Woodchute Trail #102, nestled in the Ponderosa Pines of Prescott National Forest, is a moderate out and back 8-mile hike near the old mining town of Jerome, AZ. Elevation is at 6,960', with increases and decreases along the way for a total gain of 827 feet. Bring the kids along for some amazing views of the San Francisco Peaks and the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Dogs are welcome but must be kept leashed. Water is not available so bring plenty with you. The park is open year-round but spring is the best time for weather and scenic views.
To access Woodchute Trail #102, the only maintained trail in the Woodchute Wilderness area, take scenic Highway 89A in central AZ and go to the Potato Patch Campground Exit which is just above the historic town of Jerome. Park at the new trailhead. Your hike will begin as you pass through the gate into a small camping area and proceed to the Powerline Tank Wildlife Area. At this point, the road forks, so just keep to the right and you will see the original trailhead which enters the phenomenal Woodchute Wilderness.
If you like the views and aromas of ponderosa pines, then Woodchute Trail #102 is the place to be as they dominate the upper elevations. At the lower elevations you will come across pinyon pine and Utah juniper, along with the beautiful sight of pincushion cacti, wild geranium, and desert evening primrose. Take care not to step on that cute little horned lizard or Arizona black rattler while you’re gazing at the bald and golden eagles, the whitetail deer, the occasional American black bear, or the few roaming elk. After you finish your hike, be sure to go visit the historic town of Jerome for some fun, good food, and interesting history of the area.
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