Prescott Circle Trail Guide
Written By: Brandon Lampley
The Prescott Circle Trail is a 60-mile loop around the city of Prescott, Arizona. Snuggled in a shallow valley at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains, Prescott was the first territorial capital of Arizona and home to the Yavapai and Apache for millennia. The ‘other PCT’ is open to all non-motorized use and is popular with hikers, runners, and mountain bikers alike. The trail skirts popular lakes and mountains that define the greater valley, with amazing views from a well-maintained and gently-graded hike and bike trail.
Distance: 56 miles
Elevation gain/loss: 6,650 feet
Best season: April–October
Permits: Required for campgrounds and some parking, none for hiking
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
WHAT TO KNOW
The author recently completed the Circle in a counterclockwise hike over three days, camping twice along the way in Forest Service campgrounds. While it's a great mini thru-hike for fit backpackers, the Circle is also popular with day hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers. You might even meet some locals out on horseback along the way. In this article, we’ll detail a three-day backpacking trip, suggestions for base camping and day hiking the whole loop over five days, as well as a few favorite loops that use the Circle. Read on here.
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