The United States Congress designated the Munds Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 18,109 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Arizona is well known for its red-rock formations, conjuring up images of magnificent crimson outcroppings set against azure skies. Munds Mountain Wilderness is home to many of these ruggedly beautiful specimens, along with several traditional high mesas common to central Arizona. Elevations on the mountain itself range from 3,600 feet to 6,825 feet, and moderate to steep slopes climb all along the Mogollon Rim. Cliff faces are marked with extensive outcroppings of Coconino and Supai sandstone, and ramp basalt flows everywhere.
Among the area's most picturesque landmarks are Courthouse Butte and magical Bell Rock. Along Horse Mesa are Jacks Canyon and Wood Canyon, both of which have outstanding riparian habitats. Desert sagebrush, desert grass and short grass plains, oak brush, chaparral, oak woodlands, and pinion-juniper woodlands fill the terrain. Visitors will encounter pools of water to dip in, rocks to climb, birds to track in the skies, some fine desert backpacking, and a slew of fantastic photo opportunities.
Relatively easily accessed from Flagstaff, the Wilderness's trails attract many recreationists. Two of them, the Hot Loop Trail and the Jacks Canyon Trail, veer away from crowded areas and lead to spectacular sights. Hot Loop climbs six miles to the top of Horse Mesa, while Jacks Canyon ventures 4.3 miles to a narrow saddle, where it joins the Munds Mountain Trail.