Donahue Trail Donahue Trail Hot

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Donahue Trail

Location

How to Get There
This hike is located near Pine, AZ.

To get to the trailhead: from the Phoenix area, take HWY-87 North toward Payson. Stay on HWY -87 as you head towards the town of Pine.

Just after mile marker 267, turn right and follow the sign for the Pine Trailhead.
addressone
FR6038
city
Pine
state
AZ
country
USA
Region
Mogollon Rim

Hike details

Distance
8.00 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
The out and back is just under 8.0 miles.
Time
4.50 [Hours]
Time-details
It took us four and half hours (with a 10 minute break for lunch) to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
2,000 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 2000ft gain
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back

Season

Best Season
  • May
  • June
  • August
  • September
Worst Season
  • January
  • February
  • December
Season Details
Spring, Summer, Fall
Date Hike completed
July 28, 2012

Solitudue

Solitude
Medium
Solitude Details
The further you get from the Pine Trailhead, the more solitude you will enjoy. Expect to see 10 other hikers with the population thinning out as you get to the Donahue trail section.

Difficulty

Difficulty Rating
Moderate
difficulty detail
40 yr old Recommendation: This was an enjoyable hike with great views as a reward and worth doing. This hike is rated Moderate.

Permits

Be Aware of
Some route finding skills and some minor bushwhacking.

If a hike with steady climbing to some great views from the Mogollon rim appeals to you, then you'll like this hike.

The Donahue Trail is a good and somewhat less traveled route to get to the top of the Mogollon rim. The Pine Canyon hike also leaves from this trailhead and is a more popular hike so this trailhead parking may be well populated. Don't worry too much, it's likely they aren't hiking on the Donahue trail.

From the parking area there are two signed trailheads leaving the area. The one more North is the trail up Pine Canyon. The signed trail to the East (with the big Arizona Trail sign) is the trail we want called the Highline trail.

The Highline trail in this section is easy to follow and heads generally East through a low density pine forest before turning North at a signed trail junction. Continue following this trail for about 0.9 miles where you will reach a signed junction (Jct 1R on the map). Turn right here to continue on the Highline trail towards the Donahue trail. The trail here has less shade but the tradeoff is the views of the surrounding forest are much more expansive. After 1.3 miles of total hiking, you'll reach the signed trail junction with the Donahue trail (Jct 2L on the map). Note the distance is incorrect on this sign. Turn left here and start the climb up the Mogollon rim. As you climb, you'll be treated to ever more impressive views of the surrounding forest and the small town of Pine. This section of trail switches back up the rim at a good elevation with little shade. It's a bit brushy here, but nothing too bad.

After reaching the top of the rim, enjoy the expansive views and continue on through the forest. The trail is still easy to follow and the forest is much more dense with some welcome shade. There are even some ferns to keep you company. The trail stays near the rim for a while, then turns deeper into the forest. You'll be walking on a wide dirt road path for some sections of this trail, but keep your eyes out for the easy to spot trail signs to get back on the single track section of the hike. This part of the hike is really worthwhile as the forest feels very secluded and it would not be unusual to spot wildlife here. We noticed plentiful deer tracks along the trail. After 3.9 miles of total hiking, you'll reach FR218 and the clear turn around point of this hike.

When ready, return the way you came.

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Donahue Trail
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