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Friday, October 16, 2009

VIEW POINT TRAIL

VIEW POINT TRAIL Prescott National Forest A traipse through an archway of golden Gamble oaks sets the stage for the hallmark mountain vistas and brilliant foliage of the View Point Trail No. 106. Beyond this “grand entrance” the slender path begins its gradual descent along the east face of Mingus Mountain weaving through a mixed bag of terrain including exposed juniper-agave high desert and pine-oak forests fringed with Bigtooth maples. From the trail’s high vantage point, the towns of Jerome and Cottonwood appear like scribbles on a map far below while the course of the Verde River paints a lazy swath of green on a brown landscape. Just past the 1.3-mile mark, at the junction for trail 105A, the route makes a severe dip into the canyon. It’s here where the hike rating goes from moderate to difficult as the path clamors roughly 700 feet downhill on loose rocks to the turn around point at Allen Springs Road. Casual hikes can opt to stay on the high road and make the junction their turnaround point instead. LENGTH: 4 miles roundtrip RATING: moderate-difficult ELEVATION: 7,800 – 6,000 feet GETTING THERE: From Jerome, go 7 miles southwest on Highway 89A to Mingus Mountain Road (Forest Road 104). Turn left and continue on FR 104 for 2.4 miles to where it ends at a “T” intersection in the campground. Take an immediate left and park in the circular turnout near the “106” trail sign. FEE: $2 per person daily fee. Bring exact change for the self-serve permit kiosk. INFORMATION: fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/recreation/trails/verde/viewpt106.shtml

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