bitter meister face
Note: This is a three-trail hike, hiked in the following order:
#1) Little Yeager Trail # 533, 2.1mi
#2) Yeager Cabin Trail # 111, 2.0mi
#3) Yeager Canyon Trail # 28, 2.0mi
I arrived at the west trailhead later than I wanted to. Over slept! But then it is Memorial Day Monday and I am in no hurry. The trailhead is just off Highway 89A on the right as you head to Jerome from Prescott Valley. The dirt road, almost hidden, drops down from the pavement onto the last bit of flat land before you head deep into the Mingus. A dry creek from Yeager runs through it. Might be rough for cars, but there is enough parking before the creek bed to park a couple of cars. But, once past the creek bed, there is plenty of parking, NO WATER, and NO BATHROOMS. Well, with the exception of trees and bushes to provide for a field head.
In and around the area you will see some cement foundations. I cannot say with certainty, but I have been told by a friend, whose grandparents grew up in Jerome and studying an old topo relief map a few years back, this site was one time a ranger station. Today it is clearly a well used campground filled with debris from campers littering the site. I was amazed at the amount of brass (empty shell casings) and shotgun shells scattered around. It was easy to see the campers had a drunken orgy of fun shooting up the counrty side, the beer bottles, and any targets deemed worthy to shoot. No campers were around this day. Whew! (2012-06-24 Nighthiker writes: CCC work camp)
The start of the trail is not marked. From the general area of the campground if you head to the southwest you will follow a road and begin your climb. The road will quickly narrow into a well used trail and soon start your climb in earnest up into the mountains away from the mayhem left below. Notwithstanding, the sound of passing traffic on Highway 89A reverberates up the mountain and the ptch change of tires slamming over the cattle guard can really be heard. With time as you climb the annoying sounds of busy folks traveling at breakneck speed disappears.
The trail does offer some scenic views to the west. Lonesome Valley, Prescott Valley, Granite Mountain can be seen in the distance. But I think what I enjoy most on this hike was the patches of small delicate flowers lining the trail. Purple, yellow, and white. I do not know what kind they are, but really, do you have to know what they are in order to enjoy them?
Once on top it was quiet. A slight breeze whispering through the pines, birds calling out sharply on occasions.
You will pass a gate and after walking a short distance of perhaps a quarter of a mile come to Forest Road 105 where the trail ends. At this point I hooked a left down the road and amazingly I really felt exposed on the road! I did not have to walk far on the road, it did not take long before I seen the small orange wildlife gate signaling the start of Trail # 111, the Yeager Cabin Trail.
Continue on to Yeager Cabin Trail #111
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.
Prescott FS Reports This trail is a portion of a system of trails that can be used as a round-trip loop. Starting at the trailhead on Highway 89A, one can take either TR #28 or TR #533 to the east. The return trip is then made by way of the connecting trail, TR #111.
Maps, other resources: Prescott National Forest, east half; U.S.G.S. topographic 7.5' quad for Hickey Mountain.
Trail layout: From FR 105 the trail goes west staying along a ridge for about 0.5 miles. It then descends steeply into Yeager Canyon through a series of switchbacks. The trail ends on Highway 89A in Yeager Canyon.
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.