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home : blogs_old : heads up hiker October 20, 2014

Heads Up Hiker
By Cheryl Hartz, Prescott Valley, AZ
The best hikes in the county, safety, plus plants, trees and wildlife on the way!
Friday, November 16, 2007

Blog: Hike highest point in Yavapai County

Cheryl Hartz

The patriotic-sounding Yankee Doodle Trail No. 284 leads to the Mt. Union lookout and then 13 miles beyond.
Photo by Cheryl Hartz

OK, last week I let you off easy with the Lynx Lake Trail. This week, your hike goes to the highest point in Yavapai County. With an elevation of 7,974 feet, Mount Union in the Prescott National Forest's Bradshaw Mountains provides an aerobic workout.

Visitors who climb the 30-foot fire look out tower get even more of a bird's-eye view of nearly the entire county.

The patriotic-sounding Yankee Doodle Trail No. 284 leads to the Mt. Union lookout, and continues south another 13 miles or so, passing through a large area burned by the 1972 Battle Fire. The wildfire changed vegetation from predominately Ponderosa pine to mostly scrub oaks and manzanita, illustrating ecological change.

The multiple-use trail's early portion, however, winds upward through Ponderosa pine. Their scent refreshes each time a breather is needed on the steep, rocky climb to the lookout. This is a great time of year to hike it, so you won't get overheated. Take plenty of water and snacks to refuel. If you want to carry a little more along

The county's most spectacular view is worth the effort. Tower keeper John gladly identifies faraway landmarks in all four directions.

From State Route 69 (between Prescott Valley and Prescott) take Lynx Lake Road. Just past Walker, turn east on Forest Road 670 and follow it south 5.7 miles to FR 261, also called Mt. Union Road. Park and walk up the road to Dandrea Trail No. 285. Head west to the intersection with Yankee Doodle Trail No. 284, which goes to the Mt. Union Lookout. To access Dandrea's trailhead at Potato Patch near Hassayampa Lake, take FR 52 (Senator Highway) out of Prescott and past Groom Creek.

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