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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Isabella Loop, AZ

147 16 1
Guide 16 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.4 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,750 feet
Elevation Gain 785 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,661 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.71
Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
13  2018-09-14 OdinWiski
26  2018-07-10 kelly14
6  2018-05-12
Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
9  2017-07-29
Groom Creek-Davis-Union
16  2017-07-22 Nightstalker
30  2016-07-08 RowdyandMe
10  2015-10-11 mazatzal
10  2014-06-28
Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
Page 1,  2
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 40
Routes 91
Photos 790
Trips 351 map ( 2,703 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Oct, Jun → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:39pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Extended walk in the pines
by MEWhiteman

Likely In-Season!
This trail extends the Isabella Trail (#377) hike into a lasso type loop adding about a mile to the total length and an additional 600 feet of accumulated elevation gain. It utilizes the Isabella and Groom Creek (#307) trails as described in the Isabella Trail description and adds more of the Groom Creek loop and a section of the Transcendent Mine "road" to connect the loop.

Begin at the Isabella Trail trailhead and hike to the Spruce Mountain summit as described in the Isabella Trail description. As you near the summit you intersect with Forest Road 52A on the right in an area where there are picnic tables and an outhouse. The trail to the left is a continuation of the Groom Creek trail on which you should continue after exploring the summit. Continue downhill on the Groom Creek trail until you reach a 4-way intersection at N34 27.594 W112 25.259 at which point you turn left onto the Transcendent Mine road which is really just a trail. There is a large sign there readable from the downhill side that gives the trail name. Shortly after making this turn you pass a spring on the left and begin a steady uphill climb over the next mile. The trail is less traveled than the other trails on this hike but still easily followed. When I did this there were several downed trees that had to be skirted. After a mile this trail intersects the Groom Creek trail at N34 27.048 W112 25.094. Turn right here and retrace your steps on the Groom Creek and Isabella trails back to the Isabella Trail trailhead.

All in all this is a pleasant hike on shaded trails with some great views.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-06-22 MEWhiteman
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
    I had a few loops drawn up in the Bradshaws and we decided to see how we were feeling as the day progressed. The trip up to Davis and Union was the first leg of the trip, and I was actually surprised that John welcomed us up on a windy day with extreme fire danger. He informed us we were the highest people in Yavapai County, and also mentioned something about the elevation. :sweat:

    I'm glad there's a tower here as it makes it possible to hit 8,000 feet on the second flight up. :)

    I do prefer the views from Davis though.

    Did you know: Mount Union was named during the civil war, and in response confederate supporters countered by naming the adjacent peak after President Davis. So there's that.

    Back down to Potato Patch where the headwaters of the Hassayampa was flowing to my surprise. A quick break at the truck and up Isabella. At this point, I opted for the shortest of the options on the day and took the old Transcendent Mine trail down to 307 before heading back up to the Spruce summit. To the surprise of nobody, the tower was not open to visitors.

    After a quick snack we headed back across the Spruce Mountain ridge and dropped back down to the car via Isabella. We saw surprisingly few people today. There has been a lot of thinning on both Davis and Spruce, but both are still littered with large slash piles that have yet to be burned. Still an improvement over last time.

    @tortoise_hiker I promise 9L was there.

    Side note: Don't speed through Mayer.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Groom Creek-Davis-Union
    I woke up and read a text from Ray saying he woke up late and would be there in 15 minutes. My alarm never went off, I got ready in 15 minutes and was there 45 minutes late. Hopefully not an omen for the day.

    Temps were 70 at the start and 73 to finish, with the mid 60's in the middle. Cloudy most of the day, with some sun and got a light rain for 15 minutes at the end. Pretty lucky all-in-all with nastier weather all around us. Muggy was the theme for the day.

    We started clockwise on the Groom creek Loop #307. This is a steady climb and we decided to take the shortcut trail at the 2 mile mark to cut across to Isabella. It'd been 7 years since I'd been on this one. It's easy to follow, but since it's not an official trail, none of the dead fall is removed. No problems getting around it at all.

    Right at the Isabella Trail turn, Ray spotted a Rafter of 3 hens and a dozen or more poults. I don't think I'd seen poults before in the wild.

    Down the Isabella Trail #377 and the walk through Potato Patch, we tried to guess which house was Peter's.

    I've never cared much for the climb up the Dandrea #285. It's rocky and loose.

    At the saddle we made our turn to get to the off trail portion up to Mt Davis. I love the views up the top of the rocky outcropping. The Peak Register IS gone. It's not where it used to be and we checked other spots with no luck.

    Next I made my way over to Mt. Union to visit with the lookout, John and get some scoop on the Goodwin Fire. The fire never got any closer than 4.5 miles from the tower. He said a couple of Forest Service workers called it in and it was not visible to him for another 1/2 hour. You could see some scarring from up there where it crossed Big Bug Mesa, but the majority of the burn was farther east.
    He had some dispatch personnel come up in the tower while I was there, so I let them go about their business.

    We went back the way we came and then completed the Groom Creek loop. It'd been awhile since I'd be on this section. Quite enjoyable. We kicked up a small buck still in velvet to close out the hike.

    Enjoyable hike. Good to hike w/Ray again. Thanks for driving.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    A beautiful day for a hike in cooler weather.
    I did meet three hikers from Phoenix out to be the heat as well. And did not see anybody else on the trail. My computer died today so I am doing this on my table and it sucks.
    The drive out I thought was great until Walker Road turned to dirt which would not have been to bad except for the graders.
    Rowdy did surprise me when we reached the tower. We were invited to come up but I thought the steps were to narrow and steep. But Rowdy just ran right up and through the door. We visited with Suzie a little and checked out the great views from the tower.
    I told her I was a member of Hike Arizona and see told she had a couple of old guys come up a week or so ago.
    Wow who could that have been?
    Today is my moms birthday I love you and will always miss you
    Today is my sons birthday I love you and we will party Saturday night and he is now older than Linda.
    Today is also my anniversary to my wife I love and will go shopping tonight.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    First time up Spruce Mountain - nice area. Enjoyed the loop in cool temps. Not too busy coming from this side. Lots of squirrels and heard some turkeys. I think they should be hiding just now :)
    On the way back we saw a band of pronghorns on the west side a few miles north of Sunset Point.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Bradshaws - Davis Union and Spruce
    Headed up to the Bradshaws for a nice hike. We parked at the Isabella Trailhead and then headed over to Davis and then Union. I really enjoyed heading up to Davis on the off trail portion of the hike. The hike over to Union follows an old road and was easy going. Once on Union we went up into the Fire Lookout Tower which was very cool.

    Afterward we returned to the vehicle and took our lunch break. From there we hiked up the Isabella Trail and then made a lasso loop stopping at Spruce Mountain. The return to the vehicle flew by and we were back in Phx around 6pm. Nice day hiking in some cooler temps.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bradshaws: Davis Union Spruce
    Somehow I got slightly more AEG but in nearly 1/2 mile less distance covered. I always walk on the inside of the curves. Over time it saves distance. But it's steeper, and that adds up. ;)

    Nice day. Good hike. Wasn't in the mood for a really long day. Need to spend some nights at home. John in the Union tower was happy to have visitors. Lots of very informative chatter. Surprisingly, at Spruce we were not invited up by Suzie? (I think that's what John said her name was) ... then again, sure sounded like a male-generated noises up there, so maybe that explains some things? :o

    The ridge on Spruce is a cf of downfall and needs a fire. It can't even be "prescribed" there is so much undergrowth and ladder fuels will bring even the calmest ground fire up into the trees. It's really just a matter of when.

    Those Potato Patch folks really try to insinuate that you can't drive to the TH, but there is parking for a couple of cars at the base of the hike up Union. Also a spigot with fresh water at the last house. It looked like a public/FS water source, but I can't verify.

    Missed the BobP shortcut, and it was just as well. On the way back when we paid attention to the track, we all decided it looked like crap anyway. Kudos to Tibber for putting up with that shit.

    Good day. Hit up this new-ish place in JJ's Chandler backyard. Cheddars. 10oz steak, half rack of ribs, loaded baked potato, plus some mac n cheese for good measure. $17. Good place to replenish some lost calories. Too bad Sierra was the best beer they had.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hiking with the sandeled one (minus the sandels today), and armed with driving directions out of the google maps provided by HAZ, we headed off the wonderful pavement of AZ69 on to Pouland Rd and our last view of the pavement for awhile.

    After 10 or so miles we stopping to ask a nice lady if we were close to the next turnoff we were looking for (see men do ask for directions). We were informed that the turn we were looking for, for what she called the severe 4X4 road was just ahead. So we kept going in my 2wd Pathfinder. After reaching the ridge with another decision point of unmarked roads, we once again asked directions from a guy on a quad (prefered mode of transportation up there). He said we had two choices, the shorter rougher road, or the longer smoother road. We were in no great hurry.

    The hike was nice, we made it up to the top of Spruce Mountain and the ranger tower in pretty good time. Joe took a nap in the ranger tower, while I watched the Ranger deal with a fire on her watch just down a mile or so from the tower (see pictures for both). After Joe woke up, and a short break we headed down to meet up with the loop portion of the trail. This portion of the trail had a bit of deadfall taking us up to the saddle where we reached another decision point, that we didn't realize was a decision point. We walked and ran down 1.1 miles from this point, trying to keep ahead of horses coming down the trail. When we got close to the creek that we didn't cross on our way up, I decided I didn't want to see it anymore. We headed back up the mountain, back to what we now saw was a decision point (They need to cut that tree down across the trail). I enjoyed views, great pine smells, and laughs on this hike.
    Isabella Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Bruce and I headed out to anywhere that looked to be cool temps. We decided on Isabella & Union for the day. After Bruce showed me the back road route in we breathed a sigh of relief it panned out...

    The hike up is just fabulous if you need a "get me outta the valley heat" hike. The pines are superb in this area and it's just tender pine lovin' care for valley fever that hit the spot. Up top we headed up the lookout tower. The nice attendant let us in as she was calling in a diminishing grey smoke call to Engine 11. Heading down we decided on the "loop" option. Which is basically a beef up your AEG option. Then Bruce wanted to show me a creek he heard about. Oddly enough we hiked down to within 50 feet and turned around. I'm not sure what was up with that but he's such a nice guy I didn't ask.

    I like this better than the Groom side as it's very nice throughout and less trail traffic.

    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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Isabella Trailhead
    Directions - From Phoenix take I-17 north to the Cordes Junction exit. Take SR 69 west towards Prescott. Pass through Prescott Valley and turn left on Walker Road, which is the light just west of the Costco. Continue on Walker Road for about 10.5 miles to Potato Patch, bear right. Just beyond Potato Patch, watch for a dirt road heading off to the right (do not turn on this road, it accesses the cabins in the area), followed by a sign for the Isabella Trail. The trailhead is a pulloff on the right side of the road about 20 yards beyond the sign.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 99.0 mi - about 2 hours 6 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 204 mi - about 3 hours 34 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 2 hours 5 mins
    page created by MEWhiteman on Jun 21 2009 6:48 pm
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