Yeager Canyon Loop
Trailhead: Yeager Canyon East
Length: 6 miles roundtrip
Managing Agency: Prescott National Forest
Directions to Trailhead:
From Prescott, head north on SR 89A to the top of Mingus Mountain. Turn east onto FR 104 and follow this good dirt road 1.3 miles to FR 413. Turn right on FR 413 and go .8 miles to a small parking area. When we were here in late March 2001, the brown carbonite sign indicating the trail had been knocked down.
From the trailhead (elevation 7315), the Yeager Canyon Trail #28 heads down a closed road. In about 50 feet, when the road turns to the right, the trail goes straight ahead. A sign indicating this had been shot up by some asshole when we were there. The trail begins with a rocky gentle descent. After .3 miles, the trail intersects with the Yeager Cabin Trail #111 and Trail #530. The Yeager Canyon Trail is the final leg of this loop.
After crossing the junction the trail continues until it begins its more moderate descent along switchbacks(.5 miles). At the end of the first switchback, there is a rocky outcrop that has some great views. The Prescott Forest Service description of these switchbacks is that they are steep. We did not find this to be the case. The switchbacks are long and fairly gentle. Road noise from SR 89A was the only distraction from this trail.
When you reach the bottom of the switchbacks, you will pass though a gate and follow an old logging road along Yeager Creek and then pass though a second gate. A half mile from the first gate, the trail ends in a large parking area that is the west trailhead (elevation 6050) for this trail and the Little Yeager Canyon Trail #533.
This trailhead is way overused and was a myriad of dirt roads that cover about an acre. The trailhead for Little Yeager Canyon was unmarked and we only found it by asking another couple who happened to pull up as we were looking around.
The Little Yeager Canyon Trail begins on an old jeep road in the southeast corner of the trailhead. It climbs quickly for about a quarter mile through piles of trash that some human pigs have strewn about. It was just sickening. After a quarter mile the trail becomes single track and begins to climb up the ridge along long switchbacks. The views improve and after about 1 mile from the west trailhead, the trail reaches a small saddle. From the saddle the trail switchbacks twice more before topping out at a fence line at nearly 7000 feet. From the fence line the trail descends gently for another quarter mile to end at FR 105.
Turn left on FR 105 and walk the road for about a tenth of a mile to the trailhead for the Yeager Cabin Trail #111. Unlike the other two trailheads, this one is well marked.
The Yeager Cabin trail begins by dropping into a small drainage and then climbing right back out again. It does this twice in rapid succession and then levels out nicely. This was my favorite part of the loop. There was no road noise and the trail was nicely maintained. About 1.2 miles from the start of the Yeager Cabin Trail, the trail becomes rockier and begins to climb toward its end at the Yeager Canyon Trail. There are numerous blown down trees in this area. About a tenth of a mile from the end, there is a sign indicating TR 350. This is confusing, because their is no information about this. Turn left on TR 350 (it is still TR 111) and follow it to the signed junction with Yeager Canyon #28. Turn right on Yeager Canyon 28 and follow it .3 miles to the trailhead.
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