Best Prescott Hiking Locations in Arizona
Nothing beats the fun and excitement of indulging in an outdoor getaway and escaping from all the hustle and bustle of the big city life. Prescott hiking trails never seem to disappoint. Whether you’re looking for something tame or more strenuous, we have you covered. And if outdoor fun is what your life, Prescott, Arizona is definitely the best way to be.
There are several Prescott hiking trails that are only a short 20-minute drive from the downtown. While many may charge a small fee, you can be sure that the outdoor fun that the great scenery will let you harmonize with nature can give you more than your money’s worth.
Thumb Butte Trail 33
This trail is limited to hiking alone, Thumb Butte Trail 33 is the most famous Prescott hiking trail in Arizona located at just 3 miles from the downtown area. This is a 1.75-mile loop that is paved with a rating of moderate difficulty. Its trail loop starts with a moderately steep, leveling little by little as this passes through the forested canyon. At the top, you can have a spectacular view of Prescott, Mingus Mountain, and Bradshaw Mountains. When the day is clear, you can also get a glimpse of the San Francisco Peaks just north of Flagstaff, Arizona. This is a great day hike that can be executed in less than an hour for those who are short on time or for those who want to enjoy all its beauty can be explored and enjoyed all day.
Prescott Peavine Trail
It is another easy trail which allows hiking, horseback riding, and biking. The Peavine Trail is winding the historical route of Santa Fe Railroad which covers lush and stunning scenery. This hike is round-trip of 9.2 miles through Granite Dells, just above Watson Lake and onto the open rangelands where there are wild antelope herds usually seen. You can make the hiking distance shorter if you leave your vehicle at Highway 89A that can cut the hike to around 4.6 miles. Here, you can find great views of Granite Dells and Watson Lake.
The Salida Gulch is found at Lynx Creek close to Lynx Lake. With an easy hike and great views, you will never be disappointed here. Search for the rock on the trail’s left side where you will be able to see some petroglyphs that the prehistoric Native American Indians have carved to the rocks. This is a wonderful Prescott hiking option for anyone who wants to have a peaceful walk near a lake that is mostly flat terrain and easy on the joints.
Little Granite Mountain Trail 37
The Little Granite Mountain Trail 37 is another moderate hike which will only take you around 1. 5 hours. Hiking, non-motorized bicycling, and horseback riding are allowed on the trail that gives you stunning panoramic views of the western tip of Sierra Prietas and Skull Valley, Sugarloaf Mountain. For a loop hike, you can leave your car at Granite Basin Lake then take the trail 37 from the Iron Springs trailhead to the turnoff at Clark Spring Trail, leading to Granite Basin Lake.
Groom Creek Loop Trail
Take the Groom Creek Loop Trail as it winds through forestland to the Spruce Mountain summit, where a lookout tower surveys the wooded terrain below. This trail boasts steep climbs, pine-scented breezes, and massive ponderosa pine trees hovering over you. As trails go, you don’t get much better than the Spruce Mountain trail in the Prescott National Forest. To reach the trailhead, turn south off of Gurley Street onto Mount Vernon Avenue, which soon transitions into Senator Highway. Continue on for 6.4 miles, passing through the community of Groom Creek. The trailhead is located on the left-hand side of the road and is well-marked.
Wolf Creek Falls
If you love swimming holes like Bull Pen, Slide Rock, and Havasu Falls you will want to discover this local kind-of-secret escape that is simply gorgeous. This hiking trail is a little more private and hidden within the mountains of Prescott. The hiking location is covered with tall pines and offers breathtaking mountain views. This area of Prescott was a historical old mining site. In fact, you should pack-in a small gold panning kit to try and find a few flakes of gold once you reach the creek bed. The hike is a moderate, downhill route from the trailhead to the creek. There is loose gravel that is easy to slip on, and water can make surrounding boulders slippery. The trail levels out on flat ground once it reaches the creek and branches out in different directions. Head right and hike along the creek, where you will find obvious footpaths leading down to the falls. Even though it’s only a short half-mile hike to see the biggest waterfall, you can continue along the creek to find swimming holes and small cascades carving their way through the boulders on their way to the Hassayampa River.