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Mingus Mountain Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide
"This trail is not for the faint-hearted, as for most of its length it runs along an extremely narrow shelf road with precipitous drops. It leaves the former ghost town of Jerome on narrow unpaved streets along the mountainside. There is no sign on the highway, and it is easy to miss the turn as well as the subsequent ones to the start of the shelf road; at first glance they look like private driveways. Once you reach the cattle guard with the yellow national forest marker, it is obvious that you are on the correct trail. Special Attractions: Historic mining town of Jerome; Very long section of narrow shelf road; Panoramic views over Verde Valley and the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness; Old mining adits and tailings. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees."
--Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson, Backcountry Adventures: Arizona (Adler Publishing ).
Trail is now closed. There is a chain over the frist cattleguard that says "extreme fire danger." Past that there are several large rockslides about 2 miles in that make the trail impassable. Maybe a 2-door wrangler could make it, but the rocks are as far apart as the width of my XTerra (+/- 3 inches) but it's on a curve in the trail with a steep cliff of to the left. Unless you have an extremely short vehicle or an incredibly small turn radius, this trail isn't for you unless you want body damage.
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