Joined: Nov 29, 2007 Posts: 1851 Location: Phoenix
Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:02 pm Post subject: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
Smiley Rock is a fun and challenging trail in the Jerome Woodchute Wilderness area. It's so named for a rock that someone carved a smiley face into long ago. It has spectacular views and fun closed in forest areas. Some of the trail is officially part of the Great Western Trail.
Group size should be kept down to 5 or smaller. There are several areas that have no way to let oncoming traffic pass and the less experienced may need spotting in several areas.
3.0 - 4wd definitely required and spotting may be necessary through Martin Canyon. The canyon is mostly a rock field creek that requires good tire placement to move through smoothly (ie without scraping rocks). It's entirely possible for a stock FJ with a-trac to do this trail but extra caution in the canyon will be necessary.
Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive wrote:
Difficulty: Difficult.[highest rating book gives] 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.
Aerial of the trail:
A good deal of the track included is just a graded dirt road with nice views
It will slowly turn rocky
Slowly getting more difficult as you move towards the rock creek
There are some none trivial rock areas
More of the same on the way out
Previous AZFJ Runs to this Trail
Some additional notes:
34.747139,-112.215889,start of difficult
34.722361,-112.178167,end of difficult
Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:39 pm Post subject: Re: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
Paved road? Graded dirt road maybe but not paved?
There were some guys following us on the trail in a semi built up Chevy Blazer who were not steady on the gas either. He was pretty much just powering his way through the entire rock garden. All you could hear was VROOOM! *crunch* VROOOM! *crunch*
Then he dared to pull up next to us at the end of the run and "be friendly" by telling us how much trouble the FJ's were having through there because we scraped a few rocks. Hmmmm.......
Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:54 am Post subject: Re: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
nice pic! =)
Yup thats thats the pic
It's funny you mention a full size Chevy there. On a different run to Smiley Rock, we had a full size Silverado, in front of us all lifted. He tried to come out of the wash and snapped a tie rod end. After a very clever trail repair, we were able to winch him out of the wash. Since I was behind him, I had to wait almost 2 hours, or I could have chose to reverse out of the wash , which wasn't a favorable option.
Joined: May 12, 2013 Posts: 2261 Location: Fountain Hills
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:32 pm Post subject: Re: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
September 12th 2015 update.
You won't regret it at all go! but its not easy, really fun, I thought 2.5 not 3. This trail wiil give your arms a slight work out. Stock it would suck but doable maybe. Miles of baskeball sized boulders. More obsticales if your a crazy. The waterfalls....
_________________ Let me be the first to say - Next year, the Cubs could win back-to-back Championships for the first time in 109 years!.......
Joined: May 19, 2015 Posts: 358 Location: Cottonwood
Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:34 pm Post subject: Re: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
How long should one plan on being on this trail? It looks like a full day adventure. Is there a good meeting spot in Jerome?
I'm not sure about the length of time on the trail (or the exact location, for that matter). This is one of the only trails in the immediate area that I haven't run due to lack of company combined with fear of breakage.
As far as meeting up in Jerome, your best bet is probably the parking lot just past the Fire Dept. (if you're heading north on 89A, turn left out of the hairpin turn by the station; if you're heading south - from Clarkdale/Cottonwood - just go straight instead of turning at the hairpin by the station). Or the lookout point that is just outside of town, to the south (up the mountain), on 89A. Those are about the only spots in town that might actually have a little bit of space to gather.
Joined: May 11, 2012 Posts: 2372 Location: Ahwatukee, AZ
Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm Post subject: Re: Smiley Rock (Jerome Area) - 3.0
by the time you meet up, get to the trail, and then get back to air up - its probably about 6 hours. trail itself is probably about 3-4 hours (that includes spotting, maybe even a flat tire, but no major issues) depending on size of the run.
It's actually a pretty easy trail, only one tricky spot which is absolutely doable with good spotting. probably more like a 2.5.
there are a lot of fun offshoots, side trails, washes, etc... which you can take that run long side of the trail. that can add difficulty and fun
this is a beautiful trail, although the actual "smiley rock" actually broke off a few years ago. if you go, you absolutely need to eat (Haunted Burger) or have ice cream in Jerome
you can air up/down at the visitors center or on 89 as Dan said.
tons of camping spots of course on the other side of the mountain, etc...
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