By Jadyn Miller
With summer break coming quickly, many people are trying to find fun ways to get out of the house. Prescott, along with the area around it, is beautiful, making it a great place to hike. While hiking you get to enjoy the amazing, varying scenery of the area, along with the unique flora and fauna.
Allowing you to see all of Prescott is the Prescott Circle Trail, which, as its name suggests, circles around Prescott. This 53-mile long trail is separated into 11 different segments, giving views of places such as Watson Lake, Willow Lake, Goldwater Lake, the Granite Dells, Thumb Butte, and several of the other natural beauties of the area.
The first segment of the Prescott circle trail goes through the Prescott National Forest, giving beautiful views of the granite basin. This lovely trail is of moderate difficulty, as is the rest of the trail, with a length of 4.7 miles, and with 849 feet of elevation change.
The second segment of the trail also goes through the Prescott National Forest, with a much lower elevation change of 374 feet. At 4 miles long, this trail is a great option if you want a nice view of the pine forests that grow all over near Prescott.
The third segment of the trail goes from Thumb Butte Road to the Aspen Creek Trailhead. This trail is 5.7 miles long, with 925 feet of elevation change. This moderate trail gives an excellent view of thumb butte, making for a fun afternoon hike.
The fourth segment goes from the Aspen Creek Trailhead to White Spar Road, spanning 5.8 miles in length. This section of the Prescott Circle Trail also has camping grounds, making it an excellent option for those who wish to stay more than one night. With only 426 feet of elevation change, this trail is a great one to hike.
The fifth segment is the first of the parts of this trail that have a good view of one of the many lakes in the area. Giving a lovely view of Goldwater Lake, this 4.6-mile long trail is a great option for your weekend adventure. It is a moderately easy trail with a mere 377 feet of elevation change, making it easier than a lot of the trail.
The sixth segment of the Prescott circle trail is easily the hardest section of the whole trail. With a length of 9.1 miles and 770 feet of elevation change, this part of the trail is not an easy one. Crossing through rocky terrain this difficult trek is definitely worth it, allowing those who travel it to see amazing scenery, along with the natural wildlife.
The seventh section of this trail is much easier than the last, being only 5 miles long. going from the Turley Trailhead to Highway 69, this trail gives beautiful views of badger mountain before ending near Walmart, with an elevation change of 492 feet, this steep trail is a great way to spend your afternoon.
The eighth segment of the trail is 3.9 miles long and gives a lovely view of the cottonwood trees that grow naturally in the area. With 387 feet of elevation change, this part of the trail goes along near Dogtown Ranch Road, ending at the head of the Peavine Trail.
The ninth segment of the Prescott Circle Trail is the easiest, at only 3.5 miles, with only a 111-foot elevation change. Giving beautiful views of Watson Lake, this trail is a great option for a light hike for an afternoon.
The tenth, penultimate segment of this trail gives a lovely view of Willow Lake to all who wish to hike it. With a length of 4.5 miles and 246 feet of elevation change, this trail is a beauty worth walking.
The eleventh and last segment of this trail connects from near Pioneer Parkway, back to the start near Williamson Valley Road. At 4.3 miles, this final leg of the hike is said to not be as good as the others, because you can hear the cars. Despite this fact, this last section of the Prescott circle trail, with 547 feet of elevation change, is still a great hike, and a great end to this lovely trail.
Make sure to always bring water with you, and be safe. Have fun this summer hiking, and getting out into nature along any part of this lovely trail.