This seldom used, moderate trail offers vistas and interesting geology. Follow the blocked road taking the right fork at 0.3 miles. The unshaded road has gentle ups and downs for the first 1.5 miles to Turkey Creek Tank where the road bends to the left and dies out. The trail then continues crossing normally dry Turkey Creek and begins to gradually climb in the sparse shade of pinyon pine and juniper. At 2.25 miles, you’ll begin a moderately steep switchback ascent of the north face of House Mountain, a long extinct shield volcano.
Hiking Distance: Turkey Creek Trail, 6 miles round trip. Best November through April.
Viewing Tip: Fine views of nearby Cathedral Rock and more distant views of the Secret Mountain Wilderness. The trail reaches its crest at 3.0 miles and begins a gradual descent over basaltic lava where the view over the ancient caldera opens up and the opposite rim with the lava outcrop that gave the mountain its name is visible.
Driving Directions: From the Visitor Center, 331 Forest Road, turn right on 89A. At the circle, take the 3rd exit to 179 for 7.3 miles. At the circle, take the 1st exit onto Verde Valley School Road for 4.1 miles to the marked road on the left; take this unpaved road 0.5 miles and take the left fork 100 feet to the road’s end.
Parking: 5 spaces
Amenities: Quiet, spectacular views at the end, interesting geology. Pet friendly (leash required). Best November through April, very hot and unshaded in summer.