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Pine Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 11 reviews
#31 of 60 trails in

Pine Mountain Loop Trail is a 13.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mayer, Arizona that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 13.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,601 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching






From Phoenix: Take I-17 north. About 5 miles north of the hwy 69 exit for Prescott you will come to the Dugas road exit. Exit the freeway and take Dugas road east for approximately 18 to 20 miles. There is a campground here at the trailhead. Park and have fun.

over grown
2 months ago

The road in is very rough. My Outback made it fine, but it was very sketchy for the last 7 miles. The trail started out OK and was relatively easy to follow. Nice forest setting, and I even saw a couple elk. Lots of cow dung on the trail for the first 2-3 miles. There are some good views near the peak, but after about 5 miles, the trail is very hard to follow. I do long hikes all over Arizona and I always complete the trail, except for today. Had to turn back at mile 6, because the trail seemed to fade into nothing. Even using the AllTrails app on my phone, I could not find the trail. If you want a vehicular adventure and to be totally alone in the woods, you might enjoy this hike if you treat it like an out-and-back after 5ish miles.

6 months ago

Went solo (not recommended) on 3/20/19. Snow and mud patches above 6000'. Rocky. Water everywhere. Fantastic views, little wildlife except for a Golden Eagle fly by near the top of Pine Mt trail and turkeys near the Nelson walls. Take a vehicle that is made for rough road as you'll see about 2/3 of the way in.

8 months ago

The road in isn’t that bad, I made it in my stock avalanche 2wd. Great hike. Dogs loved the creek.

Monday, March 05, 2018

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.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

18 days ago

Saturday, July 01, 2017

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