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Groom Creek Loop Day Hike
Prescott
June 20, 1998
by Jeannie Van Lew
  Trail Map 
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Motorolans convene at Groom Creek Trailhead.

On Saturday the 20th, 15 Club members and guests headed up to Prescott to hike the Groom Creek Loop Trail. We reconvened at 9:30 at the trailhead where we met 3 other members and guests. After taking a few moments for a few group pictures, we headed out in a clockwise direction. The weather was great for hiking with sunny skies and temps in the 80s.

Starting uphill right away, we walked through a dense forest of pine and fir trees. The trail and floor of the forest were covered in dry pine needles, etc. Through the trees we had great views of neighboring hills and mountains. Above, brilliant blue skies and fluffy white clouds awaited us at the top.

After 3.5 miles of gradual, but continuous uphill walking, we reached the base of the Forest Service lookout tower at 7690 ft. From the tower, we could see not only Thumb Butte, Granite Mountain, and Mingus Mountain, but off in the distance we could see the San Francisco Peaks and even the Four Peaks!! A few of us had the unique opportunity to enter the tower and talk with the Ranger on duty. All the major mountain peaks and lakes were labeled on the windows with mileage. Here too were some great examples of blooming cholla cacti.

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Groom Creek Trail 307.
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The lookout tower has a great view.

We had lunch overlooking Lynx and Goldwater lakes. At this point, Spruce Mountain Road stops. We saw a handful of vehicles, horses, and mountain bikers stop for lunch.

From here, we took the remainder of the trail (5.5 miles) through more pine and fir trees along the South Spruce Ridge Trail. Most of the 5.5 miles was downhill, a welcome relief from the first part of the trail.

We were passed rather quickly by a couple of mountain bikers flying down the trail. We also ran into a couple of horses on the way down.

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Echinocereus spp. - Claret-cup Cactus

As the trees thinned out, we enjoyed great views of the neighboring hills.

We were all back at the cars by 3:30.

A few of us headed into Prescott for snacks and shopping before heading back to Phoenix.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated July 24, 2012