We wanted to hike in the Prescott area and looked at nice loop that @The_Eagle did on the Prescott Circle Trail area. Stated from Aspen Creek Trail #48 and headed south on this awesome smooth grade trail that weaves in and out of the pines. Part way down we ran into a guy looking for his dog he lost on the trail. We found the dog about 20 minutes later running the trail but at least going the right way. We headed back towards the TH but were able to hand off the pup to some other hikers heading back to the TH.
We continued on to East Copper Trail #260 junction and then up this section which is an old road. Just before reaching the Mount Francis road we stopped at East Copper Spring which had spring box full of clear water….definitely good source for filtering if needed. Then we made quick hike up Mount Francis and before heading down about 3 miles of road walking to the West Spruce Trail #264.
Next up Williams Peak which would be our lunch and beverage break. Nice views on top but there was some noticeable fire damage on the summit. After lunch we decided to off trail back down to the road and another ½ mile of dirt road walking to more trail.
Back on trail the Thumb Butte Bypass trail #236 heading towards Thumb Butte. From this point on we had many trail junctions but it makes for nice loop options on some really well maintained trails. Eventually we made it over to Thumb Butte which was closed to protect the Falcon nesting area. Took another break before back tracking to the Butte Connector trail #323.
Eventually we jumped on the Potts Creek Trail #327 and the Cold Springs Trail #393 heading towards Aspen TH. This entire section was another fantastic trail with smooth grades and great stands of Ponderosa forest. It made the hike back to the TH very enjoyable walk and definitely made me think of returning to explore the numerous trails in the Prescott Circle Trail system. Great hike and will be back!!