On this trail, depart Jerome and climb along a scenic stretch of former railroad grade. After turning north, the trail drops 2,000 feet to end at the Verde River in the tiny railroad stop of Perkinsville, along the Verde Canyon Railroad.
Where to go:
The trail leaves Jerome. To get to Jerome from downtown Sedona (Highway 89A/Highway 179 Junction), head east on Highway 89A for 29 miles. Pass through the town of Cottonwood following signs for Highway 89A towards Jerome. In Jerome (after Highway 89A briefly splits, stay straight where the main road switchbacks to the left. This is Perkinsville Road where the trail begins.
The trail departs Highway 89A in downtown Jerome and heads northwest. It remains paved for 0.75 miles before turning right and turning to dirt. The road begins to climb after leaving Jerome and is now referred to on maps as F.R. 318. Use caution as the road narrowly twists and turns towards a scenic road cut (and highpoint) at 4.9 miles. After passing through the narrow road cut, the trail continues to zig zag downhill in a westerly direction. Keep an eye out for cattle as they like to congregate on the road – the only flat spot around. Stay right at 7.5 miles where F.R. 318A (United Verde/Woodchute Mtn. Trail) departs on the left. That is a rougher trail but scenic route to Chino Valley.
After the turnoff for the United Verde/Woodchute Mtn. Trail, the road swings north with stunning views of the Verde Valley on the right. The trail continues to head downhill at a near constant slope. The vegetation becomes less dense as you transition to the high-desert chaparral. Continue straight at 13.9 miles and 15.4 miles where the roads to the left (Perkinsville Road) head to Chino Valley. This would be an easier route to get to Chino Valley should you want to continue to Prescott. Be cautious of the ranches off to your right as you approach the Verde River.
Stay on F.R. 318 as it crosses a narrow bridge over the Verde River at 16.0 miles. Stay right after the bridge. The road to the left eventually connects to the town of Williams. Consult maps before planning a trip there. For the next mile, the trail heads east as it follows and eventually crosses under the Verde Canyon Railroad. The trail ends at 17.2 miles in Perkinsville, the stopping point for the scenic Verde Canyon Railroad. There are some old buildings alongside the railroad tracks but no services in Perkinsville. Return back to Jerome via the way you came, or take one of the side trails to connect to Williams, Chino Valley or Prescott.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
This trail is quite easy. It remains wide and graded for most of its length. We’ve rated it a ‘2’ out of 10. SUV’s with good clearance can make this trail but it would be a rough ride for a passenger car. The 17 miles one way from Jerome to Perkinsville can be done in about an hour. Allow for 1-2 hours of driving roundtrip. The trail around Jerome can get snowfall which may make the trail more difficult. 4WD and high clearance is a good idea if traveling in the winter time.