WILSON (NORTH) TO FIRST BENCH
The North Willson Trail begins at the Encinoso Picnic Area and climbs a shady side canyon of Wilson Mountain in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. J.J. Thompson, a homesteader in Oak Creek Canyon, established the trail for grazing his cattle and horses on the grassy mountaintop. The trail zigzags up to the First Bench of Wilson Mountain, a large, sloping plateau formed by the down-fault of a huge block of the mountain. The bench is covered with black basalt lava and stretches across the east side of the mountain, offering great views of the San Francisco Peaks, the Mogollon Rim, and the mouth of Munds Canyon. At the south end of the First Bench, the trail meets the Wilson Mountain Trail coming up from Midgley Bridge. To hike further, the trail continues to the top of Wilson Mountain.