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Monday, January 26, 2015


Bill Ensign Trail

The Lime Kiln Trail is a reclaimed wagon road that was originally used from the 1890s thru the early 1900s to transport building materials and market goods between Cottonwood and Sedona. Today, the 15-mile-long route serves as a recreational trail for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers anchored by Dead Horse Ranch State park in the west and and Red Rock State Park in the east. Named for a kiln built in the 1880s to produce mortar for the construction of several homes in Cottonwood area, the trail wanders through a landscape of limestone-layered rock formations dotted with Crucifixion thorn, juniper and beavertail cacti with impressive views of the mining town of Jerome, Mingus and Woodchute Mountains and Sedona's House Mountain volcano. Multiple access points and connecting trails provide dozens of day hike and backpack options. One to try is an out-and-back circuit using the Lime Kiln and Bill Ensign trails. Beginning from the Lagoon trailhead at DHRSP, this trip passes by the kiln site where interested hikers can take a short spur trail to the crumbling remains. At the 1.7-mile point, turn right at the Bill Ensign junction and hike 1.5 miles through high desert terrain skirting the boundary of the Verde Valley Botanical Area--a preserve established to protect the endangered Arizona Cliffrose. The trail culminates at a high point overlooking a riparian corridor of willows and cottonwoods along the Verde River.
LENGTH: 7.5 miles (as described here)
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 3,300' – 3,590'
FEE: $7 daily fee per vehicle
FACILITIES: restrooms, camp sites, cabins, picnic ramadas, fishing
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
From Interstate 17 go north to State Route 260 exit 287 and head west toward Cottonwood. Continue 11 miles to Main Street in Cottonwood (Hwy 89A) and turn left. Continue through Cottonwood on Main Street, turn right on 10th Street and follow the signs to the park.
Lime Kiln-Bill Ensign:
Lime Kiln:

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