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Woodchute Trail #102, AZ

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Guide 90 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Cottonwood
3.4 of 5 by 31
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 6.74 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,960 feet
Elevation Gain -1,665 feet
Accumulated Gain 827 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.5
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2019-08-29 nancyesan
15  2019-07-20
Westedge - Hickey Mtn - Martin - Rick Loop
9  2019-07-20
Westedge - Hickey Mtn - Martin - Rick Loop
8  2018-06-10
Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
34  2018-06-10
Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
1  2018-06-10
Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
15  2018-05-25
Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
26  2018-05-03
Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author Mike
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 0
Photos 249
Trips 12 map ( 4 miles )
Age 61 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:37pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Saddles, Tanks, and VIEWS!!
by Mike

Likely In-Season!
Mining in Arizona was no problem, but local smelting of the ores called for vast amounts of fuel. Fuel in the Jerome smelters was supplied by timber from Woodchute Mountain. The logs were cut and sent sliding down the mountain via a log chute. The lumber was used for open roasting to remove sulphur from the ores. Between the resultant killing fumes and the unceasing demand for timber, the mountain is now denuded of wood. Later, mines in the mountain caved in. This forced the mine owners to find a new location for the smelter. It was built at Clarkdale.

Trail data is for the complete #102 segment

The Woodchute Trail cuts across the Woodchute Wilderness, taking you to the top of Woodchute Mountain, a mesa overlooking Jerome and the Verde Valley. Along the way, you'll be treated with far reaching views of most of Central Arizona. Park at the new trailhead constructed near Potato Patch Campground. (You can drive back to the original trailhead, about 1/2 mile up FR-106. This section of road is very rough in spots, it is recommended for high-clearance vehicles only.) Begin walking along FR-106, passing through a gate into a small camping area. Beyond the camping area, you will come to Powerline Tank Wildlife Area, an enclosed meadow and watering tank. An interpretive sign is placed next to the tank explaining the purpose of the area.

The road here forks in several places, keep to the right and shortly you will come to the original trailhead. From here, the trail enters the Woodchute Wilderness, and begins to climb gently through the forest around a steep-sided hill. As it passes around to the north side of the hill, highway 89-A will come into view, and for a while, the sounds of the forest will be occasionally drowned out by the roar of traffic. Eventually you'll pass out of range of the road noise, meanwhile, the views along this section are worth putting up with the highway for awhile.

The first of several saddles will be reached offering great views of the Verde Valley and the San Francisco Peaks to the north. To the south are views of Prescott Valley and Granite Mountain. A short steeper climb will bring you to a higher saddle just east of a small peak, which the trail bypasses to the south. There is a side trail to the right that will take you to the top of the peak. It is well worth the short climb to see the views from there. Beyond the peak, the trail drops to another saddle then begins to travel downhill to the back of a canyon sandwiched by Woodchute Mountain and a smaller mesa. At the back of the canyon the trail crosses a dry creek bed inhabitated by swarms of butterflies. From here a short distance will bring you to Woodchute Tank. This tank was built by a bulldozer, which was also used to build the first part of the trail itself. A side trail passes through a fence and follows along the tank, the main trail stays to the right.

Beyond the tank, the trail begins to climb through the meadows along the side of Woodchute Mountain, giving nice views of a small valley cradled by the surrounding mesas. A large alligator juniper signals the top of the mesa. After topping out on the mesa, the trail continues through alternating forest and meadows and after about 1/2 mile, reaches a fork in the trail. The right fork leads to the mesa's edge and great views of Cottonwood,Jerome, Sycamore Canyon, the Sedona area and beyond.

Return the way you came in. Oh, and be sure to keep an careful eye out on your return... for those of you who may have wondered what ever happened to the Taco Bell Chihuahua, the mystery has been solved!!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2001-08-25 Mike
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  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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    100 Classic Hikes - 2007

Prescott FS Details
This trail on the south side of Woodchute Mountain was established along what was once a bulldozer track. The bulldozer was used to create several cattle watering tanks on Woodchute Mountain. The top of the mountain is an open stand of second growth Ponderosa pine, the original forest having been completely cut years ago. When the copper mines at Jerome were in operation, loggers obtained shoring timbers for the mines from this mountain. They transported the logs by way of a chute extending down the north side of the mountain to loading platforms for the narrow gauge railroad which served Jerome. That railroad track is now FR 318. There are splendid panoramic views from the mountaintop in all directions.

Maps, other resources: Prescott National Forest, east half; U.S.G.S. topographic 7.5' quads for Munds Draw and Hickey Mountain.

Trail layout: From the south trailhead it is a fairly easy climb of 2.75 miles to the top of Woodchute Mountain, then another 3.5 miles down the north side to the north trailhead and the old narrow gauge road (FR 318) to Jerome. The south ascent is the easiest since it only climbs 600 ft. to the summit. From the top at 7,700 ft. to the north trailhead the descent is 2,260 ft. There are some steep switchbacks on this side.

Precautions: There is no drinking water along this trail.

One-Way Notice
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.

Most recent of 27 deeper Triplog Reviews
Woodchute Trail #102
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We have been hiking the Woodchute trail about once a year for many years. I was surprised to find that no one has posted the route that we usually take, so here it is. It's a fairly easy 7.2 mile out and back hike on a well-worn trail with great views and a variety of habitats. I forgot to re-calibrate my GPS altimeter so it doesn't accurately show the total AEG, which I think is more like 700 ft. The only negative I can think of is that one year in August we picked up a few chigger bites. These tiny mites feed on plants most of the year, but in late summer they cling to tall grass and wait for mammals, including us, to brush against the grass and pick them up. They crawl up to where they find a tender spot of skin, draw some blood, and then drop to the ground. The itchy welt appears the next day and lasts about 2 weeks. Bottom line: avoid all tall grass in this area, including on Mingus Mtn., in August.
To reach the trailhead take SR89A to FR104 and turn left. After 0.3 mile go left at a sign pointing to Woodchute trailhead, then continue into a circular area with a vault toilet. Look for the sign for trail 102 and continue driving down this dirt road another mile to the actual trailhead with ample parking.
See pictures for the trailhead and various views along the trail. It starts in a shady wooded area, then a sunny recovering burn area with a steep drop on the right side with bushes and young trees. Occasionally breaks in the trees provide great views of Mingus Mtn. and beyond to the east. Further on you occasionally see great views to the west. After 1.8 miles you reach the Woodchute Wilderness boundary. Here the forest is dense and shady with a creek and sometimes a little water. After another 0.2 mile you reach a sign for trails 103 and 104. Rick's Tank is at the bottom of one of these trails which declines steeply. Woodchute Tank can be seen by following a narrow path northwest about 0.1 mi. from the sign. Continuing on 102, the trail becomes steeper as you climb up to the top of the mountain. Once on top it is relatively flat and you only have an easy mile to go to reach the overlook, but when you reach the Y in the trail at about 0.8 mi., take the path to the right. The one to the left continues steeply down the north side of the mountain. Even before reaching the overlook you see the fantastic view to the east. Enjoy your lunch sitting at the overlook while viewing the towns and mine works below and San Francisco Peaks in the distance northeast. Coming back down the mountain there are more great views to the west, including one of Woodchute Tank and many miles beyond. This trip we stopped at the tank to check out the plants and wildlife there.
If you have time after returning to the trailhead, you might want to check out the campground on the way out, or the many backroads in the area. Continuing on FR104 on the other side of SR89A you will find immediately on the left a paved area with vault toilet, picnic tables and grill, plus many other recreational facilities further down the road on Mingus Mtn.


Threadleaf Ragwort - f
Wavyleaf Thistle
Toadflax Beardtongue
Redroot Buckwheat - f
Aspen Fleabane
Fendler’s Globemallow
Beardlip Penstemon
Sparse-flowered Goldenrod
Wild Geranium
Cliff Rose
Chaparral Fleabane
Tansyleaf Aster
Wild Geranium
Scarlett Gaura
Common Sunflower
Field Bindweed
Common Mullein
Broom Snakeweed
Fendler’s Ceanothus
Mesa Tansy Aster
Buckwheat sp.
White Sweet Clover - TR536
St John’s Wort
Western Yarrow
Wild Chrysanthemum
Large-flowered Brickellbush
Pink Windmills
Autumn False Tansy-Aster
Woodchute Trail #102
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angela suggested this loop for some cooler weather and pine trees
mary jo signed on and we got going around 0830 or 0900
did the loop clockwise, following the old road down into martin canyon
nice mix of trees providing shade
saw one atv, and that would be it for people the entire hike
a nice uphill on rick tank cutoff
the trail was cairned, pretty clear and obvious enough - i liked it
pretty area around woodchute tanks
hit the intersection with woodchute and had a lunch break
decided to go on up woodchute, and regrouped up top
mj and i decided to hit the peak while angela generously waited for us
easy enough off trail but took a while to find the exact spot, even with kyle's track
kept overshooting it
kind of an underwhelming summit, but i get to count the peak :)
met back up and headed down woodchute
nice views along the ridgeline
had early bird dinner at leff-t's on the way back
love that place
i've hiked woodchute a couple times before, but the loop and the summit were new
temps were nice and we had a good breeze and shade much of the hike
fun day with the girls :)
angela, thank you for dinner
mary jo, thanks for driving - good to see you again

Woodchute Trail #102
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Since I had never been to Woodchute Mountain, I decided to go out and do this inverted lollipop loop hike.

It turned out to be a very nice hike -- the weather was cool, and there was even a patch of snow on the ground here and there.

Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, began the hike on Forest Road 106D, which morphed into Forest Road 106E. It was easy hiking on these roads, although they were a bit muddy, and my shoes kept getting clogged up with the mud. I really enjoyed Martin Canyon Trail #103 -- we were hiking underneath a canopy of trees, and I imagine that it would be nice in the fall. The Rick Tank Cutoff Trail #104 was a pretty tough climb, going up 1,000' in 1.25 miles up to the junction with Woodchute Trail #102. From there we climbed about 400' up to the top of Woodchute Mountain.

Once on top of the mountain, we went to the north overlook which had some really nice views of Humphreys Peak. Humphreys had several inches of snow the day before, so it was nice to look at it. On the way back, we made the mistake of taking Trail #102 down the mountain to the NW. I was following a GPS track that went this way for a while, and then looped back on a bushwhack back to the mountain. I didn't do the bushwhack, as it much easier to just take the trail back. So I will not make that mistake again. I also did not take the offtrail sidetrip off of Trail #102 to the west to get to the Woodchute Summit -- I will do that next time.

Trail #102 back to the TH was a nice little hike, and there were some nice views of Cottonwood and Sedona from a couple of saddles on the way back.

I stopped once on the Forest Road, and while standing there I watched 11 deer go by. On the Martin Canyon Trail #103 I was walking along looking at the canopy of trees and stopped to take some pictures; I looked down and there was a small dead fox about 6" from my right foot. I only jumped about 3 feet high!

Woodchute Trail #102
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Upper Mingus Butterfly & Woodchute Martin Loop
The Upper Mingus loop portion of this hike consisted of a CCW track along
View Point Trail #106 :next: North Mingus Trail #105 :next: Mingus Trail #105A :next: FR 104 :next: Coleman Trail #108 :next: FR413 :next: Gaddes Canyon Two Trail #9037 :next: Gaddes Canyon #110 :next: Back to the Truck.

Gaddes 9037, 106, 105A, 105 are my favorites.
Coleman 108 needs some love.

Missed prime color by at least a week.

Ate lunch on the way over to Martin Canyon/Woodchute.

We did this one CW. FR106D :next: Martin Canyon Trail #103 :next: Rick Tank Cutoff Trail #104 :next: Woodchute Trail #102.

Martin Canyon's oak tunnel is the highlight as well as the area around Woodchute Tank.
Rick Tank Cutoff is a steep 1000' climb.

40's to start, 70's to finish.... Perfect
Woodchute Trail #102
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Upper Mingus Butterfly & Martin Woodchute Loop
Mingus always delivers. Well past Autumn foliage prime we got crunchy oak leaves for large stretches. Outstanding cool weather throughout the day.

Coleman Trail #108
Rocky and is starting to get overgrown again. Hope this one sees a clipper and rake crew before summer.

Only passed 2 hikers all day. Consumed a whopping 1.2 quarts water.

The area is a good 7-10 days past prime.
Woodchute Trail #102
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jj suggested a GC hike I'd love to do. The stats and potential rain were not a good fit so I did something I rarely do. I utilized TrailDEX ( now Find ). This came up. If Wally & Lee are known to the Superstitions and Kyle to Babe Haught surely Mingus is mine, well after

Stats fit me like a glove but I wasn't sure jj would buy it for the drive. Plus Woodchute proper never tickled my fancy like the core upper heart of Mingus. jj was in so it was game on.

Woodchute Trail #102
The trailhead surprised as we arrived mid morning to 5-7 other vehicles on a Thursday. Is it possible there is a popular spot I'm not aware exists in the hiking world of Arizona? Heading CCW we strolled through a wonderful forest of nice medium sized pines. Not tall ponderosas or stubby junipers, rather a medium sized pine with spacey branches loaded with needles.

After a mile the pines give way to an open ridge then we turned down at Woodchute Tank. Now home I realize I did an-out-back to here in 2006. While it didn't leave a notable impression in 2006 I enjoyed it today! We passed two groups along this stretch.

Rick Tank Cutoff Trail #104
Heading down this was slow for myself. It was loose footing and slightly overgrown. My depth of field is off and falling without two quick hands rides the mind so I just took it real easy for the 1.5 miles down. We passed an ACE trail maintenance crew which jj was familiar with from another hike. Great to see 'em as this trail is worthy to save.

Martin Canyon Trail #103
Just an old road. A never ending canopy of trees made it special. With the exception of the top half mile the grade is very forgiving.

I didn't expect to enjoy this hike so much. It's definitely on the return list now.

Carolina's Mexican Food
Over the years, ironically possibly in one of the out of region Best Mexican Food forum threads Carolina's has surfaced many times. I've known there is one out by me in the BFE NW Valley but never patronized. It's tough to break the Del Taco tradition but glad we did, excellent IMHO. Taco man is obviously familiar with the original location. He agreed it was good as I'd heard yet stated the handmade tortillas are the fame. We're both semi critical on restaurants having been baptized by that fire biz. He ups the ante never missing a funny beat telling the girl "this better be good cause we could eat FIVE times at Del Taco for this price" lol

Which included a half dozen tortillas for each of us to take home. As much as I enjoyed my combo plate these 2 foot diameter tortillas are amazing. Thin and strong you could make one mean burrito. With my limited bite I've been ripping 'em up making mini quesadillas instead!
Woodchute Trail #102
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Chilly start at 6:30 this morning at the trail head. Lots of rain just before we arrived made for some sticky muddy conditions on Martin Canyon. Almost didn't recognize smiley rock as we passed by. Rich Tank trail was fantastic going up. It is faint in places but we were able to follow the cairns and stay on track. Rich tank was plenty full as we walked across the dam. Followed Woodchute up to the overlook which was also wet and muddy. Approaching thunderstorms truncated our stay and we hustled back to the trail head under a light drizzle.
Woodchute Trail #102
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We were looking at a hot day in Phoenix so Kyle came up with Woodchute. This one has been on the list for a while. I'm glad we made the trip. It's an easy drive and the dirt road to the TH is in good condition. A sedan made it all the way in.

We started with the forest road as we dropped into Martin Canyon. We took a break before the climb and then sludged up the hill as we headed for Woodchute. Once up top we detoured off trail for the true summit. Vegetation got heavy at times but we pushed through and found the summit register. From there we continued off trail as we headed for the northeast corner of the mesa where we took our lunch at the viewpoint.

After lunch we started our return. This part was easy going and we cruised all the way back to the TH and were back in Phoenix by mid-afternoon. I'm really glad we made this trip. The hiking on Woodchute is very enjoyable and the views are solid. Thanks Kyle for driving!
Woodchute Trail #102
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Last minute backpacking trip. I seriously love the Woodchute Mountain area. Everyone flocks to nearby Mingus Mountain, leaving this easily accessible forested mesa with stunning views pretty much vacant. The other thing I notice is people tend to do the Martin Canyon loop and never bother to summit Woodchute. It is definitely worth the 400 foot climb from the Martin Canyon junction to the top of Woodchute. Healthy ponderosa forest, flat groomed trail, and incredible views if you do a quick jaunt off trail to either side of the mountain. We camped about 50 feet below the summit, in a nice clearing just off the trail. Only problem with this trip is packing in all your water, but it's only about 4 miles each direction so it's tolerable.

Beautiful display of flowers on the exposed ridge through the first 1-1.5 mile of trail. Drying out and heating up, so they'll probably be dead in a week or two, until monsoon picks up.
Woodchute Trail #102
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In order to beat the heat I went north to the Prescott National Forest. Even at 6:30 AM at 7500 ft. it was already 82 degrees. I parked at Potato Patch and up the hill I started. I was already stoked because I saw about 10 pronghorns on 89A just before the climb into Prescott NF.

The only bad thing about this trail is that because of the historical nature of what Woodchute was used for, there is very little shade compared to other areas of Prescott NF. The entire mountain was pretty much denuded of any timber to run the Jerome mines.

The hike itself is pretty good. Its interesting that your only scenery or views are about in the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the hike. I left the trail to hit the Woodchute Summit and you couldn't see more than 5 feet, LOL. Back down I went but I did do some off trail down to check out all the tanks in the area. They're all dry except for Powerline Tank near the 2nd TH.

At about 10:00 when I finished at 7500 ft. it was already 91. Whew.

Finished off the trip with a Rock Springs Cafe lunch.

All in all a great morning hike. A Wilderness area highpoint and another mountain over 7K.

Permit $$

Prescott Forest
Prescott National Forest Pass

Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take highway 89-A south from Cottonwood, or north from Prescott, to the turnoff for Potato Patch Campground at Mingus Pass (where the highway tops out). Turn west, after .3 miles turn left onto FR-106. Park at the south trailhead here, or open the gate and drive 1/2 mile (high-clearance only) back to the original trailhead.

Access and trailhead location: The best access to this trail is from Hwy. 89A. Go to the Potato Patch Campground just east of the summit on 89A. Then take FR 106 west for 0.3 miles to the power line. The trailhead is just under the power line. FR 106 is suitable for high clearance vehicles in fair weather. This road is not maintained. This trailhead is scheduled to be moved closer to the Potato Patch Campground. Alternate access from the Chino area is by way of FR 354 to just south of Perkinsville. Take FR 318 south from there, then west on FR 318A for 1.3 miles to the north trailhead. Access from Jerome is also by way of FR 318 around the north side of Woodchute Mountain.

Travel time: 1 hour from Chino Valley. Road condition: Paved, then dirt on FR 106
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