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North Mingus Trail #105
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mini location map2014-05-12
15 by photographer avatarblack_toes
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North Mingus Trail #105Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 12 2014
black_toes
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,184 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   2 Hrs   33 Mns   1.96 mph
1,184 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a hike I would not make again unless it was part of a loop hike, combining it with other trails.

After a night in cool and windy Jerome more than 3,000' below, MJ and I drove up to the highest point on Mingus Mtn, the hang glider launch site at 7,815' el. The launch site also serves as the upper TH for Trail #105 (North Mingus). Our goal was to hike down to the junction with #105A and return over the same ground, a one-way distance of 1.6 mi. Neither of us had hiked on Mingus before, although I had been up to the launch site twice before to look around.

We started out in early afternoon, heading N across a forest of ponderosa and fir and following the mountain's edge on the right. It was comfortable going at first. The temperature was near 70 and the strong winds of yesterday had died down. The trail slopes gently downward for .7 mi, but it was not fun. The segment is littered with large stumble-rocks of blackened vesicular basalt, the ancient lava with the empty cavaties covering the surface. Was glad to finally reach the promontory and start down the steep western slope for the last .9 mi.

This western slope starts with 7 switchbacks, all of them long except for the first one coming off the promontory. The switchbacks comprise half the distance to the trail jct. The last part follows a contour. The footing was treacherous in places. Loose rock is one thing. But loose rock on loose soil is something else. It's hard to control your slide and I fell once.

The drop is significant down to the trail junction, a 742' plunge off the promonotry in less tha a mile, or about 825' per mile. That's getting close to my definition of "very steep" at 1,000' per mile. This western slope seems to be rejuvenating from an old fire and is exposed fully to the afternoon sun. Lots of knee-high Gambel oak and bushes along the trail. The variety of plant life is this segment's saving grace, but unfortunately I couldn't identify much. A shrub row with white flowers followed the trail down for a while. Reminded me of mock-orange. Saw isolated wildflowers, including a small stand of Indian Paintbrush and near the trail junction some pretty clusters that resembled Blue Dick. Stopped about halfway down to photograph a horned lizard. Found numerous bag-worm sites with larva just beginning to move outside.

Dawdling, we reached the "round-about" jct in an hour out from the TH. It rests in a saddle between Mingus and a rocky, brush-filled hill on the N. It had become breezy. Two metal posts mark the alternatives. The #105A shoots out at a 90-degree angle to the SE, and the lower part of the #105 makes a sharp U-turn and continues to the S. We stopped here for almost 30 minutes. MJ took a nap in the shade of some bushes while I looked around, made notes and tried to avoid a busy red-ant den.

On the way back up, the breeze became strong wind and it got cool, almost cold. About halfway up I donned my jacket. As we passed what I first had thought were rock-slides halfway up the switchbacks, I decided instead this was an old lava flow that intersects the trail twice.

It was very windy by the time we reached the TH. Our car gauge read 55 degrees and with the wind you could tack on the chill factor. It was a lonesome trail. Very few out on Mingus on a Monday. I plan to do this trail again, maybe in the autumn, and combine it with the #105 and #106 to make a loop of it. That seems what most hikers do. The #105A alone is not that interesting, at least at this time of year. And if it's views of Jerome, Cottonwood and the Verde Valley you seek, there are better vistas without the exertion.
Flora
Flora
Thimbleberry
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Indian paint brush and a few Blue-Dick like plants.
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242 Photosets

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