the dark, where I changed into a dry shirt before making the drive home.

    Powerline is definitely a worthwhile trail, in a pretty and wild area.

    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 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 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
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