Desert to Tall Pines Scenic Byway (North)

Scout Route
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The Desert to Tall Pines Scenic Byway begins near the southern end of Roosevelt Lake with its many saguaro cacti, passes through the remote hamlet of Young, and ends atop the Mogollon Rim with old-growth Ponderosa pines. The byway has short paved sections at each end and the middle section through Pleasant Valley and Young. The remainder of the trail is dirt road. Young is the only significant city in Arizona that must be accessed by a dirt road. Young is famous for the 10-year Pleasant Valley War between the feuding Tewksbury and Graham ranch families. The feud resulted in nearly 50 deaths and is said to have delayed Arizona's bid for statehood by several years.

This Scout Route describes the dirt section north of Young. The wide dirt trail climbs steadily out of Plesant Valley. The pines grow taller with additional elevation and decreased temperatures. Any curve in the trail may present the paradox of meeting an 18-wheeler delivering supplies to Young via a dirt road. Spur trails shoot off into the Tonto National Forest and beg for exploration.

Several dispersed campsites are along the road. The best camping is at the free Colcord Ridge Campground, where the dirt meets pavement again on the northern end. Young has fuel, groceries, and the well-regarded Antlers Cafe.