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Monday, June 27, 2016


Clover Spring
On a mountain with no shortage of summit-busting hiking trails, it takes will power to swerve off the epic routes onto one with a subtler kind of charisma. Whether bypassed due to time constraints, bad weather or dwindling supplies, secondary routes often get ignored in favor of heavily travelled arterial trails. Clover Spring Trail #46 epitomizes the joy to be found on the little trails that compete for love with the summit routes on Bill Williams Mountain.
Trough at Clover Spring
More an option than a diversion, this shady, moderate path is toggled to challenging Bill Williams Mountain Trail #21 and can be hiked as either a short loop or an alternative leg that adds less than a mile to the standard summit route. The "C"-shaped connector moves through beautiful woodlands overlooking the city of Williams. A short section of climbing among lichen-cloaked boulders precedes the arrival at a rustic concrete trough marking Clover Spring. Don't expect to find water, though. The spring runs best only during spring snow melt season. Beyond the spring, the trail continues on to Buckskinner Park, a municipal recreation site with its own trail system and fishing lake. To find Clover Spring Trail from the trailhead, hike 0.15-mile on Trail #21 and turn left at the signed lower junction. Continue 0.85-mile to the spring located just beyond the upper junction. Back track to the turnoff, hike 0.6-mile then either turn right and follow the signs back to the trailhead or continue up to the mountaintop.
Pine-oak forests shade the trail

LENGTH: 3-mile loop or 9.4 miles with summit hike
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 6,900' - 7,200' (9,250' with summit)

From Interstate 40 in Williams, take exit 161, go south on Railroad Ave. and follow the signs to the trailhead across from the Williams District Ranger Station.
INFO: Kaibab National Forest

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