Jerome, Arizona (Yavapai) Technical Rating: 5
Last Updated: 06-15-2017
Permit Required - Click Here
Jerome-Perkinsville Road, Prescott National Forest 106D
Chino-Perkinsville Road, Mingus Mount Loop
Prescott National Forest
Smiley Rock Highlights
Just outside of Jerome, one of the most famous and ghostly mining towns in all Arizona, sits a rock that never stops smiling. Smiley Rock is one of the more famous off-road trails in the State and for good reason. The drive is challenging, but not overly difficult and provides inspiring scenery as you travel along the south edge of the Woodchute Wilderness Area inside the cool and shaded Martin Canyon. The main attraction is the rock with a smile set in stone. It sits there smiling at you and this is the type of trail in which you could honestly smile back.
Technical rating: (5) Moderate
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.
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Directions to Trailhead
From Cottonwood: From State Route 260 turn south onto State Route 89A. Follow 89A to Jerome. Turn left on Main Street which turns into West Jerome-Perkinsville Road. Travel approximately 7.7 miles to Forest Service Road 318A. Turn left/south and travel the shelf road for 6.7 miles to Forest Service Road 9701V.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
34° 45' 47.53"N
112° 13' 52.85"W
GPS Exchange File:
The off-road route described here is comprised of several Prescott National Forest Roads which include 9710V, 103, 106E, and 106D. It connects Jerome Perkinsville Road (Forest Service Road 318A) to 89A. Most of the road is part of the Great Western Trail. The majority of the trail will follow the southern boundary of the Woodchute Wilderness Area. While not technical, the trail is mostly forested and is comprised of small boulders and can be very narrow in spots causing it to be rough on the southern half.
1: Trailhead (0.0mi)
As you come in from Forest Service Road 318A and reach the power lines turn southeast onto the well-marked road numbered 9701V towards an APS electrical substation.
2: Smashed Phone Hill (0.9mi)
Continue uphill. The easier option being on the right and the harder option being on the left.
3: Go Left/East at FR103 Intersection (1.7mi)
Turn left/east. Note seasonal gate which may be closed during inclement weather conditions.
9: Smiley Rock (3.3mi)
The famed Smiley Rock is on the north side of the road. There is room here for plenty of vehicles to park.
10: Continue Straight (4.2mi)
Continue straight. From this point for the next 1.5-miles, the trail will become considerably rougher.
11: Rougher Section Continue Straight (4.3mi)
Continue straight through this narrow and rough section. Spotting may be required depending on vehicle build.
12: Hill Climb (4.8mi)
Continue up the hill; as you crest, the trail dips, curves, and obstructs the driver's view.
14: Left/South at 9710W Intersection (6.0mi)
Turn left/south onto 106DE. 9710W is a dead-end. From this point forward there are many dispersed camping opportunities.
15: Left/Southeast at 106E Intersection (6.6mi)
Turn left/southeast at 106D. 106E quickly dead-ends at a tank.
16: Left/East at 106D Intersection (6.8mi)
Left/East at 106D. The remaining spur of 106D goes off the south to Mingus Tank.
Camping and Lodging
There are plenty of dispersed camping opportunities within Prescott National Forest and this route is no different. Most of the prime locations are from Waypoints 13 to 17. Improved campgrounds can be found in the area operated by the National Forest Service with the closest area being near Mingus Mountain.