Above the snow line

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.

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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

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Unending views of Mingus Mountain, and Highway 89A far below

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And, snowy trails with only traces of the wildlife that had come before me

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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…

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Still, the snow hike couldn’t have been more perfect…

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2 Comments on “Above the snow line

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