Hike of the Week: Blowout Wash Trail System near Cottonwood

Mare CzinarDecember 27, 2023
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Blowout Wash Trail System, Prescott National Forest, Cottonwood 

The still-expanding Blowout Wash Trail System southwest of  Cottonwood offers a set of loopy trails that explore the foothills below the east flans of Mingus Mountain. A good way to get acquainted with the system is to make a loop hike using the Bullseye Trail No. 557 and the Campus Trail No. 559 for a short tour of the ocotillo-and-bear grass-cluttered landscape with views of Sedona’s red rock formations. 

  • LENGTH: 3.3 mile loop as described here
  • RATING:  easy
  • ELEVATION:  3,706- 4,031 feet
  • BEST SEASON: October – April
  • FACILITIES: none 


  • From Interstate 17 north of Camp Verde, take the Cornville Road exit 293 heading west (go left).
  • Continue 17.7 miles on Cornville Road (County Road 30) which will turn into Mingus Avenue and then Forest Road 493 to the large Blowout Wash trailhead. 
  • For reference, the trailhead is 1.5 miles south of the Cottonwood Municipal Airport.
  • Roads are paved up to the last half mile where FR 493 is a dirt/gravel track suitable for all vehicles.