Mingus Mountain Loop Trail

Prescott, Arizona 86315

Mingus Mountain Loop Trail

Mingus Mountain Loop Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"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."

Mingus Mountain Loop Trail Trip Reports

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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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My wife and I went up Jerome on sat . we stayed at the ghost city inn.great bed n breakfast.I was told that i might want to start my trip farther down the trail,so I went back down to clarkdale and turned at the mavrick gas . that is mingus road . its a pretty easy drive to the trail, and the trail has a few rough spots .nothing to bad Im new to off roading but i think it moderate is a good way to rate it.good views we ended the trip in cherry .one of them blips on the map cool spot. little grave yard and fire hse
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i had no idea what to do when I got just past the ruins of the old mine. There is an area that goes up and and an area that goes down. Both were out of my skill range alone and without a winch. I would have liked to have continued but could not safely pass.

For reference.

I was driving a 4x titan 4dr and according to the map, it was just after the area where it specifies (low range will be necessary). I was able to get up in 2X, but beyond that it was over my head sadly. Although I did enjoy two other trails that day.

Mingus is not suitable for stock trucks at the current state of the trail.

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
2.5 hours
April to November, best dry weather
4,800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,900 feet
Top Elevation
Prescott National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Cottonwood, Hickey Mt., Prescott; BLM Prescott; USFS Prescott National Forest, Verde Ranger District
Local Maps

Trail Log