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Monday, April 15, 2013

Pine Mountain - Verde Rim

Pine Mountain Hike
Pine Mountain Wilderness Area
Prescott National Forest
Dugas, Arizona
Mileage - 9.98
Time -3:42
AEG - 1958ft

Expectations were low on our way up to Pine Mountain, mainly because trip reports of the area described it as high desert grazing lands that eventually turned into a hilltop with a few sections of trees.  Really captivating, right? Instead, we found ourselves walking through a dense microclimate of healthy old growth pines and junipers along a spring-fed stream filled with trout!  Those write-ups couldn't have been more wrong.  The summit view was impressive, though not a big surprise given that Pine Mountain is the highest point along the Verde Rim and the 63rd most prominent peak in the state at 6,801 feet above sea level.  

Matt, Ryan and I began hiking around 9:15am Sunday morning on one of those perfect spring days with plenty of shade and a nice breeze.  The moderate grade and well signed trails made this one seem effortless after all the off-trail hiking we've been doing over the past couple months.  This area sees little visitation leaving the trails all to us.  Well, except for the deer, squirrels and birds.  There's a primitive campground at the trailhead that would provide a nice oasis from the summer heat resting at 5,000ft and completely shaded.  I have a feeling I'll be back here soon enough.



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