This lengthy trail passes through a large part of the area burned during the 1972 Battle Fire. This wildfire covered much of the area between FR 261 and FR 52. Until the time of that fire, the area was one of the most scenic on the Forest. The area has since revegetated to mainly brush species comprised of scrub oaks and manzanita. This area, once dominated by Ponderosa pine, is not likely to regenerate to pine because of the long-term changes to a drier climate and because of the resultant very slow formation of suitable soil conditions. The trail thus provides for the ecologically oriented hiker a chance to see firsthand, this process of ecological change. South of FR 52, the trail stays mostly in Ponderosa pine with gradual transition to chaparral at the lower elevations. Even south of Pine Mountain, the trail passes through some of the wildfire area. This portion of the trail is not recommended for use until major maintenance is completed.
From FR 9404J, the trail climbs steeply to an elevation of over 7800 feet to Mt. Davis. From there to Mr. Union, the trail stays along this high ridge. The trail from there takes a long three mile descent of about 1800 feet in elevation change to the Orofino Mine and FR 52. The trail north of this point is scheduled for maintenance in 1991 and following that should be in good shape. The trail from here proceeds south along Longfellow Ridge to Pine Mountain. The trail ends on FR 82A (Trails End Mine Road). Beyond Pine Mountain, however, the trail is brushy and difficult to find and follow. It is not recommended for use until maintenance is done.
Directions from Prescott: Go east on Highway 69 for 4.9 miles to the Walker Road turnoff. On the north edge of the Walker townsite, FR670 turns east and then south to the Snowdrift Mine. Follow this road for four miles. Just a quarter mile north of the Snowdrift Mine, take FR 9490J to the northwest for .25-.5 miles to the trailhead.
Spring through Fall
(NOTE: Summers are very hot.)