March 18, 2011
The Mingus Mountain trail leaves from Cottonwood and climbs up to and around Mingus Mountain in a very scenic jeep drive. The panoramic views of Verde Valley and Cottonwood are magnificent as we wind our way up the mountain. There was a foggy haze in the valley this morning which created the look of the mountaintops in the fog of the first image.
After passing the foundation of the Old Copper Chief Mine, we continued to wind our way around the mountain. Those old miners really knew how to build a mountain road. At about 6,000 ft of elevation, we enjoyed a wonderful forest drive in Prescott National Forest. We sat by these ponderosa pines for a relaxing lunch break with just the sound of the wind in the trees and the local campers exhibiting their 4 wheeler know how.
At our highest elevation of 7,746 ft, patches of snow were visible on the mountainside. It may be our last chance for a snow ball fight for some time. The trail ended at Highway 89A which took us down to Jerome and back to Cottonwood. It was a pleasure to see a pine forest again after months in the desert.