Smiley Rock

4.4/5 (15 reviews)
Jerome, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 07/09/2021
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Trail Information

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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (15 reviews)
Tom
15000
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Watched a number of videos before running this trail. Saw everything from a 4Runner that had no problems to a highly modified Jeep that struggled on the trail. Seems that the difference in difficulty is a result of the monsoon season moving boulders around. Which brings up a warning ... if there is any chance of rain storms on the day you're going to run the trail, pick another trail to run. Once in the rock/boulder/ledge canyon, there are no side trails to escape to high ground. The weather report showed no chance of rain for us, and yet, about halfway through the trail the radio warned of a sudden rain storm in the area ... seemed like an eternity until we broke out onto level ground. The funniest part of the trail run was when our leader asked over the radio; "Are we on the right track, the trail ahead looks like crap?" Yes, we were on the correct trail, and yes, the area ahead was crappy. The rock garden was run in 4L first gear to slow everything down. Only had to use rear lockers once to get over a ledge. Ran with a JLRU with 35" tires and a 2.5" lift. Others on this run had 35" or 37" tires and 3.5" lifts.
Trail Review: Smiley Rock - Tom
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/18/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is a fun half day trail if you're in the Prescott area. We left early hoping to stop in Jerome, note that a lot of the little shops don't open until 9 or 10 in the morning. The mine opens at 10 am as well. The description is spot on, the one rock patch is really the only hard part. We ran this with my TJ on 35" tires and lockers. I used the lockers, but probably could have gotten away without. I had plenty of clearance through the rock patch. We're going to try it in my dad's XJ on 31's and report back here. There is now a yellow smiley face flag right over the infamous rock. There is a LOT of camping area at the end of the trail. It's plenty big for trailers capable of dry-camping. As of June 2022, fire restrictions are in place, but no closures.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/02/2022

Very fun and beautiful trail. For a good video review, watch youtube video by Ken Crawford below. I found it was very accurate. On March 2, 22 there was still plenty of snow on the trail. We did not encounter any icy conditions. The snow and mud made the trail a bit more challenging. A few of the steeper climbs towards the end were quite slippery. A decently built rig with clearance and some traction aid will have no trouble on the trail. Two of the Jeeps in our group of 3 were mostly stock JKU's. Both on 35" tires. One with lockers and one with open diffs. Both drivers were new to any type of rock crawling. With just a bit of spotting and a small amount of rock stacking, all got through easily. We did pull cable once towards the end just to save time rather than stacking some rocks to get over a couple of the bigger boulders. Although the trail can be easy for some, there are opportunities to take much harder lines. All in all, and with a long stop at the smiley rock, we did it in 4 hours from the actual trail head. A couple pictures added to show the snow conditions. And a muddy TJ at the end because the very top was like going through mud bogs
Trail Review: Smiley Rock - Chris
Trail Review: Smiley Rock - Chris
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J
300
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/28/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Trying to upload photos
J
300
Status: Open
Visited: 02/28/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Here ares some trail pictures in the snow

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