South of Prescott, the 8.7 mile Groom Creek loop is a short but steep hiking route open to ungroomed cross country skiing to the top of Spruce Mountain (7,500 feet) for a scenic lookout into the Bradshaws. The loop is best clockwise.
To reach the cross country ski trailhead from Prescott, head south on the Senator Highway (Mt. Vernon Ave.) toward the Groom Creek trailhead (4 miles away). The Horse Camp trailhead is located off FS52A.
Starting at the eastern end of the Horse Camp parking lot, climb to the top of Spruce Mountain -- the summit is three miles away and 1,000 feet up from the trailhead. Traverse up a series of ridges into the heart of the Bradshaw Mountains Before heading straight up. From the summit , on a rock outcrop high above towering ponderosa pines, we could see for miles in every direction -- the glowing red rock buttes of Sedona and the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks to the north, the Bradshaws to the south, and many other nameless mountain ranges fading into the distance. From the top of the mountain, Trail No. 307 meanders gradually downward. Relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the forest. It is almost six miles back to the parking lot and the entire distance offered excellent cross-country skiing.
Overall, Groom Creek Trail / Spruce Mountain is the 27th most popular hiking trail of all 49 hikes in Arizona.