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.