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Hiking & Walking: Arizona > Prescott National Forest > Verde Ranger District

Quick Facts

Nelson Trail # 159

Beginning Elevation: 5,100 Feet (1589.8 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 700 Feet (218.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 5,800 Feet (1808.0 Meters)
Length: 8.68 Miles (14.47 Kilometers)
Time, One-way: 4 Hours
Usage: Moderate

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail was originally, and still serves as, a service trail for the livestock industry. It does serve as part of the network of trails traversing the Pine Mountain Wilderness. It connects with the Willow Springs Trail #12, the Verde Rim Trail #161, and the Pine Flat Trail #165. The lower portions of the trail stay mainly in chaparral vegetation. There is considerable ponderosa pine on the portion of the trail from the trailhead near the Nelson Place to Bishop Spring.

The trail enters the wilderness just beyond the Nelson Place Spring and stays within the Sycamore Creek drainage for about 1.75 miles. The trail then turns southeast, climbing steadily to its intersection with TR #12. From TR #12 to TR #14 the climb is short, but steep. The intersection of TR #159 and TR #14 is known as the "Cloverleaf." The trail from here descends to the southwest along Bishop Creek. At about mile 4.5 the trail intersects with TR #161 coming down from the Verde Rim. At about mile 6.2 the trail intersects with TR #165 coming in from the north. The trail then continues almost due west to the wilderness area boundary where it ends on Forest Road 677A. This road is not recommended for travel, although it is passable to high clearance 4WD vehicles.

Directions from I-17: To access the trails in the Pine Mountain area, exit the I-17 Freeway at the Dugas Interchange. From there take Forest Road 68 southeast for 18 miles to the trailhead (Salt Flat) for the Nelson Trail #159 at the boundary of the Pine Mountain Wilderness. The boundary is approximately 1.25 miles east of the Double-T Ranch on Sycamore Creek.

Seasonal Information:
Recommended Seasons: Fall through Spring .

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More Information

Visitor Information:

Verde Ranger District, P.O. Box 670, 300 East Highway 260 , Camp Verde, AZ, 86322, Phone: 928-567-4121, Fax: 928-567-1179, TTY: 928-567-1108


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