At 6,814 feet, Pine Mountain is the highest point on the Verde River Rim, which slashes across this area from northeast to southwest. On the mountain's southeastern side the unmistakable steep and rocky Skeleton Ridge falls toward the Verde River, a National Wild & Scenic River. On the rim you'll find an "island" of tall ponderosa pine and Douglas fir surrounded by desert mountains and hot dry mesas covered in pinion and juniper, cut by rugged canyons. The rim overlooks the Verde River with fine views out across the desert. Despite scant water, wildlife abounds here on forested slopes and in the canyons, especially game animals. This area was first protected in the 1930s by the Forest Service the effects of over 80 years of protection are apparent to the careful observer. The processes of nature are unhindered here. Pine Mountain Wilderness straddles the boundary between Prescott and Tonto National Forests. Not far to the north lies Cedar Bench Wilderness. Backpackers will find plenty of solitude on the area's 37 miles of trails.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Pine Mountain Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.