Woodchute Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Happy Jack, AZ that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This is a fun trail that I would recommend. Our hike was on April 19, 2015, a Sunday. It was mid-60s when we began and probably low 70s when were finished. We live in downtown Phoenix and it took us about two hours to drive to the trailhead via Prescott Valley. The trailhead is a bit confusing as you come to an outhouse rather immediately. We parked there and walked the extra 3/4 miles or so to the actual trailhead.
The first half or so of the trail hugs the top of a ridge line with beautiful views to the south and north. Once you get to the Woodchute Wilderness, the trees get taller and more dense, passing seasonal creek beds, a tank, and some mountain meadows. The end of the trail is a matter of interpretation. Some pretty spectacular vistas open up if you stay to the right and the fork on large, flattish summit of Woodchute mountain. You will end up looking north into the Verde Valley, Sedona's red rocks, and the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff.
Overall a worthwhile, fun hike that offers changing scenery and beautiful views. Length more than elevation change is what makes this trail a bit more challenging. Our hike from the first parking area to the far vista and back tracked at 8.5 miles and took us about 4 hours all in.