On a sunny, beautiful, fall Saturday on which the high in Prescott was
70°, Barry A., Rudy A., Doug E., Debbie M., Chuck P., and Beth B.,
the hike leader, set off in search of the West Spruce Trail.
After leaving the picnic area, we drove per the directions on a dirt road and
hoped that the unmarked road on the left which we took was indeed the Forest
Service road we were seeking.
We asked a helpful passerby and determined that we were heading in the
We climbed up into the mountains and passed the Sierra Prieta Overlook,
with a spectacular view of Skull Valley to the west.
After several tries, we finally found the trailhead, which was marked from the
southern approach but not from the north, from which we had originally come.
It was worth the extra effort, because the views on both sides of the trail
were breathtaking (the altitude, at 7100 feet, was also breathtaking).
This must be the way.
The alligator juniper provides a welcome respite.