Gaddes Canyon Trail is a BITCHEN 2.3 mile short cut to Allen Springs road.It's very steep, rocky and has tight 180 switchbacks.When it dumps out on Allen Springs go left and HALL ASS!! If you are A Hard taler like me be ready to stand for about an hour and a half!! It's really rocky (borderline Suicide)Have A couple of tubes, and have a blast!!
From HWY 89 take FS 104 2.2 miles to 104B junction. Take 104B to 0.1 miles before the fire lookout. Trailhead is on left. It is a very good idea to leave a truck parked at the Cottonwood Humane shelter for transporting bikes back to the top.
Summary: There are a few options on Mingus Mtn, a total of 3 that I have been able to find out about, but I have only been down one of them, and from everything that I have read, this is the nastiest.
It is nasty, and I like it. Rock gardens, LOTS of loose stuff, extremely steep sections, switchbacks, and lots of altitude loss. The singletrack is only about 2 miles long, but you can't ride a lot of it very fast, and your brakes WILL heat up and probably fade on this ride. It is extreme, it is tough, it is rough, it is dangerous. It is fun, but you have to have the "downhill" mentality of fun and challing terrain. XC guys on XC bikes on this trail are in for hurt, hurt feelings, hurt body and hurt bikes. After the single track you drop out on a fireroad, and by taking the appropriate turns (I'm 3 for 3 now!) you can end up back at Cottonwood Airport-hopefully where you parked the shuttle-car at.
There's not a whole lot of trails around that have this kind of technical in this part of arizona. Prescott is fun, but doesn't have much technical, flagstaff is a ways away, and you wont find any kind of terrain in flat-dona(sedona) across the valley.
4 chillies for a good trail and route, could be 5 with some trail work and cutting back some of the brush.
Recommended Route: This is what would be the "middle" trail, not the north-bowl, and not the one that goes off at the southernmost antennas/towers. It's ~2 miles to the end of the single track, but it feels like 5 or more because of the technical-trail.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Besides the other mingus trails, there's a 1700 foot drop trail on the west side of mingus that I've spotted from a plane several times and on topo maps, I want to try this sometime.
Review Date November 23, 2000
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Reviewed by: Randy Victory
, from Cottonwood
Summary: This route is recommended for riders/racers who want to test and improve their fitness. You'll end up making a 40+ mile loop, and will REALLY appreciate the downhill after the 21 mile climb. If you do the climb in the summer, start EARLY: 7:30 at the latest. The first eight miles of climbing are the hardest. After that, it's a nice, long grind to the top. Gaddes Canyon is fun & technical, but only a couple of miles long. Then there's the 20 mile downhill, with just a touch of climbing mixed in. The last eight miles can be pretty hairy, depending on how fast you go. I'm impressed by the reviewer who said that 60 mph is possible. After 30+ rides down Mingus, I've yet to break 40. Full-suspension is recommended. If you're on a hardtail, run at least 45 psi. It's a good ride to test out that light body armor you bought. Make sure your bike is tuned up, and the brakes are working well. You'll use 'em. NOT for beginners. It'll make 'em quit riding.
Recommended Route: START at the Cottonwood Humane Shelter. Ride UP. Take a right at the stop sign at the top, and another right when you see the Gaddes Canyon trail sign. Get on Gaddes Canyon. Head down. END at the Cottonwood Humane Shelter.
Other recommended trails in the same area: There's another fireroad at eight miles into the ride that heads towards Jerome. It's a lot of fun. Really rocky. Start at the Humane Shelter, at approx. eight miles, go right. This trail goes to Jerome, and dumps you out onto 89A. You can easily keep up with traffic on the downhill, and ride back to the Humane Shelter. 20 mile loop.
Review Date May 10, 2000
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: Bryan
, from Dover, NH (fomer NAU student)
Summary: The Gaddes Canyon cut off rules. Combines open speed sections with ultra rough baby-heads and switchbacks before dumping on the ire road. hang that left and hang on. The upper section is realtivly tame, cruising fire road with a few speed traps. 10-15 climb about halfway down (Cosmic Ray sez 2 minutes, but you need to be Superman to climb it in 2 minutes), then be prepared for hell. We took numerous side trails and got lost a few times so the overall ride took 4 hours and probably totaled close to 30 miles. There is one scary fast section, very easy to top 60 mph here, very easy to die here. Three tubes, two full patch kits, three camelbacks, three big water bottles, 8 clif bars, and a 2 mile walk for two of us was the final count. This ride is harsh. Do it once, it's fun, fast, and scary, but the potential for pain is very high. You may get lucky and merely die on this ride. Do not ride this if you have trouble controlling your speed. Yes, Virginia, you really can clear 60 mph here.
Recommended Route: As above, take the Gaddes Canyon cut of instead of the fire road. It's fast, furious, and crazy. As Cosmic Ray suggests on a similariily suicidal Sedona trail (Casner Canyon Bloodbath) "wear two helmets!" Pack lots of water (Jerome/Cottonwood is hot in the summer), 6 more tubes than you think you'll need, plenty o' power/clif bars, and kiss the family goodbye, you may never return.
Other recommended trails in the same area: There is another alternate trail off the top of Minugs, but I've forgotten the name and my Cosmic Ray guide book (get one) is M.I.A. right now (kinda useless in New Hampshire too...) This alternate route is apparently suicide even though the USFS sez it's kosher. I'm only giving three stars 'cause of the scary factor, it's a great ride, just may scare the shiznat out of you.
Review Date June 30, 1999
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: Johnny Gregg
, from Phoenix
Summary: This trail is 21 miles of suicidal extream fun!! it takes about on hour and a half to get to the bottom. The trail has harry steep rocky switchbacks as well as verry fast rocky fire road. Their are a couple of short climbs and the rest is all downhill!!
Recommended Route: From Prescott take 89 to 89A to FS104 go 2.25 miles to 104B. Go to 0.1 miles before the fire lookout. Trailhead is on left. NOTE good idea to leave a truck at the Cottonwood humane shelter for transporting bikes back to the top!!
Other recommended trails in the same area: colman trail & BLACK Canyon trail