Come out and enjoy this fun trail with a Rocky ending!
Okay, it’s time to head up into the high country for a beautiful day trip in the trucks. The Smilely Rock trail has some challenging areas that can be slow going and with the number of trucks going we should plan on an earlier than normal start. Because of the early start I’m setting up 3 meeting spots and departure times. The plan is to leave the visitors parking lot located behind the fire house in Jerome at 10:00am (see point C on map) and hit the trail. For those that would like to get up a little earlier and caravan, i.e. follow the slow ones like me, we’ll be leaving the Circle K next to McDonalds at Carefree Hwy and I-17 (point A on map) at 8:00am. Next stop will be the 76 station on the 260 as you head into Cottonwood (point B on map). This is a good place to refuel as needed and pick up any food or drink you may have forgotten. We’ll depart from there for Jerome at 9:30am.
Keep in mind, temperatures will be fairly cool (relatively speaking). Forecasted temps for Jerome are 70 for a high and 42 for a low with a bit of a breeze. Jerome is over 5000ft and we go up from there and should top out around 6500-7000ft in the afternoon so our temps should be lower. Come prepared accordingly. Forecast is also for a sunny day with 0% chance of rain, but we all know how weather works in the mountains, so keep that in mind. Even though it will be cool, altitude will dehydrate you just as quick as higher temperatures so make sure you bring plenty of water.
Pets are always welcome provided they are friendly with kids, adults, and other pets. Just a heads up, the rocky areas of this trail will throw the trucks around quite a bit which is something to consider if pets, kids, SO, passengers, etc don’t care for the violent movements of the truck rocking back and forth and would prefer not to walk part of the trail.
We have a number of new rigs that may be joining us for this trip. Could everyone please post up a description of your truck and those that are accompanying you so that we all have an idea of what/who to look out for?
You can also call my cell if needed - 6O2.318.5164 (might not hear it in the truck while driving tho)
Smiley Rock trail will leave you smiling as you enter the historic mining town of Jerome and hit the dirt shorty after the fire station. The trail begins as a well maintained road, and gradually builds in difficulty as you gain elevation. Near the end, the last couple of miles provides excellent challenges as you navigate rocky stream beds. Tire placement is critical and rock stacking is expected. Stock vehicles with stock tires should use caution.
The trail is mostly easy/moderate but there is a 1/4mile rock garden towards the end which may require spotting for some.
The trail is located just outside Jerome, AZ which is about 90 miles from Phoenix.
Features: Allow plenty of time to see historic Jerome. The town is a major tourist attraction offering an array of quaint gift shops, art galleries, museums and restaurants. If you’re into mining history, plan a stop at the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town along the route or take a short side trip to Jerome State Historic Park. Both of these attractions require a small fee. Once in the backcountry, you’ll enjoy your secluded adventure through Martin Canyon, which follows the southern border of the Woodchute Wilderness. Hike and camp at various points along the way. Some of this trail is officially part of the Great Western Trail. This rating applies to the portion of the trip through Martin Canyon which is narrow and rocky. Skid plates and good articulation are recommended. Brush is tight in several places. Much of the route is an easy gravel road.