Smiley Rock

Jerome, Arizona (Yavapai) Technical Rating: 5

Last Updated: 06-15-2017

Dsc05728
Status: Open
Permit Information:
Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.6 Miles
Category: Altitude, Forest, Mine, Rock, Snow Wheeling
Highest Elevation: 7,191 '
Duration: about 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Go: South
Connecting Trails:
Jerome-Perkinsville RoadPrescott National Forest 106D
Nearest Town:
Jerome
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Cottonwood
Nearby Trails:
Chino-Perkinsville RoadMingus Mount Loop
Forest Service Road: # 9701V, 103, 9710W, 106E, 106D
Forest Service / Park District:
Prescott National Forest

Smiley Rock Highlights

Highlights: Smiley Rock  - Jerome, Arizona

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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Video

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

Topo Maps:

GPS Exchange File:

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Route Description

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)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 1: Trailhead

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)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 2: Smashed Phone Hill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 2: Smashed Phone Hill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 2: Smashed Phone Hill

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)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 3: Go Left/East at FR103 Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 3: Go Left/East at FR103 Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 3: Go Left/East at FR103 Intersection

Turn left/east. Note seasonal gate which may be closed during inclement weather conditions.

4: Cross the Wash (2.2mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 4: Cross the Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 4: Cross the Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 4: Cross the Wash

Continue across the wash. This is the first of many wash crossings.

5: Cross the Wash (2.3mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 5: Cross the Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 5: Cross the Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 5: Cross the Wash

Continue across the wash.

6: Cross Wash and Uphill (2.5mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 6: Cross Wash and Uphill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 6: Cross Wash and Uphill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 6: Cross Wash and Uphill

Follow the trail uphill after crossing the wash.

7: Cross Wash and Uphill (2.6mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 7: Cross Wash and Uphill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 7: Cross Wash and Uphill Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 7: Cross Wash and Uphill

Follow the trail uphill after crossing the wash.

8: Cross Wash (3.0mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 8: Cross Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 8: Cross Wash Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 8: Cross Wash

Continue across the wash.

9: Smiley Rock (3.3mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 9: Smiley Rock Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 9: Smiley Rock Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 9: Smiley Rock

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)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 10: Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 10: Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 10: Continue Straight

Continue straight. From this point for the next 1.5-miles, the trail will become considerably rougher.

11: Rougher Section Continue Straight (4.3mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 11: Rougher Section Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 11: Rougher Section Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 11: Rougher Section Continue Straight

Continue straight through this narrow and rough section. Spotting may be required depending on vehicle build.

12: Hill Climb (4.8mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 12: Hill Climb Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 12: Hill Climb Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 12: Hill Climb

Continue up the hill; as you crest, the trail dips, curves, and obstructs the driver's view.

13: Turkey Tank Continue Straight (5.8mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 13: Turkey Tank Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 13: Turkey Tank Continue Straight Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 13: Turkey Tank Continue Straight

Continue straight.

14: Left/South at 9710W Intersection (6.0mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 14: Left/South at 9710W Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 14: Left/South at 9710W Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 14: Left/South at 9710W Intersection

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)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 15: Left/Southeast at 106E Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 15: Left/Southeast at 106E Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 15: Left/Southeast at 106E Intersection

Turn left/southeast at 106D. 106E quickly dead-ends at a tank.

16: Left/East at 106D Intersection (6.8mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 16: Left/East at 106D Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 16: Left/East at 106D Intersection Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 16: Left/East at 106D Intersection

Left/East at 106D. The remaining spur of 106D goes off the south to Mingus Tank.

17: Gate (7.6mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 17: Gate Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 17: Gate Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 17: Gate

Continue through the gate and be sure to shut the gate after you have passed.

18: Kiosk (7.8mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 18: Kiosk Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 18: Kiosk Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 18: Kiosk

Follow the wide and well defined road past the kiosk.

19: End (8.6mi)

Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 19: End Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 19: End Smiley Rock  - Waypoint 19: End

Turn right/southeast to reach 89A.

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: Smiley Rock  - Jerome, Arizona

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.

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Todd Taylor

Todd Taylor is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention...

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