Thumb Butte

Thumb Butte

From Iron Springs Road heading out of Prescott we turned on Skyline Drive.  The road name accurately reflects panoramic east and west views while traveling south atop a ridge.  We drove through the Highland Pines development with a detour down a side road where Skyline Drive ends.  A dozen or so homes are located off this steep, narrow, twisting road, often with even steeper driveways.  It must be interesting navigating in or out in the winter.  We parked at the end of the paved Skyline Drive for our walk.  Three homes were located near the beginning of the rugged, rocky dirt road.  We walked about a mile, encountering a couple of quads and observing various wildflowers including Arizona thistle and cardinalflower, before finding a y junction with a sign that identified the West Spruce Trail.  Two couples who were picnicking nearby with a view of Granite Mountain and Skull Valley  had driven over the eroded road in  a 4-wheel truck.  We continued walking until the next intersection where we were near West Spruce Mountain which has douglas fir rather than spruce.  I have since discovered that West Spruce Mountain has an elevation of 7,160 feet.  We decided to explore the roadway opposite the one marked 47B.  At the next junction we circled back on C120 rather than following 47.  The views on our return to our car featured Granite Mountain on one side of the road and Thumb Butte and the faraway San Francisco Peaks on the other.  It is possible to experience rugged forestland near Prescott, Arizona.

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