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

Isabella Trail #377, AZ

376 46 1
Guide 46 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.4 of 5 by 15
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,750 feet
Elevation Gain 648 feet
Accumulated Gain 657 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.49
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
2  2019-03-22 Peter_Medal
13  2019-02-16 nathanbrisk
13  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
6  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
13  2018-09-15
Davis - Union - Tritle - Spruce
13  2018-09-14
Isabella Loop
26  2018-07-10
Isabella Loop
24  2018-05-23
Groom Creek Loop Trail #307
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
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
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:34pm
Official Route
19 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A walk in the pines
by Mike

Likely In-Season!
The Official Route and statistics on this page are for Isabella Trail #377. The description below forges on to Spruce Mountain. The pin marker on this route indicates where #377 ends and includes the full route described below.

Although it's upper half does duty as a segment of the popular Groom Creek Loop, the Isabella Trail (#377) is probably one of the lesser known trails in the Bradshaw Mountains. It begins just above the upper Hassayampa River and from there climbs up to, then follows, South Spruce Ridge to it's terminus at the summit of Spruce Mountain. At the summit is a lookout tower overlooking the Prescott area. The trail makes for a nice summer hike, since it never leaves the pine forest and it's lowest point is the trailhead at about 6750 feet. The tower is at 7693 feet and there's usually a nice breeze blowing there. The first mile and a half of the trail sees little use and is sometimes faint, but not difficult to follow. After the junction with South Groom Creek Loop, the trail gets much more use and is easier to follow.

From the trailhead, follow an old jeep track for a short distance uphill. Watch for a cairn of medium sized rocks on the left. The trail takes off here and begins it's moderately steep climb to South Spruce Ridge. When I last hiked this trail a few years ago, the trail began further up the road, but there are now private residences along this road. The Forest Service rerouted the first half mile of the trail to avoid the private property. About a half mile in, the trail drops into a drainage, crosses it and makes a sharp turn to the left. From here on, you're back on the original route, so pay close attention to this spot so that you don't miss this turn on your way back. Keep your eye out along the next mile or so for signs of the mining history of this area.

At just over a mile, the trail begins to level out.and you'll reach the first of several junctions, this one with the South Groom Creek Loop trail. Bear right here to stay on trail 377. Just beyond the junction, you'll see a sign marking the South Spruce Ridge Helispot. The helispot is to the left (west) of the trail. A little further on, a junction is reached with a cutoff trail that heads off to the left and eventually junctions with the north Groom Creek Loop. A sign here indicates the lookout is another mile and half further. Just past the sign, you cross through the first of two horse gates and from there the trail is a relatively level walk along South Spruce Ridge with one short climb before you finally reach the summit of Spruce Mountain. This stretch of the trail was the busiest, since it is part of the Groom Creek Loop. Before the gate, we only encountered 2 other hikers, but after the gate, we encountered about a dozen hikers and 2 groups on horseback.

When you reach the summit, you'll first cross a saddle where a road comes in from your right. There are picnic tables and restrooms in this area. Across the way and uphill a short distance is the lookout tower. Take the road up to the tower and enjoy the views from the rocks below the tower. If the tower is manned, you may be allowed inside, as were we this time. From the summit you'll have a 360 degree view of Prescott & Granite Mountain, the northern Bradshaws, Prescott Valley & Lynx Lake and more.

Word to the wise... watch for snakes around the rocks! The ranger in the tower told us a hiker earlier in the morning had spotted a rattler enjoying a breakfast of chipmunk. He went down and found it. He said it wasn't one that he'd caught earlier this year and painted a spot on. So, he decided to put up a little sign to warn folks to be careful!! We didn't see any snakes, but did see some pretty big lizards. They wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get a good photo, sorry!

Once you've had enough of the views and breeze at the tower, turn around and return the way you came in.

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.

2002-08-27 Mike

    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 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Isabella Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I had not hiked the Groom Creek Loop Trail in about a year, and since the trail was not closed for fire danger, Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I decided to hike this loop. We started and finished at the 307 TH, and hiked the loop counterclockwise. Along the way we stopped at Coles Cabin, and then when we got to Isabella Trail #377 we took it to the Isabella TH, and returned on the trail back to trail #307. Going out and back on the Isabella Trail added 2.5 miles and about 500' of elevation gain to the hike. The Isabella Trail is a nice trail, but if I was going to do the loop hike along with Isabella again, it would probably make more sense to start and end at the Isabella TH.

    We stopped at the summit but the fire tower was closed to the public. I do not think that anyone was manning the tower anyway. This is a nice trail to hike, especially going the long way up to the summit. Coming down from the summit is my least favorite part of the hike, although there are some interesting boulders and rocks to look at as you get close to the TH.

    There are supposedly no spruce trees on Spruce Mountain, but I saw quite a few blue spruce trees on the mountain, including some close to the fire tower.
    Isabella Trail #377
    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 Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Groom Creek-Mt Davis
    The Eagle treated me to a lite version of one of his classic multi-trail, multi-peak hikes, this one in the Bradshaws. The plan was to hit Spruce, Davis and Union utilizing the Groom Creek Loop, Isabella and Dandrea trails.

    We started at the Groom Creek trailhead and started the loop in a clockwise direction. On the way up, Bruce mentioned a shortcut that bypassed Spruce. I'd been to Spruce but not on the shortcut trail, so we lightened the already lite version further by bypassing Spruce, taking the Transcendent Mine shortcut noted in MEWhiteman's Isabella Loop description. The trail had some downfall and is steep, but was easy to follow. It shaved about a mile off the loop.

    Back on the Groom Creek loop trail we came across a flock (rafter) of wild turkeys: 4 hens and about a dozen chicks (poults). What a sight that was as they motored along the trail ahead of us before disappearing into some brush.

    We continued on, taking the Isabella trail down to the road, then through Potato Patch before picking up the Dandrea trail. The Dandrea trail was probably the least favorite part of this hike. It's an old road covered with ankle busters, but it gets you to the saddle between Davis and Union. We turned north at the saddle, opting to bag Davis first. Once on top, we looked for the ammo can that contained the summit register, but couldn't find it.

    On the way down from Davis, I told Bruce that I would bypass Union. I haven't hiked much lately ('cause I'm a "slacker") and we still had a long way to go. I took a nap at the saddle while The Eagle bagged Union and checked out the tower. We ate lunch when he returned and extended the break. Thunderheads started to blossom to the south as we enjoyed the serenity of the saddle. Rain was in the forecast. Time to get going.

    We headed back down Dandrea, back through Potato Patch and up Isabella. The Isabella trail is one of the best trails I've hiked in the Bradshaws. Moderately steep in spots, but easy walking through a mostly shaded pine forest.

    When we reached the Groom Creek Loop, we turned south and coasted the last five miles on good trails with a gentle descent. A great way to finish a long hike. Somewhere in the distance, the sound of drums could be heard. Bongos at first, then something like the drum corps of a high school marching band. They were pretty good.

    As we closed out the hike, storms were brewing all around us, but we were spared until the last mile or so when light rain brought the umbrellas out.

    Bruce, thank you again for the invite. I had a great time!
    Isabella Trail #377
    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 Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Spruce-Davis-Union-Tritle Shuttle
    Up at 4am I checked the radar and Prescott what getting nailed with a heavy thunderstorm.
    I knew it would be a humid one. Temps on the day ranged from 62 to 78. Not bad for a July.

    Ray was our shuttle commander today. He dropped us at the Groom Creek TH. Clockwise on the Groom Creek #307 up to Spruce Mountain, we stopped at the Fire Lookout. Red is gone and Suzie is back in the tower. All the windows were open and the hummingbirds were flying feeder to feeder through the tower.

    On to Isabella #377 and down to Potato Patch.

    Dandrea #285 is my least favorite in this loop. A group of hikers pointed out the best example I've seen of an Arrastra, which made this trail a plus this time.

    The off trail to Mount Davis is always a worthy track. Some really good views.
    Video from the Top of Mount Davis :next: ... HT8Y

    Next it was off to Mount Union to visit with John for a bit before lunch on the Helipad.

    The planned route had to be adjusted after we ran into some Private Property. This is the first time I'd taken FR52B to the top of Mount Tritle. A worthy route with some nice views. We searched for the Summit Register with zero luck.
    We meddled with the Peter Medal route off the north side. This route was a super highway for about half the way down. After that, not so much. Finally in the Hassayampa, travel was much easier.

    Our shuttle driver picked us up while walking on...Walker Road. Thanks Ray!
    Isabella Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Groom Creek from Isabella TH
    Drove up with Bruce and Joe to hike the Groom Creek loop south of Prescott while they went off and bagged Spruce, Davis, Union and Tritle. We met up later at Hassayampa lake for the drive back to Happy Valley.

    This was a wonderful hike among the pines on Spruce Mtn. The skies were mostly blue and the trails were in great shape, even after the deluge that hit the area earlier in the morning. Not a lot of views until you get to the top, but it was nice hiking among the pines. 62 degrees at the start, 73 at the finish.

    It was oh so nice to get away from the heat for a few hours.
    Isabella Trail #377
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Spruce - Davis - Union - Tritle Shuttle
    Bruce wanted to medal around Peter's neck of the woods. A morning thunderstorm swept through before our arrival. The forecast looked promising. It turned out to be about the best weather you can expect for July. Humid yet clouds kept the sun off us more than not along with some nice breezes.

    We hit the peaks in the order linked above. We've been many times and will likely return. Close to the Valley and a gem if you can dance around the storms which seem almost daily in July.

    Tritle and I were not the best of friends. We hiked the backroad up this time. What a difference. Lots of trees and I didn't feel like I was skirting deliverance. We started down a Peter route which to our surprise was a local trail through tall pines. Unfortunately it looked to be going towards FR79. So we off trailed through medium nonsense down to the Senator Mine. Nothing bad, just really wanted that local trail to roll east instead of west. The Hassayampa had more flow than I anticipated, maybe from the morning storm?

    Nice hike, thanks for the shuttle Ray!
    Isabella Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Started at the Groom Creek Trail Head and hiked the south leg (north leg was closed) to Isabella, then up to Mount Davis. Returned the same way.

    The GPS route was messed up at the start. I figure there might be a way to fix it but didn't have time to dig into it.

    Enjoyed the hike a lot, especially off-trail up to Mount Davis.

    Why would a park be for residents only. The song "Signs" kept coming to mind. "And the signs said anyone caught trespassing will be shot on-sight ....". Oh well.
    Isabella Trail #377
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    What better activity to celebrate our freedom than to enjoy a nice hike in the cool pines on Independence Day 2014? We did this hike as an out and back of just the Isabella Trail #377 from the trailhead to its intersection with the Groom Creek Loop.

    Trail conditions were excellent and views were spectacular at times. We enjoyed the trail to ourselves the entire length - which is a surprise because it was a very pleasant hike that I would think would be more popular.

    Looking forward to doing this one again soon in conjunction with the Groom Creek Loop Trail #307.
    Isabella Trail #377
    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.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

    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
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

    end of page marker