A cool summer retreat in the pines, Mingus Mountain boasts sweeping views of the Verde Valley, the red rocks of Sedona, the City of Cottonwood, and Humphrey's Peak near Flagstaff. Its ponderosa pine ecosystem is dominated by pines, but also includes juniper trees, gambel oaks and native grasses. A multitude of colorful wildflowers bloom in the spring and during the summer monsoon season. The forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife including: elk, deer, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, rabbits, raccoons, numerous reptiles, and a wide variety of birds. Recreation sites tend to fill up quickly on holiday weekends, but mid-week Mingus Mountain is often a great place to get away from the crowds.
During the summer people escape to the cool pines of Mingus Mountain to camp, fish, picnic, hike, and ride. Recreation opportunities range from restful to extreme adventure. There are two family campgrounds, one group campground, and four picnic areas. Most developed recreation sites are fully accessible to wheelchairs, and some camp sites offer electric hook-ups for RVs. Mingus Lake, a small man-made lake, is periodically stocked with trout.
The extensive trails system on Mingus Mountain provides opportunities for hikers, cyclists, and horse riders that range from easy to challenging. For those who seek quiet and solitude in a natural environment, Woodchute Wilderness offers trails that are limited to only hikers, backpackers, and horse riders.
Mingus Mountain is considered one of the best hang glider and paraglider sites in the American West. The Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association operates a launch site for experienced gliders only--but anyone can watch!
Developed recreation sites on Mingus Mountain open May 1 and close October 31 each year. Forest Roads 104, 106, 413, and 132 close only during the heaviest snows of winter, but it is important to be aware that driving on wet roads can cause deep ruts so these roads should be avoided after heavy rains or snow.
FeesDay use fees range from free to $5.00/day; Camp sites from $6.00 tp $18.00/night. Prescott NF, Interagency, Senior, and Access passes allow reduced prices or free visitation.
ADA Accessibility Notes
With the exception of the historic tent sites in Mingus Campground, most developed recreation sites on Mingus Mountain offer facilities that are accessible to wheelchairs. Mingus Mountain Recreation Area is located south of Jerome off of the winding, mountainous Mingus Mountain Scenic Route, Highway 89-A. Summit Picnic Area and Potato Patch Campground are on or near the highway, but the rest of the recreation sites are reached via Forest Road 104 which is maintained on a regular basis and generally fine for most passenger vehicles.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are welcome on Mingus Mountain but must be on a leash no longer than six feet, or restrained within a vehicle or kennel at all times while visiting the Prescott National Forest.