Winding Its Way Up the Hill
Overview: The Wolverton Mountain Trail (#9415) is part of the Prescott Circle Trail and connects the Goldwater Lake Trail (#396) with the Aspen Creek Trail (#48). It is a mostly single track through pine forest and low scrub which gradually climbs by White Spar and Wolverton Mountain gaining 1,000 feet along the way with lots of views. It is easy to follow marked by brown carsonite signs displaying "9415" and the climbing is gradual, but steady.
Hike: From the road begin a long, gradual climb. Early on you'll be hiking through a thin pine forest. The trail winds around a lot as it gains elevation. Soon you'll leave the sounds of traffic behind. You'll cross several old tracks along the early part of the trail; just go directly across each to stay on the trail. At about .6 miles you begin to lose a little elevation. At .74 miles (N34 30.550 W112 29.015) keep left to avoid a non-designated trail (NDT) coming in from the right and begin climbing again. At .92 miles (N34 30.432 W112 29.114) bear right to avoid the NDT. At 1.33 miles (N34 30.649 W112 29.154) you cross a dirt road which is FR9707V, Jack Pine Road, that provides motorized access to White Spar. At 1.45 miles leave the pines. The next 1-1/2 miles will provide open views of Prescott and beyond to the north. On a clear day you can see the San Francisco Peaks and others in the distance. To your left you can see White Spar; it is mostly green with white outcrops near the summit. You gradually hike along the side of White Spar gaining elevation gradually. At 2.98 miles keep left to avoid a faint trail which goes down the hill.
At 3.64 miles (N34 30.152 W112 30.298) reach the junction with trail #9415A on the left which leads down the hill to a gravel road and access to White Spar. The trail does a switchback to the right after the junction and a gradual uphill climb with a couple more switchbacks through junipers and scrub on a single track with some nice views. At the previously mentioned junction and at a point .38 miles further you can see remnants of trail #9415 before it was rerouted. There will be views of the Bradshaws to the south over the next .8 miles. At 4.46 miles (N34 30.157 W112 30.750) go straightest at the junction to stay on #9415. The trail sign here says you are on trail #48, but this is incorrect. The trail to the right is a spur to the top of Wolverton Mountain giving some nice views of the Prescott area. At 4.48 miles pass through a gate to keep out motorized vehicles and begin hiking on a two track. After an additional gradual climb of .3 miles you will be walking on the ridge with some nice views to the south. At 5.27 miles ignore the old road coming in from the left. At 5.39 miles (N34 29.885 W112 31.424) the Wolverton Mountain Trail ends at the Aspen Creek Trail (#48). Go right here to reach Copper Basin Road and the Aspen Creek Trailhead via the Aspen Creek Trail.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.