April 6, 2016, Prescott- While we were living in Phoenix, in 2002, news came of a horrific wildfire, that was bearing down on Prescott: The Indian Fire. It could easily have swept through Thumb Butte and down Copper Basin, slamming full force into downtown Prescott. That didn’t happen, thanks to the Forest Service, and the fates of Nature. As it was, though, the Indian Fire seared a large area between White Spar and Copper Basin, leaving several square miles of sticks in its wake.
On Sunday afternoon, I walked in some of the same areas affected by the Indian Fire. Wolverton Mountain rises above the trail, though no family named Clowers lives there. Quartz Mountain is reached by a side trail, about 1/2 mile south of Wolverton. Both peaks were singed in 2002.
I began at the Copper Basin end of the segment, starting out on the Aspen Creek Trail. The creek comes down, from the western base of Wolverton Mountain, and flows down towards Granite Creek and downtown Prescott. The creek is barely flowing, and indeed, the ground in this area is badly in need of a soaking.
I came soon enough to the upper reach of Aspen Creek Canyon.
As the sun was getting a bit lower, I came to the junction with Wolverton Mountain Trail and Quartz Mountain side trail. Walking along the Wolverton, I had several fine views of the high ridge of the Sierra Prieta Range, of which these peaks are an eastern offshoot.
A glimpse of Wolverton Mountain’s practical use was visible from the trail, though the summit itself will be the focus of a future hike.
Shortly after passing Wolverton’s eastern edge, I came to Quartz Mountain Trail. This unique promontory will be the topic of the next post.