We just bought a brand new, 2020 Jeep Gladiator JT Rubicon and wanted to test it out and see how capable it is off road. So we took it to Smiley Rock Trail in northern Arizona.
The trail begins in Jerome, Arizona which was once known as “The Wickedest Town in America”. Originally established as a copper mining town that was booming in the 1900's through 1920's, it was a rowdy Wild West town full of gambling, gunfights, alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes. It is a now a revived ghost town with strong influences from its past days as a Wild West town merging together with more modern eclectic and artsy vibe.
As you hop onto the start of Smiley Rock Trail, you’ll pass popular tourist attraction sites such as historic Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. Continue on the relatively flat but scenic route for about 16 miles until you reach Martin Canyon. This canyon is why the trail is rated as “Difficult” - boulder fields litter the narrow canyon making tire placement and high clearance vital to avoiding underbody damage.
Overall, the stock Gladiator Rubicon did great off roading and drove away with only a few scrapes underneath.