Butterfly Trail #536


Butterfly Trail #536 begins uphill past an old concrete dam and enters a rocky drainage lined with pine, oak, New Mexico locust, and seasonal wildflowers. It is not far to Butterfly Spring, where a tank holds water through much of the year. Look for animal tracks in the mud—deer, raccoon, elk, and bear all live in the forested Mingus Mountain area. The availability of water attracts other creatures, as well, including an array of multi-colored butterflies from which the trail takes its name. Above the spring, this trail makes use of a network of historic roads that served the logging industry during the mining boom of the late 1800s and early 1900s. There are a handful of large, stately alligator junipers along these roads that provide welcome shade as the trail continues gradually upwards. The highest reaches of the Butterfly Trail #536, not far below the Mingus Mountain summit, lie in ponderosa pine forest.

This trail ends at private property. Please turn back at the dead end sign. Portions of this trail may be overgrown with brush, however, the trail is not typically difficult to find or follow.


Mingus Mountain Brochure (1.86 MB)

Printable Trail Description and Map (785 KB PDF; 8.5” X 11”)

At a Glance

Fees No
Open Season: Spring - Fall
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns: Approximately 1 hour from I-17; 30 minutes from Chino Valley, AZ
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.

General Information


From its intersection with Interstate 17, travel 12.2 miles on Hwy 260 to the junction with Hwy 89A. Turn left and go 16.8 miles, through Jerome, to FR 104 and the Mingus Summit, on the left. Turn left onto FR 104 and go 0.8 miles to the trailhead on the left, located at a sharp bend in the road. Parking is poor.

From the junction of Hwy 89/89A in Chino Valley, travel 18.3 miles on Hwy 89A to FR 104 and the Mingus Summit. Turn right onto FR 104 and follow the directions above.

Road conditions are suitable for all vehicles.

General Notes:
  • Connecting trails: Middle Trail #537, West Rim Trail #538
  • Maps:
    • USGS Map: 7.5’ quad for Hickey Mountain
    • Prescott National Forest Map, east half
  • Average hiking time: 45 minutes, one way



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Mountain Biking

  • This trail, just below the Mingus Mountain summit, passes by Butterfly Spring before climbing into ponderosa pine forest.
Difficulty Level: Moderate


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
1.6 miles

  Elevation : 
7,699 feet