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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.

Homestead Trail #305, AZ

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Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 7.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,574 feet
Elevation Gain 486 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,143 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.91
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3  2020-10-14
Homestead Trail #305
rayhuston
13  2020-05-16
Homestead - Lynx - Sevenmile
The_Eagle
18  2020-05-16 joebartels
7  2020-05-02
Prescott Forest Walk
DmN
9  2020-04-25
Homestead Loop
Nightstalker
9  2019-08-03
Prescott Lakes Tour
joebartels
7  2019-08-03
Lynx Lake Tour
The_Eagle
8  2018-08-26 cw50must
Page 1,  2,  3
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 830
Photos 11,805
Trips 4,647 map ( 23,759 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Sun  6:43am - 5:43pm
Official Route
 
10 Alternative
 
Water


Prescott National Forest
Ancient Pine Secret
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
Overview
Homestead Trail #305 connects the Ranch Trail #62 trailhead with the Smith Ravine #297 trailhead. It offers access to several areas within the Lynx Lake Recreation area.


Hike
Starting on the north end at the Ranch Trailhead, Homestead Trail #305 begins left/south of the road split entering the parking areas. A slender #305 sign is to the right of the large information signage. The trail is well-signed and the tread is excellent from end to end.

You are hiking through or near pines the entire way. The exception is a short 0.15 miles on the south end. The trail is typically subtle ups and downs. The first mile is predominately descending then it flips to predominately ascending.

Slender Ponderosa Pines are plentiful. Deciduous Gambel Oaks fill between the pines in several stretches of trail. There is probably one week of very nice Autumn foliage. Evergreen Emory Oak and Arizona White Oaks are forgettable to most but add nice yellow accents for several weeks in the late April to June timeframe.

The trail weaves through and crosses 4 roads in Hilltop Campgrounds. Following the Official Route helps navigate the southernmost crossing at 4.3 miles. It follows the road for maybe 50 feet.

Alternatives
• We have used Homestead Trail #305 in several 20 plus mile all-day loop hikes.

• A very nice short loop around would be around Lynx Lake or a 7.9-mile lasso loop from Ranch TH, both using Lynx Recreation Trail #311.

• 5 miles roundtrip from the north to a rest bench would be a nice short hike.

Camping
Hilltop Campgrounds. Dispersed camping is permitted in the Prescott National Forest. However, this trail crosses day-use areas. Camping is only permitted in designated campsites in day-use areas. If unsure, scratch camping the three miles 2 through 5 of the Official Route.

Synopsis
Roughly averages an 0.1 mi buffer aside Walker Rd. Minus crossing Walker Road once, Walker is obscured by pines galore. Mountain bikers are the primary recreationist. I passed under a dozen bikers on a full-length out-n-back on a Saturday in May. The rule of thumb is bikers yield to hikers. Mountain bikers have been friendlier and saner than hikers in my experiences. Stay aware, step aside and the friendly vibes keep rolling.

Attention-dwelling and elite hikers will avoid this trail. It lacks iconic distant mountain views. Pines provide shade early to late morning and late afternoon. For a less civilized feeling in serious pines consider a short out-n-back from the southern end starting at Smith Ravine Trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2020-05-18 joebartels

    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 $$
    FS

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Ranch/Homestead Trailhead
    Heading toward Prescott on 69 turn left (south) on Walker Road (the traffic light just west of Costco). Drive 1/2 mile to the Ranch Trail trailhead on the right.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 101 mi - about 1 hour 54 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 206 mi - about 3 hours 31 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 89.9 mi - about 1 hours 43 mins
    page created by TwoWeims on Nov 09 2008 2:32 pm
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