The Chino Valley Section of the Peavine Trail Provides a Less-Muddy, Less-Crowded Hike Through Rolling Plains
By Amanda Lane, Owner, The Hike Shack
The summer monsoons sent me once again on the journey for a not-so-muddy trail on which to put in some miles.
The original Peavine Trail in Prescott is always a drier option, but it’s a little crowded these days. I heard Chino Valley had a new section of the Peavine rail trail ready to explore so I headed north on Highway 89. The trail materials on some of these old railroad beds make the trails a much less muddy option, and this is no exception: the Chino Valley section of the Peavine provided an almost completely secluded and mud-less hike just 10 minutes from Prescott.
The trailhead is about a mile east of Highway 89 off East Road 4 South and has a large parking area suitable for horse trailers. It also features a kiosk containing history on the area, provided by the Yavapai Trails Association.
The trail meanders through the rolling plains of Chino Valley at a slight decline for four miles. Both sides of the trail are covered in Devil’s Claw (I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so much in one place). Old pieces of the railroad are scattered alongside the trail.
Although it’s completely exposed and would be undesirable for a hot summer day, on this cloudy afternoon, it was quite perfect. The monsoon storm provided some late afternoon clouds and a light breeze that made for a perfect evening stroll. I watched the clouds move over the plains; a hawk seemed to travel with us landing on fence posts just ahead as we made our way east to Road 4 North.
We had the entire trail to ourselves except for some cattle and that hawk.
There are four parking areas all similar to the first spread out along the trail. Eventually the plan is to connect this section to the Prescott Peavine where it currently terminates off Highway 89 A. I was pleasantly surprised by my little adventure and will definitely remember it is an option when the southern section of the Peavine is a little too crowded, and most of the trails closer to town should be avoided due to the mud.
Stop by The Hike Shack at 104 N. Montezuma Street in Prescott or call 928.443.8565 or visit www.thehikeshack.com.