West Spruce Trail #264 follows the ridge line of the Sierra Prieta Mountains, located west of Prescott, and presents riders with two very distinct trails in one. This trail is more primitive in nature and not like the smooth flowing trails which are becoming more prevalent.
The east, or upper half, gently gains elevation on the approach to West Spruce Mountain, and is a cool forest ride offering panoramic views of Skull Valley and the San Francisco Peaks. Old alligator juniper trees dot the surrounding landscape, along with Douglas fir, Gambel oak and pinyon pine. Spruce is non-existent here; the early settlers mistakenly identified Douglas fir as spruce, which remains the namesake of the mountain.
The west half of the trail narrows and descends into rockier terrain, leaving the shade of the forest far behind. Manzanita and hackberries initially dominate the vegetation, gradually giving way to high desert chaparral.
The west half of TR264 is the more challenging portion of the trail as it winds downward toward Iron Springs Wash and Doce Pit Road (FR 9271A).
A rider can do the east part of this trail and bail out (or start) on FR 47B, onto Skyline Drive, if desired.
Shared By: Charlie Glasel