To continue escaping from the desert heat, I took another journey to the Arizona Central Highlands, but this time to a wilderness area in the western half of the state. I went hiking in the Woodchute Wilderness area, which is just north-east of Prescott. This wilderness area is within the Black Hills, which is a mountain range that stretches across I-17 in-between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
The trail I hiked, the Woodchute trail, started off in a fairly dense pine forest.
The trail then followed along a fairly open ridgeline for quite some ways, which offered great views of the Mogollon Rim, the red-rock country around Sedona, and the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff.
There were also some great views of western Arizona as well.
Eventually the trail lead into a forested valley, which still had some snow!
Then I climbed back out of the valley through a mixed coniferous forest, filled with pinyon pines and junipers, before rounding out in a flat, high elevation area dense with pine trees, which blocked out much of the sun.
At this point it started to get dark, so I decided to head back and got a great view of the sunset along the way.
This was a great hike, where I was able to not only escape the heat, but also escape the crowds and noise of the city. I highly recommend this wilderness area since it was not hard to get to and was very beautiful. This was also my 12th wilderness area in the state – one closer to hitting all 90!