Area HikesLearn more about local hikes; brought to you by The Hike Shack
A few miles out Iron Springs Road lies Alto Pit, a special place just for those looking for a motorized playground. ATV and dirt bike riders of all levels of expertise can find something to explore in the 400-acre area, which features twenty miles of trails in varying degrees of difficulty, as well as three open areas (including one just for kids).
The Red Rocks of Sedona offer such an amazing contrast of color. From the blue sky to the red in the rock and the vibrant colors of the Manzanita, abundant variety of cactus, and Junipers; it’s like stepping into a new world when you venture out that way. It is hard not to stop and lose yourself in a gaze at the horizon at every turn.
Mount Union is the highest peak in the Prescott National Forest reaching nearly 8,000 feet, and the Dandrea Trail runs North and South over it—with a quick detour on the Yankee Doodle Trail allowing hikers to summit the peak.
Mt. Francis, a peak in the Bradshaw Mountains just southwest of Prescott, has a pile of radio and cell towers on its peak, and pinion pines, manzanita, gamble and scrub oaks, groves of old-growth junipers, and a grove of quaking aspens on one slope. It also has several trails—with great foliage and even better views—on the southern slopes, including the Moby (Trail 737).
Often referred to as the Spruce Loop, Trail #307 is actually named the Groom Creek Loop and is probably one of Prescott’s best and most famous trails. It’s one of my personal favorites, and every time I hike it, I fall in love with it even more. The Groom Creek Loop is great adventure for the slightly more advanced hiker, but well worth the extra effort.
The Highlands Center for Natural History has always been a source of outdoor education for everyone. It was created to help visitors become wise caretakers of the land, and to that end, it offers many educational opportunities—including two beautiful and unique trails accessible from The Center’s Kiwanis Amphitheater.
If you’re thinking of spending a night or more out in the wild, I have some suggestions for you. I highly recommend, especially if you are planning to take your kids, that you start in your own backyard. Once you have your tent, your sleeping bag, and pad, set them up and spend the night close to home. This simple “trial” can be a fun adventure and can teach you a lot in one quick night. When I look at backpacking from a beginner’s standpoint, it can be an overwhelming experience.
While I spent a lot of my childhood camping with my family in the Camp Wood area, I have never explored the Apache Creek Wilderness area. So, with the increased trail traffic around town these days, I decided this would be a perfect opportunity.
The Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Hike has been on my to-do list for some time now. I finally checked it off recently, and highly recommend taking a day to make the trip down the hill to enjoy this amazing journey.
Sedona is loaded with trails, and in the winter months, it can be a slightly warmer destination than Prescott’s peaks. One of my favorite hiking areas in the Red Rocks is the Upper Dry Creek Trail system, which comprises lots of trails for all levels of skill and adventure. The Devil’s Bridge is one of my favorites, but there are lots to choose from.
Prescott has always had unpredictable winter weather, especially when it comes to snow. No matter how much we get, it’s always fun to indulge while it lasts. Last year’s snow season presented some great opportunities to go outside and play in the white stuff. In fact, I had the pleasure of using my snowshoes in my own back yard. What a gift.
In honor of National Trails Day, June 1, crews began work on the new Williams Peak Trail #738By Amanda Lane, owner, The Hike ShackEarly this spring, in honor of National Trails Day, volunteers from all over came to Prescott to lend a hand and play in the dirt—and to...