Regardless of getting much less than two hours from Phoenix, Prescott National Forest is the least visited National Forest in Arizona getting overshadowed by its brethren to the east: Tonto, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Coconino. The forest lies in in between the Northern Arizona’s plateaus and Southern Arizona’s deserts making a mountainous area that can deliver a cool refuge from the Phoenix heat.
Prescott National Forest is comprised of 3 Ranger Districts: Bradshaw, Chino Valley, and Verde. Half of the forest lies east of the city of Prescott whilst the other half lies west.
There are also eight designated wilderness locations producing up Prescott National Forest:
Apache Creek Wilderness Castle Creek Wilderness Cedar Bench Wilderness Granite Mountain Wilderness Juniper Mesa Wilderness Pine Mountain Wilderness Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Woodchute Wilderness.
The Bradshaw District has the greatest hiking possibilities in the forest with Granite Mountain Wilderness getting the most well-known region situated just a handful of brief miles from Prescott.
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Trailhead Traveler’s Advised Hikes in Prescott National Forest
- Constellation Loop – two.four mile loop
Not technically inside any of the Prescott National Forest districts, but just north of Prescott. This is a entertaining, loved ones-friendly hike with lots of bouldering and rock formations on the way.
- Granite Mountain Trail #261*** – eight.two miles out and back
A single in a network of trails serving Granite Mountain Wilderness, Granite Mountain Trail #261 is the initial leg of a six-mile loop beginning close to Granite Basin Lake and traveling counter-clockwise about Small Granite Mountain applying Small Granite Mountain Trail #37 and Clark Spring Trail #40. Granite Mountain Trail #261 also offers a day trip from the Granite Basin Recreation Region up to Blair Pass and into the heart of Granite Mountain Wilderness. Regardless of its proximity to the city of Prescott, this region is a sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife.
- Groom Creek Loop #384 – eight.7 mile loop
Rewarding hike by way of the area’s forested higher nation. This trail passes by way of idyllic stands of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak as it climbs to the prime of Spruce Mountain.
- Lynx Lake Loop Trail #311 – two.three mile loop
This well-known hiking trail, situated in the Lynx Lake Recreation Region, travels about Lynx Lake. The man-created, 55-acre lake attracts a diversity of wildlife. The birdwatching right here is specifically great.
- Thumb Butte Trail #33*** – two.1 loop
Due to its proximity to downtown Prescott, Thumb Butte Trail #33 is one particular of the most well-known and heavily employed hiking trails on the Prescott National Forest. The trail climbs steeply to a ridge just under the rocky crest of Thumb Butte. Right here, Groom Creek Vista provides spectacular panoramic views of the Prescott region, Bradshaw Mountains, Sierra Prieta Mountains, Granite Mountain, Mingus Mountain, and, on clear days, the San Francisco Peaks.
- Watson Lake and Flume Trail – four.five mile loop
This is yet another hike just north of Prescott but not inside any districts, this loop trail nonetheless has a lot to provide. There is a fair bit of difficulty for a lake trail as you will be scrambling more than some rocks but nothing at all also strenuous. Greatest enjoyed when the water level is higher!
***Most Advised Hikes