It’s a spectacular high desert view from remote Hell Point on the Prescott National Forest in northern Yavapai County, Arizona.
From the hamlet of Paulden on Highway 89, you need to know which road takes you into the right portion of the backcountry. And good maps. And some time to make a wrong turn or two. You have to open and close two barbed wire cattle gates. The roads are dusty, but I didn’t have to eat much dust because I passed but a few vehicles. Finally there was a vertical Forest Service marker indicating Hell Point straight ahead. The road ended at the canyon’s edge. Right at the edge. Nothing to stop you from going over if you were driving at night and weren’t exercising reasonable caution.
It’s named Hell Point because it’s the promontory above where Hell Canyon empties into the Verde Canyon. How Hell Canyon got its name, I don’t yet know. Obviously there’s a story there.
Far below is the upper Verde River, here reflecting the blue Arizona sky. The cottonwood and willow trees that line the stream are just leafing out. “Verde” means “green” in Spanish. For a desert river, it’s an appropriate name, a thin strip of green in a brown landscape.
I hiked the easy trail down the point to the mouth of Hell Canyon, then followed it to the cold, clear river. A beautiful, rewarding day.
Photo location: Hell Point, Prescott National Forest, Yavapai County, north of Prescott and Chino Valley, Arizona.