New hiking trails near Sedona, AZ hint at bigger things to come

Occupying a hilly slice of high desert below the east flanks of Mingus Mountain, the new Blowout Wash trail system is shaping up to become a prime Verde Valley hiking destination.

The remediation project is a multi-agency collaboration of local, state and federal land agencies working together to improve recreational opportunities in Prescott National Forest southwest of Cottonwood, AZ.

Trail construction began in 2019. Before that, the wash-riddled foothills surrounded by popular recreation hubs in Sedona, Jerome, Dead Horse Ranch State Park and the Woodchute-Mingus Mountain complex of routes were rife with user-created paths, shooting, and dumping that were disrupting the ecosystems and decimating native vegetation.

The destructive, anything-goes arena is gradually being replaced with sustainable, non-motorized trails that reduce erosion, protect natural assets and promote responsible use.

A map at the trailhead teases with an overview of planned trail development, and a little loop that was completed in early 2020 provides a tasty tidbit of what’s to come.

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