Monday, March 23, 2015
GRAPEVINE TRAIL #4
Prescott National Forest, Mayer
From Highway 69, the high desert grasslands around Big Bug Mesa near the town of Mayer don't look like they're hiding an oasis. But, deep within these arid hills, Grapevine Canyon harbors a perennial creek and a meandering sliver of green fed by snowmelt-charged springs. This sensitive site has been designated "Grapevine Botanical Area" and is now open only for day-use by hikers and equestrians. The dirt access road to the trailhead gets rough and narrow after 2 miles, which is why many hikers prefer to park at the
LENGTH: 2.5 miles one-way (4 miles one-way with road hike)
RULES: Day use only. Mountain bikes and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17 to Cordes Junction exit 262 and head west on State Route 69 (toward Prescott). Continue 11 miles and make a left turn onto Grapevine Road (FS87A) just before milepost 274. There is no sign at the turn, but there's one on the road. Follow the dirt road 2 miles to a fork where there's a parking apron for drivers who want to avoid the rough road ahead. Those with high-clearance or 4x4 vehicles can continue down the left fork to a green gate at the 2.7 mile point. Park here if the gate is locked, otherwise, you may drive another 0.6 mile (go straight and then veer right at a fork) to the trailhead. Be prepared for some very rocky obstacles and shrubs that will scratch wide vehicles.
INFO & MAP: