Living at a mile high has its perks – four distinct seasons, cool summer nights, and long, gorgeous autumns.
But, at about 5,200 feet elevation, the wintertime weather sometimes appears unable to make up its mind: Will it be snow, rain, sleet, or hail?
Early January 2016 was a prime example. Prescott, the mile-high city of Arizona, seemed to be right at the snow line. For several days in a row, the nights brought several inches of snow, while the days alternated between watery sunshine, icy rain, and snow. Invariably, the snow melted during the day – just in time for the next night’s snowfall.
Good for daytime driving conditions, maybe, but what about those snowy long walks? Not so much.
Come the weekend, Prescott’s wet, slushy streets had me looking for a truly snowy experience. Luckily, Mingus Mountain – the range between Prescott and Jerome – had me covered. Specifically, I headed to Yaeger Canyon, a steep hiking trail that is a favorite workout in the summer. (See “View from the top of the world“).
Not sure if it would be passable in the heavy snow, I was happy to see that someone had already cut a path through the deep snow. I happily followed in the previous footsteps for about a mile, before waging out on my own up the back side of the canyon walls.
What I found more than fit the bill …
Pine boughs loaded with snow
Unending views of Mingus Mountain, and Highway 89A far below
And, snowy trails with only traces of the wildlife that had come before me
Not knowing what I would find when I left my house in Prescott, I hadn’t really come prepared for the 10-12 inches of snow. Hence…
Still, the snow hike couldn’t have been more perfect…