Prescott is, hands down, one of the best places to be outside.
“Pick a direction,” said The Hike Shack co-owner Amanda Lane. “There’s something fantastic.”
From the Granite Dells to Granite Mountain, and Goldwater Lake to Lynx Lake, this area incorporates more than 500 miles of trails, according to Amanda and Raigan, who both own The Hike Shack along with Raigan’s brother Toby York—and those 500 miles are perfect for playing.
Both Raigan and Amanda grew up in the Prescott outdoors, which allowed them to cultivate a love of all things adventurous: camping, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
So when the owner of Prescott’s original Hike Shack retired in 2011, Raigan, Toby, and Amanda bought it. They re-opened in a new larger location in October 2011.
“I’m a better person when I’m outside,” Amanda said. “It’s my therapy, my happy place.”
A Passion Born in Childhood
“This is something Toby and I grew up doing.” Raigan said. “We used to go camping or backpacking every summer, at least.”
Raigan has fond memories of her family’s first overnight camping trip on Granite Mountain.
“That was one of the coolest things I’d done,” she said. “We hiked up there, spent the night, and we got to experience a beautiful view and stayed up there; it was wonderful.”
When Raigan and her husband had their own children, it was only natural that they would share their passion for the outdoors with them. Now they get out and play as often as they can, as a family. Last year, they took their daughter to the Grand Canyon, and, Raigan said, “She did amazing.”
Amanda’s outdoor experience was similar. “My family’s always been very outdoor-oriented,” she said. “We hiked, hunted, and camped all over Arizona.”
One of the first “epic” adventures she experienced was the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim In a Day when she was 12. As a teen, one of her first jobs was working at Popular Outdoor Outfitters, and when she hit her 20s and 30s, she began exploring the local rock climbing community in Prescott.
The North Rim is one of her favorite places to go, and she camps there at least once or twice each year.
Going Full-Immersion in the Outdoor Community
When the original Hike Shack was set to close, re-opening it in its current location seemed like the only option.
“This was a new opportunity to do something bigger, better, and brighter,” Amanda said. “Keeping it local with people I’ve known since I was a kid just seemed right.”
Raigan said the trio “definitely enjoys the sense of community” they feel very involved in Prescott’s small-town atmosphere.
All the employees at The Hike Shack are outdoors people. They hike, rock climb, bicycle, paddle board, or camp. They use the gear they sell, which means they’re sharing advice about products they’ve had personal experiences with.
Both Raigan and Amanda said they love swapping stories with their customers—sharing adventures makes the interactions especially fun.
“It’s nice to be able to tell people what you like,” Raigan said.
“A lot of people walk in the door and we know them by name,” she said. “They come back to us often … We get them what they need, what will help them, what will make their adventures better. We know what works and what is fun, and that’s a cool part of this business.”
The Role of Giving Back
Amanda said, “Our store being a part of the community is huge.”
The Hike Shack sponsors local athletes in races like the Whiskey Off Road, the Whiskey 50, and the Whiskey Basin Run. Employees support trail work days, feeding Forest Service workers, providing them with water, and offering raffle prizes.
They run aid stations, host Prescott Climber Coalition meetings, and pitch in on clean-up days.
“Letting all those people know we’re here to support them, and that we are members of this community, is really important,” Amanda said. “Not just for business, but for personal reasons. Giving back to the industry that is paying our way in life is pretty amazing.”
Although both women said it was difficult to choose a favorite hiking spot, Amanda said she spends a lot of time in the Granite Dells, rock climbing, and Raigan said she and her kids (a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son) also spend lots of time on the Granite Garden trails.
As new trails are created and the weather changes, different trails, lakes, and areas take the spotlight, Amanda and Raigan said.
“Every time another trail gets completed,” Amanda said, “I have a new favorite.”
The Hike Shack is located at 104 N. Montezuma Street in downtown Prescott. For more information, call 928.443.8565 or visit http://azhikeshack.com.