Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Clover Spring Trail, Williams, AZ

Turn off from Bill Williams Lookout Trail

Took the Li'l Guy up to Williams (AZ) the other day, for some hiking.  We stopped at the Williams District Ranger Station, off Interstate 40, exit 161.  The office was closed, as it was a Saturday, but the trail head was open.  In spite of there being five other vehicles parked, we didn't encounter anyone on our trail until we were nearly back to our car.

Clover Spring Trail Map

The trail to Clover Spring starts at the Williams Ranger Station.  You can also start from Buckskinner Park in Williams, or Sheridan St. downtown.  From the Ranger Station, take the Bill Williams Mountain Trail, #21, for about 1/4 mile, then make a left onto the Clover Spring Trail, #46.  That's your turnoff sign, pictured above.  The 3/4 mile trail meanders through ponderosa pines, oaks, and rare alligator junipers.

The trail is easy, with just a few rock steps set into the path, but it showed me how quickly I can get out of shape.  Even my hiking boots felt heavy!  Note to self - do NOT wear tight denim skirt for hiking - full skirt is a must.  It feels so wonderful to be back in the pines after 4-1/2 months in the city.   Up near the spring, we startled a young deer and enjoyed the sight of it bounding away.

Clover Spring
Clover Spring is a natural spring, once used for domestic purposes, but now only safe for wildlife.  Bring your water purifier if you want to drink!  The water level was almost a foot below the drip pipe when we were there, and didn't look too appealing.

The return trip was all downhill.  Lots of big rocks for young-uns to climb, and side attractions for them to explore.  We were out early enough to hear the Grand Canyon Railway down in Williams blast its farewell for its daily run up to the canyon.

If you want a longer hike, you can continue past Clover Spring to Buckskinner Park - bring your picnic - or take the loop back to the junction with Trail #124, City of Williams Link Trail, and explore downtown Williams.  There are several great restaurants and lots of shops offering everything from Indian jewelry to custom leatherwork to Route 66 souvenirs.  When you're ready to go back to your car, take Trail #124 back to #46 and end up at the Ranger Station.

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