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The Best Hikes in Prescott

5,163 Triplog Reviews in the Prescott
Most recent of 1,269 deeper Triplog Reviews
12.84 mi • 2,226 ft aeg
 I got an invite from Linda to do this old favorite, all on trail, hike.

A perfect 50's to start with a minimal 20% chance of T-Storms. After changing around her nail and hair appointments, and with that lower percentage of electricity in the sky forecasted, Kelly was a go also.

Isabella gets your heart pumping right from the start. Nothing too crazy, but a steady 1+ mile climb to the loop. The squirrels were frolicking among the nubile growth on the mighty oaks.

Off to the now unmanned tower on the top of Spruce Mountain. Gone are the days of visiting with Suzie and Space up there. We took in the 180 views to the north and retreated to the picnic tables for a snack.

Descendeding to the rock climbing area passing our first hikers of the day. We played around the rock area before starting our way back up the mountain on our loop.

We made a stop at Cole's Cabin, which I'd passed by countless times before, not knowing it was there.

The skies started crackling. Linda checked the radar and assured Kelly that the current buildup was SE of us and moving away. With each successive crackle, Kelly increased the gap between us.

Descending Issy and reaching Linda's truck the sprinkles began. Temps in the 60's now, it ended up a perfect day.

Good times hiking with the ladies!
11.79 mi • 2,259 ft aeg
 got an invite from bruce and linda to hike the groom creek loop
after rearranging my schedule, i was in
haven't done this one in nine years
we started from isabella around 0825 - a new approach for me
nice uphill right from the start, then joining the groom creek loop
pleasant temps, great trail conditions
we checked out the spruce mountain lookout area for a few minutes
continued down the loop counterclockwise
wandered around the bouldering area and then made a quick stop at the trailhead
moderate grade back uphill, with another stop to view cole's cabin, which i had not seen before
clouds were building and we got a few rumbles of thunder
hit the ridgeline and finished up on isabella just as it started raining
looked like a pretty good storm hit that area later
enjoyed hiking the loop again - i've done it several times but only once on haz
i also enjoyed eating all the snacks i brought on the drive back to the valley :lol:
good to hike with linda and bruce again and a beautiful day for it
11.91 mi • 2,322 ft aeg
 Kelly, Bruce, and I got to the Isabella trailhead shortly before 0830. Bruce spent a few minutes getting his pack perfectly balanced, and then we headed up Isabella Trail. Excellent condition, with a moderate incline. Plenty of trees for shade. Very pleasant.

At the loop, Bruce suggested we go counter-clockwise to get the high point out of the way first, which was a good call given the chance of storms. Lots of forest clearing has taken place, and again, the trail is in good shape. Nice views as we made our way up the ridge. Great views from the Spruce Mtn Lookout. Had a quick snack at the picnic tables, then Kelly led the way downhill. Saw our first hikers of the day as we headed down the trail.

Near the bottom, we looked around the bouldering area, which was fun. After that, quick stop at the Groom Creek trailhead before we started back uphill. Trail is in excellent shape, easy incline, lots of shade, and some water. Saw two bikes, but no hikers. Looked at Cole’s Cabin, which was a recommendation from @losdosslofolks Cute cabin, especially if you’re a midget. Continued uphill as the clouds thickened and there were a few rumbles of thunder, a few were fairly close. Each time it thundered, Kelly sped up the pace.

Once back to Isabella Trail, it was a breeze downhill. Finished up just a moment before it started raining. Saw lots of squirrels in the first half of the hike, one deer leg, one horned lizard. Perfect day, and perfect timing on this one. Good to see both Bruce and Kelly again!

*Getting into the parking area for Isabella has a steep & deep rut. I did not approach with enough momentum, and used 4wd to get through that 15’ section. Otherwise, no issues on the road.
14.89 mi • 3,043 ft aeg
 Headed up to Prescott with a friend, and we decided on checking out Mt Union as we were approaching town. I went up 4-5 years ago, but he had never been. Started out at the Groom Creek Loop TH, which provided both easy vehicle access and a nice long, but not too long, approach. We stopped by Cole's Cabin on the way, then up to the top of the main ridge to the Isabella Trail junction. Isabella Trail is easy to run down - smooth, not too steep. And it's nice and shady, which is a plus.

Past Potato Patch, up Dandrea Trail, forgot how rocky that stretch is. A few minor deadfall obstacles. Actually saw two groups of hikers between Potato Patch and Mt Union. Lookout was unmanned, there's a sign that says "Closed to Public", don't recall if that was there when I went up the tower.

The way back was nice enough. The climb back up Isabella isn't too bad. We were beat by the end, and the last mile it started sprinkling. Good day, highly recommend this route (might be shorter with the Spruce Mtn crosscut, not sure). Still lots of water out there.
9.77 mi • 1,674 ft aeg
 I just did this trail two weeks ago, but Phoenix is in triple digits and I like this trail a lot. Plus one of our crew wasn't able to go with us two weeks ago and had never done this trail. So what the heck we're doing it again. It was a sunny day but when we got to the trailhead there were a few little clouds overhead. Temperature at the trailhead was a pleasant 70 degrees, and the scattered clouds provided some shade from the sun making for perfect hiking weather.

We took the loop counterclockwise (again). Didn't see any deer this time. There were a few pretty yellow birds, but they didn't stay still long enough for me to get any pictures. We visited Cole's cabin and continued on up towards Spruce Ridge. On the way up there was a fairly loud thunder crack. We discussed whether we should turn around, but there was still blue sky between clouds and it we only heard thunder one time. So onward and upward we go. As we get close to the ridge we feel occasional drops every minute or so. None of us have rain gear, but we're feeling warm as we're hiking up the hill.

We pick up the pace as the raindrops start coming more frequently. The ground was getting spotted with raindrops, but luckily it wasn't any more than that and we didn't get too wet. Some of the drops hitting the ground were little frozen hail or sleet, but they melted as soon as they hit the dirt. At this point we're about half way through the 9 mile loop and it's just as far back to the car either way, so we continue on. Then a very cold wind started blowing hard and with the rain dripping on us it was freezing cold. The last mile or so along the ridge to the lookout was very cold and windy, and we picked up the pace. But surprisingly when we reached the picnic tables near the lookout there was no wind and it was much more pleasant. We went to the base of the lookout tower and checked out the view. Found a Yavapai County geodetic marker behind the tower and took a picture.

The rest of the hike back down from Spruce Mountain to the trailhead was very pleasant with no wind or rain. It was warm and sunny back at the trailhead. Although we didn't see any deer along the trail this time which was a little disappointing. Of course as soon as we started driving back from the trailhead we saw a bunch of them just off the side of the road.
11.67 mi • 2,732 ft aeg
Mingus Mountain
 This was a CCW lollipop loop going up the north side of Mingus Mountain to the summit. I had not done this hike in 3 years, so I was overdue.

We parked along 89A in what google calls the "Mescal Trail #547 Parking Area". We started on the Mescal Trail for a short distance, then went on the Bug Hollow Trail for a bit, then followed a road, and finally got on North Mingus Trail #105 to the summit. On the descent, we took View Point Trail #106 and Mingus Trail #105A back to Trail #105, thus completing the loop. Then we went back to the TH the way that we came up.

This was a pretty nice hike actually -- nice vegetation, good views, and some flowers to look at along the way. The ascent was mostly shaded on our early morning ascent. We were in full sun most of the way down on the View Point Trail, but then clouds started to form, and we were in shade the last 4 miles or so. In fact, we heard some thunder and I thought that we might get rained on. Thankfully we stayed dry though.

The trails were in decent shape, although some vegetation is starting to encroach over the trails -- it is not too bad at this point though.

I enjoy this hike and should do it more often than every 3 years. I noticed lots of big tooth maples on the North Mingus Trail, so if you time it right this could be a good hike to do in the fall.
7 mi • 0 ft aeg
 I'm 0-2 trying to get more than 10 miles down Camp Wood Road before my little car is halted by a semi-flooded portion of the road, so without my book of the national forest quad maps (not typically a great thing to forget!) or the knowledge that this website mentions only that the trail "looks untrustworthy," I blindly followed a forest road that disappeared out the back of a clearing I noticed just before I was again forced to turn around. This road was FR 9821B, and I made it perhaps 0.2 miles before I was forced to pull over amid some pretty good ruts. I decided to hike up it, as I didn't have a real backup plan for getting stopped on Camp Wood Road, and ended up running right into 9044.

The beginning of the trail was very well marked with what appeared to be a relatively new sign and was fairly easy to follow. The middle half essentially followed Pine Creek, which had a surprising amount of water flowing throughout. I'm sure I wasn't exactly on the trail the whole time, as the dry part of the creekbed somewhat obscured the exact path, but I ran right into the left turn it takes out of the creekbed and up a hill, where it intersects FR 9807B. This turn was marked with several obvious cairns across the creek, so approaching it from anywhere along the wash shouldn't be an issue.

It was a pleasant hike throughout, with intermittent shade and not too much change in elevation save the last part. Quail were all over the place, and signs of deer were next to every pool. When I reached 9807B, my GPS told me it connected to Camp Wood Road, so I followed that back to my car. It was definitely the shorter route! The road dumped just about all of the elevation gained during the last quarter of 9044, and provided some pretty nice views to the east and west. It was about 2 miles back to my car along Camp Wood Road, which was flat and uninspiring, mostly as a function of having driven it a few times already.

I'm here to tell you that you can trust the trail! It could be harder to do if the water is flowing more heavily, but it was a nice, easy experience, particularly for having little to no idea what to expect next at any point along the hike.

Starting to bloom all along the trail next to the creek. Can't identify any, but there were some small purple ones and lots of bigger, short white ones.
50.85 mi • 3,807 ft aeg
 I planned to hike all of the BCT beginning of April but bailed after a long first day reaching the Gloriana trailhead just off I-17 and the Bumblebee exit (triplog). Earlier this week with the upcoming cooler temperatures, my wife offered to drop me off where I left off to finish the trail.

We left home about 4:00 and headed up to Black Canyon City for the Friday Fish Fry at Chileens. We stopped at the Emery Henderson trailhead on the way where I cached a gallon of water. Fish and chips and beer really hit the spot.

After saying goodbye to my bride, I was on the trail about 5:25, earlier than I expected. The temperature was about perfect for walking; it was great to be on trail. I saw not a rattlesnake early on. Arrastre Creek wasn't flowing, but there were still large pools of water. Originally, I was hoping to reach and camp at Black Canyon Creek. It was still light when I got there so decided to continue on. The creek had good flow, so I took my shoes off and waded across. It finally started getting dark as I neared Soap Creek, so I pulled my headlamp out. Once at Soap Creek, set up camp a short distance up from the trail on the creek bed. There was a large moon and sleeping in the canyon sheltered me from it most of the night.

I set my alarm for 4:30 but didn't hear it and woke up at 5:00. I was on the trail at 5:30. I reached the first Agua Fria crossing and didn't see a spot to rock hop across, so I took my shoes off and waded. The water was ankle deep, so quite a lot less than the last time I tried to cross here. I continued on to the second crossing. Again, I took my shoes off and waded across. The river channel moved from the far bank some after the high flow this year, so that was interesting to see. I filled up my water before continuing.

When I reached the Little Pan Loop, I took the west side as I like it better than the east side. Probably because there's no road walking on the west. Not too far in I crossed a wash with a Mesquite tree providing shade, so I stopped and had lunch which consisted of a Complete Cookie, a Snickers bar, and a bottle of Gatorade; a nice quick 750 calories or so.

I reached the third Agua Fria crossing where I again took my shoes off and waded across. I kept them off as I drank a liter of water and filled my water to capacity. There were a few bottles of water cached at the Table Mesa trailhead. I thought about grabbing some, but I wasn't very far from where I filled up. It was also early enough in the day that I knew I would make it to Emery Henderson where I had water.

As usual for a Saturday, there was a lot of shooting going on in the Table Mesa area. I was happy when the popping faded away as I left the area.

I made it to Emery Henderson plenty of time before dark. I grabbed my water and went to a Ramada where I called my wife and ate dinner. I was close enough to home and had gone far enough, that I decided to spend the night. I knew the moon would be bright and being under the Ramada would help with sleeping.

I took my watch off to be able to hear the alarm, so I woke up at 4:30. It took me a bit longer to get out of camp dealing with water, etc., so I wasn't on trail until 5:15. Interestingly enough, I had to wait for traffic to cross New River Rd. There's nothing spectacular about BCT south of Emery Henderson except for the sunrises and wild burros. I was blessed with both.

From the end of the BCT (Carefree Hwy), I continued south on 51st Ave until Dove Valley Rd. Where I was not allowed to continue through the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co chip plant construction. After talking to the guards, I headed east on Dove Valley to 43rd Ave where I turned south. I crossed under the 303 through the construction of new on/off ramps, where I reached a chain-link fence blocking access to the south. Climbing over seemed risky as I figured I'd slip and rip my leg open and bleed out. I continued west along the fence where two gates were open for the construction. With that, I was easily able to cross the barb-wire fence, then head cross country to 51st Ave, cross the CAP canal, go through Deem Hills and made it home 10 of 11:00.

I packed pretty light for this. I had a polycro groundsheet and no shelter. I had my Thermarest XLite and down quilt. I wore a pair of running shorts and a long-sleeved button up shirt. Besides that, I had an extra pair of socks, a wind jacket and a fleece hoody. No stove, I cold soaked Saturday's dinner. I'm guessing my pack weighed about 17 lbs. at the start with all my food and a gallon of water. It should have weighed 17.5, but I forgot my Fritos.

This was a pleasant surprise. There were still lots of flowers blooming, even some poppies and some Blue Richards (why can't we write their real name?). The Lupine were all dry but fun to see.
13.45 mi • 2,205 ft aeg
Little Yaeger to Ash Creek
 Wasn't sure how much I felt like doing, so I decided to head to Yaeger and see how I felt when I got to the top. Little Yaeger wasn't too bad going up, steady climb but with a few runnable sections. Up at the FR I decided to head east a ways to Ash Canyon Trail to check that out. I saw about 1/4 mile of it when attempting Man Against Horse, but didn't know the trail actually went down to Ash Creek. Originally figured I'd just go a mile and a half or so down, but it was too pretty to turn around, and I ended up getting all the way to the main fork of Ash Creek.

Water along the trail in the NW fork was intermittent, but tasted good (much better than Ventana Canyon water, anyways). While it started pretty faint, I was surprised to see how easy it was to follow the trail most of the way down. Once down to Ash Creek, I headed downstream a little ways, and then started making my way back up.

Temperatures never got too hot, I think some light clouds minimized the heating.

On the way back, I decided to head down to Burnt Canyon and follow it back up to the road. This turned out to be a good choice. Back to the Yaeger Canyon loop, I decided against completely the loop and headed back the way I came, as I didn't want to be out super late.
6.5 mi • 1,000 ft aeg
 On April 27-30 2023 a volunteer group from Friends Hiking Club did our second annual Potato Patch Campground cleanup for the Prescott National Forest prior to it's opening on May 1st. In return we had the entire campground to ourselves! Nice to give back to our forests.Thanks to all who participated.

On Saturday we hiked a 6.5 mile lollipop loop starting on the Upper Mescal 550 east to the Bug Hollow 548, south to FR 338, then returning north on Mescal Gulch 547. The trails were clear and lush, a very nice loop!

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