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Verde Rim Trail #161, AZ

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Guide 24 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Dugas
3.4 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 6.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,394 feet
Elevation Gain -692 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,154 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 10.05
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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9  2018-09-08
Nelson - Verde Rim - Salt Flat Loop
13  2018-09-08
Nelson - Verde Rim - Salt Flat Loop
8  2018-09-08
Nelson - Verde Rim - Salt Flat Loop
15  2018-09-08
Nelson - Verde Rim - Salt Flat Loop
4  2018-04-26
Pine Mountain 6814
6  2017-11-05
Pine Mountain Verde Rim Loop
16  2017-11-04
Pine Mountain Verde Rim Loop
7  2017-11-04
Pine Mountain Wilderness
Page 1,  2,  3
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
The views from this long trail are spectacular. Most impressive is the general view of the extremely rugged country extending below the rim to the Verde River. From here you can also see the Mazatzal Mountains to the east, Four Peaks to the south, and the Bradshaw Mountains to the west. Verde Rim Trail #161 is fairly level, traversing along the edge of its namesake landmark for most of its length. The final ascent to Pine Mountain, however, is steep and difficult. As of May 2011, the section of Trail #161 that lies between Willow Springs Trail #12 and Pine Mountain Trail #14 is in good condition. The remainder of the trail, however, is rocky, overgrown, and difficult to find and follow. This is especially true south of Pine Mountain where the trail passes through a burned area.

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2012-11-15 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 16 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I took the pups up to Pine Mountain Wilderness for a little hike this morning. I wanted to keep our hike close to the valley and as close to 7,000 feet as we could. My best two options for that are Peeley and PMW, Pine Mountain won today, due in large part to the perennial stream section at the beginning that I knew the pups would appreciate on the way back to the trailhead.

    This is my third time to this area and although, I have only done variations of the same hike, I am still generally pretty impressed with the area. The perennial stream section and the robust spring that feeds it is a real gem and this time through I noticed for the first time the semi-large trout that must have been planted there by the forest service. I really can't imagine that small section of perennial stream holding a viable trout through the summer, but someone has and apparently they thrive in their limited environment. The final push to the peak was a tad warm even before 9 in the morning, but it was a little breezy up top and it felt great in the shade where we took a quick break. Solid views as usual from there, but a little hazy today. I didn't think we would see anyone up there today, but we did run into a local rancher on horseback. From the sounds of it, he was scouting the area for the beginning of turkey season, or a turkey hunt tomorrow. I did not make a loop of today's hike and just did an out and back to save a couple minutes, as I needed to be back in Phoenix by early afternoon. We made a couple stops along the creek on the way out for the pups to cool off, but still made it back relatively quickly and I was able to get back in time for some obligations in Phoenix.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Met up with Lee and the pups for a fun hike north of Phoenix. We met at the Happy Valley Park N Ride at 6am and made the drive up. We turned off at the Dugas / Orme exit and headed east. The long dirt road turned into a pain! Overall the road is in good condition but very long and tedious! We were driving in right after the sun peaked over the horizon and spent most of drive with a blinding sun directly in our eyes! We were both glad when we arrived at the TH around 8am. Speaking of that we pulled in and parked next to Chumley’s truck who was car camping. He was sleeping in the back of his truck and I’m glad he didn’t shoot us after waking him up!

    We hung out with Chumley for about 20 minutes and then started our hike. The trail is in good condition as it makes a steady climb. The lower canyon had lots of water and some nice fall colors. We continued up and hit the start of our lasso and opted for a clockwise loop. We continued up and topped out on Pine Mountain. Once there we soaked in the views and ate a snack. From there we continued along the rim and eventually started our descent back to the TH. We cruised down and were back to the TH around 1pm. Chumley was long gone so we packed up and made the drive back to Phoenix.

    This was a nice hike and I’m glad I can finally check it off the list. The road is a pain but the hike is worth doing at least once. Thanks to FOTG for driving!
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I had been wanting to get back out to this area since my first hike in the area a couple years ago. The return trip was well worth it and the place still left a good impression on me, but the drive in sucks and I can't believe I had forgot that.

    Luckily with the fall colors and the big views from the rim today, the long drive became an afterthought pretty quickly. This is a really nice area this time of year and a quaint, but worthy little wilderness area. We only saw one person all day (a hunter) and moved pretty quickly on the generally nice trail. The views from the rim were especially nice today due to some nice clouds. There were also some nice sections of fall colors along the way and just about perfect hiking temperatures.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Pine Mountain Plus
    Spent the weekend at Salt Flat Campground. Saturday Matt and I hiked a north loop to Pine Mtn. The weather was perfect! The leaves were sporadic to start, and just a little bit blah/dull overall. Not quite the saturated color I would have hoped for.

    There was a truck at the trailhead with a HAZ sticker, but we didn't manage to cross paths with @nightstalker. We did cross paths with @mr14ner, the 3rd time that's happened for me!

    Sunday 9L and FOTG stopped by in the morning to visit before heading out on a loop of their own.

    I made an effort to drive the road to the Rim, but gave up just past the Oxbow Trail since I had been bumping along for over an hour. I could have made it the rest of the way, but it was really slow going, and I just wasn't enjoying it and the end goal of hiking down to Cold Water Spring just wasn't worth the effort I was putting forth.

    So I turned around and headed back down to where the road is nice again!
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Perfect temps, overcast skies, and plenty of trees for today's hike to Pine Mountain. Left McD's at Carefree Hwy and I-17 at 5AM and made it to the trailhead just before 7am. As noted by others, high clearance vehicle recommended! I was pretty spooky doing this road in the dark before sunrise. There were at least 3 campsites in the camping area at the trailhead, no one offered us any bacon before departing though, guess they don't like pretty girls. Lots of hardwoods at peak color throughout the duration of the hike with plenty of pines mixed in for additional color. Got stuck behind cattle two different times on the way in. They got a good working trying to stay ahead of us. Took the side trail up Pine Mountain for the best views of the Verde Valley on the hike. Saw one other person in the 10+ miles of trail.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Just keeping the tradition alive today by completing another nice Veterans Day hike with Chumley. We picked up an extra this year, as Dave joined us. It was a late start because I am a mean coach and made my boys come in and practice on their morning off. Nevertheless, Chumley was able to plan a nearly perfect afternoon hike.

    We completed the Pine Mountain-Verde Rim loop. The drive was not too bad, we appreciated what appeared to be a recently graded road. The temps were great and the trails were in excellent condition for the most part. The views from the rim and Pine Mountain were very nice and there was a considerable amount of water at the lower elevations. There were also several nice sections of Fall colors along the lasso-loop. The hike exceeded my expectations, a nice little area. Nothing in that area was really on my radar until today. Now the wheels in my head are turning, as I think of hikes that could incorporate Pine Mountain, Cedar Bench and the western Mazzys all in one shot.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Pine Mountain Verde Rim
    With existing plans dictating a later start and an early finish I lobbied a bit for an actual "fall" hike despite the moderate drive.

    Turns out it was a great day. The road was as nice as I've ever seen it. Only the last few miles were a little rough, and those will never change. The rest was nicely graded and smooth despite recent storms. Temps got to the 50s, but by the end of the day, I was happy to have a beanie and gloves, though probably only in the mid 40s it wasn't necessary, just more comfortable.

    Only a couple of maples still had some color, but the sycamores flashed some gold, along with ample big green leaves already on the ground. The oaks up here were the ones showing rusty golds most of the day. Great views up top ... the SF Peaks had a very impressive snow pack for November, while the Mazzy ridgeline, 4 peaks and the Supes looked great. Horseshoe lake looks pretty full.

    As the responsible party today I acknowledge leading the group astray for an extra 1.1 miles and 22 minutes. My bad!

    There were a couple of patches of snow remaining in the most sheltered areas and places where some nasty thorns (perhaps wild rose bushes?) were growing in a few spots along the trail.

    There are two apple trees near Nelson spring. I managed to harvest a single green-skinned apple that was tart but good. Earlier in the season this might be a good one!

    Glad Dave was able to join us on this special holiday. Special thanks to Lee and the many other Hazzers who have made personal sacrifices to serve our country. :worthy:

    A few late maples hanging on, but mostly done. Oaks are rusty gold and approaching peak. Sycamores still have some gold but many have fallen. Lots of green leaves of all varieties on the ground already. Big wind last weekend after the snow impacted everything. Cottonwoods in the canyons on the drive in are just getting going. Another week or two for them.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Great hike for a long weekend, the drive out is half the fun...we left Phoenix a bit after 6 to make the drive up. Dugas road is something, glad we were riding in Nick's truck with 4 wheel drive when necessary. There were only a few really rough spots, but definitely slow going. Pine Mountain Wilderness is gorgeous! Amazing how you can drive through miles and miles of scrub desert with One Seed Juniper as the largest plants on the horizon, and then you turn a corner and it is all pines and oaks. The hike is very pleasant (I don't think we ever cracked 70 while we were out), we did the CCW loop up to the peak. Nice break up top for lunch. Views east off the Verde Rim are fantastic, pictures do not do it justice. Made it back home about 3:30 to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the family. There are some nice longer loop options out here, we did see a few nice camp sites too. Great wildflower show!

    Great wildflower color, many different kinds of flowers blooming. Nothing overwhelming, but lots of nice pockets.
    Verde Rim Trail #161
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    There are presently a couple of HAZ routes into this Verde Rim Benchmark "Pine Mountain 6814".

    This first HAZ Hike Description route which accesses the north end TH Start of the Verde Rim Trail #161, I would consider the less preferred, alternate route which includes a much more time consuming 22.3 mile driving route in from Hwy 17 of which a number of these miles are very slow and when dry, strictly high clearance vehicle with minimum Light Truck Tires, 4WD only (~5 to 7 of the 22.3mls) :sweat:

    The second HAZ Hike Description route in, the Pine Mtn Verde Rim Loop,AZ- :next: which access the Salt Flat TH Start I would recommend as the more preferred driving and hiking route choice :)

    Brian was on a mission for his Summits on the Air Club (SOTA) peak activation needs, and I was interested in this new to me remote hiking area in the middle of seemingly nowhere, along the Verde Rim and within the Pine Mountain Wilderness area of the Prescott National Forest.

    Since our day plans also included a second, late afternoon but short off-trail hiking SOTA Peak stop in this same driving area, the "Tule Mesa BM 6678", our driving and hiking access choice of this first, but less preferred alternate route made the best sense for us.

    Aside from the long, slow, brain/bone jarring, and vehicle battering drive, this 5.3 mile "out & back" hike was really a quite pleasant experience on a relatively well maintained, easy to follow north end section of the Verde Rim Trail #161, with nice higher elevation Verde Rim area short/distant views, and nice mature Pines and Juniper vegetation with some newer regrowth from past wildfires. Overall a very nice hike 1 of 2 for a long day out :D

    Thank you Brian for the idea & invite, for your company, and for driving..your wife's poor Jeep!
    Verde Rim Trail #161
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    Oxbow / Cold Water Loop
    This was my first time in the Pine / Cedar Bench wilderness(s). The drive in was pretty easy. Dugas road was recently graded. There was one interesting sign stating that it is illegal to drive on the road when it’s wet. That’s one way to keep the road in good condition

    My original plan was to a big loop with the Verde Rim trail. When I got to the parking spot and got out, the wind was so fierce that it closed my jeep road for me. The wind was bitter cold. I didn't want to spend the day fighting the wind. I went to a plan B, hike down Pine mountain to the Verde River.

    I parked 2 miles from the Oxtail TH. The road starts to get rocky after this point. The wind was brutal along Dugas road. I had to wear a wool hat and gloves under I dropped under 4,500 feet!

    The Oxtail trail

    The trail starts right off of Dugas road by a tank. You enter a gate and take a hard turn to the left. The trail drops fast down to drainage. I lost the trail for a couple of minutes in the drainage. The trail was well cairned and very easy to follow. There was a cairn almost every 15 feet. Sometimes there were to many cairns. This is a very old trail and there’s been recent trail maintenance done to it. The views on the trail very great. I saw snow on Humphreys. My only gripes is the amount of rocks and drops off. There are a lot of rocks on the trail, sometimes it’s almost like scree. There are sections with drops. Sometimes you would get both. Scree rocks with drop-offs! This made for a very slow moving hike. The trail ended at the Brown Spring TH. I took the Towel trail to the Verde. The Towel trail is an old road that follows and crisscrosses the Towel creek. The Towel trail crosses the Verde and continues to Fossil Creek RD. This was an great place to explore, but I had a big climb ahead of me so I didn’t stay long.

    Cold Water trail

    The Cold Water trail is an old jeep road that doesn’t believe in switch backs! The trail has some great views of the Verde valley. After the Cedar Bench the road turns into trail. The cold water trail is also very easy to follow. There’s been recent maintenance done to this trail as well. Shortly after the Tule Rim intersection, the Cold Water trail takes a sharp turn to the right and climbs up to Dugas road. This was the monster climb of the day. The trail gained 1,000 feet (5,200 to 6,200) in a little more than a half mile. I felt like I should have had a climbing rope! Half way up, the wind started to blow. The Cold water trail ends about a quarter mile from the Verde Rim trail. Once on top, the wind died down.

    I went a little down the Verde Rim trail just to see what I pasted up for the day. Once I got on the trail section, I was not impressed. It started out right as a cairn hunting exercise. I liked the Cedar Bench trails better.
    It was a fun hike. The Cedar Bench wilderness is a cool area. The trails are cleaned up and the views are great. The cold wind was a bit much. I’ll return on a warmer day.

    This was my first hike with HAZ tracks. It was cool to get hiking stats as you hike. The only down side is that the HAZ lady reminds me how slow I am at climbing :(

    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

    To hike
    Beginning at I-17, take Dugas Exit #268. Turn right onto Dugas Road (also FR 68) and travel 6.7 miles to the Dugas homestead. Continue on FR 68 for another 2.3 miles to a fork in the road. Bear right to remain on FR 68 and go 1.8 miles to the junction with FR 68G. Proceed straight at the intersection and take FR 68G east for 10 miles. You will pass Trail #27 on the left before arriving at the trailhead. Parking is poor. FR 68G is suitable for high clearance, 4WD vehicles only and portions may be impassable. FR 68 is graded dirt. A high clearance vehicle is recommended. 4WD may be necessary when the road is wet.

    As of May 2011, FR 68G is in poor condition. It is suggested that Trail #161 be accessed via Trail #159. To reach the Trail #159 trailhead, follow the directions above to the intersection with FR 68G. Turn right at this intersection to remain on FR 68 and continue 6.9 miles to Salt Flat Campground and the trailhead for Trail #71 and Trail #159. There is parking for 5-10 vehicles.
    page created by joebartels on Nov 15 2012 12:18 am
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