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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : sports : sports July 23, 2016


6/4/2013 2:18:00 PM
Summer hikes: Jail Trail
Photos of different parts of the Jail Trail while hiked it. Some of the nicer views were of how the greenery contrasted with the dead desert during the hour-long excursion. VVN/Travis Guy
Photos of different parts of the Jail Trail while hiked it. Some of the nicer views were of how the greenery contrasted with the dead desert during the hour-long excursion. VVN/Travis Guy

Travis Guy
Sports Reporter


The first thing you will notice, if you have never walked the Jail Trail before, is that right now it may be a little difficult to find at first. All of the directions online are correct, but what they do not say is that there is construction going on where the parking lot used to be.

So, as you go down Main Street looking for this entrance and parking lot, know this; there is no parking lot in front of the trail entrance. That will make your life much easier and you will not be driving around Old town Cottonwood for 20 minutes trying to figure it out.

Once I parked and walked past the construction, I saw the sign and got on my way. Jail Trail is not that hard of a hike. It is mostly sand of rock walkways that are clearly marked or made. The joy of Jail Trail is that since it is relatively small and easy, you can take whatever trail you want, in whatever combination, and it is still easy to find your way back. I eventually ended up by the entrance of Dead Horse Ranch before turning around and making my way back to my car.

The trials themselves are about half covered and half in the sun, making my decision to go at noon the wrong decision, but it was still a nice hour away from everything.

If I had been dressed appropriately and the ponds were a bit larger and deeper, I may have taken a dip, but since this was a quick excursion, I just took some time to admire everything.

A lot of the trails will take you to various pools of water and streams, and the easiest way to tell where the water is located, is to look for the lush green areas that contrast against the dead areas of grass.

As walked around Jail Trail, my movements scared all of the lizards that inhabit the area and I could constantly hear them scurrying about. Aside from them, there was not much sign of wildlife, save two dogs that were going for a stroll with their owner.

Overall, Jail Trail was a great beginners hike or a great way to get into the wilderness for a while to get away from everything. It is simple and easy to get around the trails, and difficult to get lost if you stay on the paths.


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