Arizona Hiking Gallery
Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike
Prescott National Forest, Prescott, AZ
June 23, 2007
Gallery contains 25 photos
Gallery last updated: 7/1/2007

This is an approximately 9 mile clockwise hike on the Groom Creek Loop Trail (Trail #307). The trail starts a few miles south of Prescott and climbs through oak, juniper, ponderosa, white fir, and douglas fir forests to the top Spruce Mountain where there is a small picnic area and a fire lookout tower.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 1
A shady granite boulder outcropping along the Groom Creek Loop Trail.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 2
The lower sections of the trail are forested with oak, juniper and ponderosa. Here is the trunk of an Arizona White Oak (Quercus arizonica). The Arizona White Oak is problably the largest species of oak to grow in Arizona.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 3
Closeup of the bark of the Arizona White Oak.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 4
Arizona White Oak (Quercus arizonica).

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 5
At times the trail crosses a slash in the forest where powerlines make their way up the mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 6
Dry grasses glow in the sunlight on a hillside clearing.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 7
the trail passes a large Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana), the largest species of juniper in Arizona. It is easily identified by its alligator skin like bark.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 8
The Groom Creek Loop Trail climbing through the forest.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 9
We will be following the Groom Creek Loop Trail up to the Spruce Mountain Lookout.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 10
White Fir (Abies concolor) grows on the upper sections of Spruce Mountain. Spruce Mountain was named by early arrivals who misidentified the white fir as blue spruce.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 11
Closeup of the White Fir needles.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 12
Leaves of the Arizona White Oak (Quercus arizonica).

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 13
The Groom Creek Trail still climbing through the forest toward Spruce Mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 14
Wonderful contrasting large trunks of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) on the left and Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana) on the right.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 15
A clump of dry grass soaking up the rays of a small patch of sunshine reaching the forest floor.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 16
Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) is easily recognized by its deeply lobed leaves.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 17
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) soon to be sporting a tip of yellow flowers.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 18
The Groom Creek Loop Trail winding through the forest.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 19
This and the next three photos are a panorama from atop Spruce Mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 20
Panorama from atop Spruce Mountain. On the right is Granite Mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 21
Panorama from atop Spruce Mountain with Granite Mountain at center.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 22
Panorama from atop Spruce Mountain looking over Prescott Valley.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 23
Zooming in on Upper Goldwater Lake from atop Spruce Mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 24
Zooming in on Lynx Lake from atop Spruce Mountain.

Groom Creek Loop Trail Hike: Image 25
Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout was built in 1936 and is still in use today. The lookout is listed in the National Historic Lookout Register.

All images Copyright ©2007 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.