Difficulty: Moderate. Most of the trail is easy except for a few rocky places. Narrow shelf road on the east side of Mingus Mountain. Stay off this trail during rainy periods; the last part can get very muddy. Suitable for stock SUVs.
Features: After passing through an unimpressive lower section, the road climbs quickly up the side of scenic Mingus Mountain. Great views of Verde Valley and Sedona looking east. An enjoyable forest drive. ATV's are restricted to main Forest Service roads only.
Leaving the town of Cottonwood, this trail soon rises above the mid-desert to the tall pines, the views into the valley are spectacular as you ride the ridge trail. As the trail turns north, the trail becomes more civilized as you head back to Mingus Mountain peak and exit for the return trip via the historic mining town of Jerome back to Cottonwood.
Time & Distance: About 19 miles. Allow 2 to 3 hours.