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

Moscow Peak Loop, AZ

39 3 1
Guide 3 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3 of 5 by 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 10 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,891 feet
Elevation Gain 816 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,200 feet
Avg Time One Way 4.5
Kokopelli Seeds 17.33
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Peak
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2017-04-13
Union - Moscow - Doodle - Davis
8  2016-11-05
Bradshaw Peaks
39  2015-07-31 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Aug
Sun  6:17am - 6:27pm
1 Alternative
Da Comrade
by kingsnake

Likely In-Season!
Last year, when I was up in the tower on Mount Union, I noticed this a small peak about a mile south, which turned out to be Moscow Peak. From various triplogs and routes, Hazards had been all around it, but never actually up it. The peak itself does not stand out much -- it is only about 400 ft. above Trail #284 -- but is easy to pick out due to being at the end of a ridge, and having a relatively bald summit. The summit views are fantastic.

From Five Corners, head west up FR 261. At 0.6 miles, you will cross Dandrea Trail #285. At 1.6 miles, turn south onto Yankee Doodle Trail #284. You will have climbed 900 exposed feet, but now the trail descends slightly and becomes quite shady and cool. At about 2.0 miles, just before a 15 ft. rock wall appears on your left, turn left up a small draw. There will be some cairns, and foot paths as you head SSE. Generally, pick your way through the open areas, and you will be heading in the correct direction. You will reach the summit of just over 7000 ft. at 2.4 miles. After enjoying the views, work your way south off the summit. The south is rockier, and steeper, but is an easy descent. (For a shorter hike, return the way you came.)

2.85 mi.: Rejoin Yankee Doodle Trail #284, which is again exposed. The 'summit' of Yankee Doodle Peak, such as it is, is about 50 yards east, and 50 ft. above, the trail at 3.2 miles. Feel the patriotic excitement. Continue south on the trail, which has become quite rocky, and prone to narrow, v-shaped, erosion. Care in foot placement recommended.

4.80 mi.: FR 83 and Orofino Mine, of which not much remains, other than scattered bits of metal and wood. The shaft and/or adit locations are obvious, but long since filled in. Head north on FR 83. From this point until just past Dandrea Ranch, the hike is quite shaded. In a mile, the Mastodon Mine is just to your right. I'm not sure if anything remains there, as the location is so anonymous that we walked right past it, none the wiser.

6.40 mi.: FR 83 splits left towards a gated claim. (I'm not sure how someone can legally fence off an official NFS road, but there you go.) FR 9404V splits right, down towards Turkey Creek. The claim looks at least semi-occupied -- even if only by bears -- so you will probably want to take 9404V, which climbs up to just below the rim of Big Bug Mesa. At 7.0 miles, turn north on FR 9404W. At 8.6 miles, there is a foot trail, back and to the right, which goes to the top of Big Bug Mesa, just south of Hill 7020.

8.80 mi.: You will pass by two check dams, one on each side of FR 9404W, as you appeoach Dandrea Ranch, which is a flat, cleared, area, surrounded by collapsed stone walls and scattered bits of barb wire fence. Be bummed the NFS did not leave any historic buildings at the ranch. At 9.4 miles, you will cross the south end of Dandrea Trail #285, before returning to the Five Corners TH at 10.0 miles.

Check out the Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2015-08-01 kingsnake

    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 Triplog Review
    Moscow Peak Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Drove into Prescott, with sun, despite predicted 75% chance of thunderstorms, to pick up the stylin' one. We headed down Walker Rd. and Big Bug Mesa to Five Corners, whence we started. It was the warmest 73° I can recall ever experiencing. Seriously unpleasant. :sweat: My wife Bernie defended the fort against marauding cattle and squirrels while we climbed 900 ft. up FR 261, aka the Mount Union summit road, to Yankee Doodle Trail #284.

    Clouds were already rolling in, thankfully moderating the apparent temp. Trail #284 was pleasantly shaded. After a couple hundred yards, we headed up a draw, towards a saddle, then traversed the highline to Moscow Peak itself -- today's main objective. Negotiating the highline was a stab-free breeze. The summit itself had fantastic views of Mount Tritle, Mount Union, Mount Davis, Big Bug Mesa and points south & west with which I am unfamiliar. Rain, thunder and lightning abounded in those surrounding areas, but we remained unmolested. Indeed, all we felt all day were a few sprinkles here and there. (Our garbage bag rain coats remained undeployed.)

    We headed down the steeper and rockier, but still not bad, south slope of Moscow Peak to reconnect with Trail #284, which by that point is not so shadey anymore. There was more evidence of motorized traffic -- including a KTM fairing -- than foot traffic. We both slipped several times in the slippery, steep, deep v-shaped ruts.

    Orofino Mine, just off the Senator Hwy., was anti-climactic. :| (I checked that usage on the Grammarist: ... tic/ :D ). Just a few scraps of wood and metal: No shafts or adits, not even of the sealed-off variety. We headed north on FR 83, walking right past the Mastodon Mine. If there is anything there, it was not obvious enough to make us notice & stop.

    When we reached the southern intersection of FR 83 and FR 9404, I was unsure which way to go. We ended up going left, towards the claim. Prescottstyle spotted a baby calf cub up a tree. Sweet. :y: Then he spotted mama. :o We basically diverted around the claim, which had several cabins. One had an open door, prompting me to make a Goldilocks joke. :roll: We soon rejoined FR 9404. Two OHVs passed us en route. (Bernie told us later Five Corners had seen quite a bit of motorized traffic.)

    Dandrea Ranch was a pleasant area, but disappointing. We passed more baby calves -- there's always plenty of cattle in the area -- before arriving back at Five Corners. I was bushed. (I had barely slept the previous two nights.) Beer consumption ensued. On the way back up Big Bug Mesa Rd., we cornered two baby calf fawns next to a bluff, which mom was on top of, but the baby calf fawns could not climb. After some photos, I eased my way past.

    Back in Walker, we encountered a lost transvestite. :-k (No, I am serious.) The guy driving looked a bit like Riff Raff. They were looking for Lynx Lake, and had gone left, skipping right past it. So, we had them follow us back up the road. Me & Janet ... I mean Bernie ... did not get home until after 8 p.m., by which time I was out on my feet. And you know what? I again barely slept a wink. :(

    Поход Видео : ... 4cmA

    Fair number or Arizona Thistle, plus a few odd other species, mostly on the south slope of Mount Union or on Moscow Peak.

    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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From AZ 69 in Prescott Valley, turn south on Walker Rd. In about 7.0 miles, just after crossing over Lynx Creek, turn left up Big Mug Mesa Rd. / FR 670, which is a mostly smooth gravel surface. (There may be some slight ruts, and several curves are blind, so keep your speed moderate.) At about 13.0 miles, you will reach Five Corners. Best place to park is by the corral.
    page created by kingsnake on Aug 01 2015 2:08 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker