Explore the most popular river trails in Prescott National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

East out of Pine TH along Highline Trail. Turned up the Donahue Trail - that was a tough climb. Some of Donahue were hard to see due to overgrowth.

Part of an extensive network of trails through a beautiful Pine Forest. Most of these trails are shared with mountain bikers. I had a very enjoyable hike and appreciated the shade during the hot part of the day.

260TH to Pine TH. In other words, the whole thing, which following the updated trail and reroute, was 54.5 miles according to my GPS. Takes 3-5 days depending on your ability and weather cooperation. Although there were many, many dry creek crossings along the length of the hike, water was still pretty reliable for most of it (first week of May 2018) although you'd be smart to carry a couple liters at all times. Saw almost no one in my 4 days... one other solo chick hiker (good for you girl) and a group doing the AZT. Weather sucked day 3 with rain, snow, hail and everything in between which boxed me in in a waterless area feeling like survivorman catching rain water. Makes the finish line seem that much more awesome. End rant, be prepared, it's rugged country and around the midpoint of the trail you really are pretty far removed from any other humans. Saw deer and scads of elk and one small black bear and some of my favorite birds like grosbeaks, towhees, warblers, and hummers. Anyhow, I'm done with getting my butt kicked by this trail for now, maybe again come fall! Hiked with my little dog, beware the paws on all that abrasive rock. Mine wore boots for about half of each day's hike but we were both pretty gimpy at the end. Otherwise very dog friendly if your dog is in shape for it.

Here to work on my section of the AZT the best section on the whole 800 miles⛰

1 month ago

fun trail not to long or difficult

I did the whole thing starting at 260 TH to Pine in about 3 and a half days. The trail was beautiful with many opportunities for water and camping. Certain parts are very poorly marked. It seemed like I'd have to search for the trail again everytime I crossed a wash. Luckily it had just rained and I was able to follow other's footprints.

2 months ago

Took 30 High School-aged boys on this hike. It was a rough road and the recommendation of high clearance vehicle was important. However, nobody needed 4WD. We found out that the cow trails were more distinctive than the hiking trails. This Trails app was excellent to help us stay on track (although we got off the trail multiple times). The views from the Verde Rim and Pine Mountain we’re absolutely amazing. We camped just West of the Pine Mountain summit. I will go back again for the challenge of doing the entire loop and staying on the trail. Would be amazing in the fall especially along Sycamore Creek.

3 months ago

Not an “easy” level hike. Plan for a puzzle when you get halfway in due to overgrown, narrow, fallen tree blocking paths that come and go. we had to continually refer to the map because it continually led us in a completely different direction. It was quite enjoyable for us but I can see how it might confuse and exhaust others or possibly lead them to a life in the vast, uninhabited ponderosa forest being raised by coyotes. The path was so chaotic we witnessed a full grown Weimaraner (an intelligent beast) get utterly perplexed and unable to locate his person. Panic insued and there were treacherous rocks and ledges where the maniacal dog could’ve plunged to injury or death. Sign says kid friendly but I wouldn’t drag my toddler along nor anyone with a disability! Don’t expect to see much water either (except maybe monsoon season or in the spring when there might be a little snow run-off). enjoy the rock scrambling (see photo of one such area).

Hiked this trail from Pine TH to Geronimo TH around 8 miles one-way and turned around. I’m not a huge fan of walking the same trail in and out, but I did not have the time or gear to go the full 51 miles.

Definitely glad that we had a high clearance 4WD truck to get to the trailhead I wouldn’t try to drive here with anything less- the road is washed out with large rocks and steep hills especially towards the end. The hike was beautiful, there is water flowing in sycamore creek along Nelson trail. Went out and back Nelson Trail to Willow Spring Trail to Verde Rim Trail to the summit. Trail was hard to follow in some spots since there are no cairns or trail marker. Didn’t see anyone else on the road out to the trailhead or on the trail, would love to plan a backpacking trip here.

5 months ago

rather boring flat trail that looks like a logging road. not very scenic. I would skip as there are other trails available to hike.

Did 7 miles from Horton to Derrick. Spectacular Fall colors. Love this one!

Started this from the east end (260 Trailhead) and only went in until I hit Drew Trail 291. Lovely hike with a variety of gullies and views. Much easier than Military Sinkhole Trail, which also starts at the 260 Trailhead.

Made a loop along the Derrick 2.1 trail to the Highline 2.6 to Horton Springs and back down the Horton Creek 3.3 trail to car. Easy hike and beautiful places to camp. Avoid the Springs on the weekends if you can it gets crowded.

10 months ago

Saw lots of wildlife such as bobcats, rattlesnakes, birds, deer and insects. A lot of fallen trees blocking the trail. The trail was not well maintained, having to literally crawl multiple times under sharp thorn bushes. With the difficult travel came great reward, never saw a single person (which is a huge plus for me). The view at the top of the mountain was breathtaking, seeing the Four Peaks on the right and Mt. Humphrey on the left and as a native Arizonian that was well worth the many thorn gashes on my arms and legs. If you plan to spend the night bring extra bug spray, I kid not this was the most bugs and spiders I have ever seen in AZ. Overall awesome trail if you don't mind roughing it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

it was fun we started from our house in Ponderosa Park and ended up cutting across the mountain to connect up with the trail. We then followed it down to the Camp Ground

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Trail was hard to find and almost completely gone. Never been on this trail before. We ended up hiking to the top of pine mountain. I still had fun and plan to hike it again.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

This was a nice walk through the woods. Nothing strenuous to get the blood moving. Decent scenery.

Monday, July 25, 2016

This is one of my favorite hidden gems on Arizona. A bit of a trek to get to, the other reviewer does well with directions, but it well worth it. Make sure you have at least a half a tank of gas to be safe. Despite coming off the desert road you find yourself in a little oasis at the bottom of the mountain, and then begin your hike up the mountain.

About 1.5 miles in there is a little whirlpool that you can take a dip in the cool off. The hike itself is easy - moderate, becomes a bit tougher once the incline starts. Additionally, once the incline starts, the shaded areas stop so you should bring plenty of water and head cover.

Be aware of the big black wild cows. They don't bother you as long as you don't bother them! Other than them, I rarely see anyone else on this trail.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I did the ranch loop, which includes part of the Highline trail that circles up and over the plateau near the Pine trailhead. It was a magnificent view. Only complaint is that some of the trail markers at the top of the plateau were vandalized/missing. Crummy people.

I hiked 4 miles in and out, fabulous beautiful trail. It wasn't strenuous but kept the heart rate up. Great hike, highly recommended.

There's a short stretch of this trail between Horton Creek, and Derrick trails in Payson. It is FAR from easy.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I only did a seven mile section of the 50 miles. I started at the town of Pine and hiked 7 miles west and back. Nice hike, many scenic areas. Elevation put you in the pines and not the desert.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Pine Mountain Trail #14 is in the Pine Mountain Wilderness of Prescott National Forest. I accessed the trail coming from the Salt Flat trail head. To get there I took the I-17 to the Dugas Rd, exit. I then followed Dugas Rd until the junction with FR68. I then took FR68 to where it ends at the Salt Flat trail head. The last 7 miles of FR68 required a higher clearance vehicle. Travel time from the I-17 to the Salt Flat TH was about 1 hour 20 minutes. The last section of road should not be entered when raining. It is mostly clay. The Salt Flat TH has room for about 10 vehicles and has 5 separate picnic/camping areas. I have been back there twice and only saw 1-2 other vehicles both times. There is a creek with running water in the campsite. To get to the Pine Mountain trail you have to begin on the Nelson trail (have reviewed that trail separately). You follow the Nelson Trail for 4 miles to reach the Pine Mountain trail. The Pine Mountain trail is less than 1.5 miles and is used to reach Verde Rim Trail #161. I actually hiked up the Willow Springs Trail #12 and then along the Verde Rim trail and then back down the Pine Mountain Trail to make a loop. From the Nelson Trail / Willow Springs Trail junction it is a good climb either direction to get up to the Verde Rim trail. There a many camping areas for backpacking along any of these trails. If you make it up to the Verde Rim trail, make sure not to miss the side trail up to the top of pine mountain. It is mark with a small sign between the Willow Springs and Pine Mountain trails. It is not far from the top of the Pine Mountain trail.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

This is an average trail that is more developed for off road vehicles than for hiking or biking. The first mile has a running creek which is really nice, and the wildflowers were amazing. It connects to other trails and ends at groom creek.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

This trail was quite easy to hike, but it was washed out in places which made the terrain very rocky and unstable. The trail got quite close to the road in places, but the running creek was really nice. I am just not sure where the trail is supposed to go to, it is probably mainly used as a short cut for off-road vehicles.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Good Hike. Did this on a Saturday morning. There was one car at the trail head. Never saw a hiker on the trail until the very end where I ran into to some folks on horseback going in. Its a long drive in off I-17. But will worth it. A portion of the creek is running with some pools with fish in them. When you reach the top of pine mountain there are some great views to the east of what i assume is the Verde River canyon. Enjoyed this hike. Would be a nice weekend camp trip with the campsites at the trail head. Enjoy

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