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Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Grasslands and mountain views on Longview Trail

The Prescott Circle Trail (PCT) is a non-motorized trail system that works like a 54-mile wagon wheel around the city with spokes radiating to myriad recreational goodies in "everybody's hometown". The route is a master work in trail design with multiple access points  and connectivity to city and county parks,  lakeside recreation areas, campgrounds and wooded paths within Prescott National Forest. This super network layout makes it simple to explore the 54-mile circuit at either a leisurely day hike pace or a more ambitious, multi-day backpack trip.  Downloadable maps and an excellent app for smart phones and tablets are available on the city's website.
Segment #10 of the route links Williamson Valley Road with Pioneer Park via the Longview Trail. This short trek winds through sprawling grasslands and juniper scrub with the hulking mound of Granite Mountain dominating its western flank. From the trail's high spots, hazy glimpses of Sedona's red rock canyons and the peaks of Flagstaff punctuate a landscape of golden prairies. At the 1.78-mile point, the trail enters Pioneer Park. From here, you can continue on PCT or make a customized hike using the park's 9-miles of loop trails. Although Prescott Circle Trail was officially completed in summer 2015, it will continue to evolve with added trailheads, scenic spur loops and ongoing improvements to optimize the outdoor experience for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. Whether sampled as an effortless stroll from a kid-friendly park or tackled from its feral fringes, the trail serves up a balanced blend of trekking opportunities. 
Longview Trail: 1.78 miles one-way
Pioneer Park Trails: 9 miles cumulative
RATING: easy-moderate
Longview Trail: 5,419' - 5,547'
Pioneer Park Trails: 5,220' - 5,580'
There are many ways to get to this trailhead. Here's a convenient route when coming from Phoenix.
From State Route 69 in Prescott, go 2 miles north on Prescott Lakes Parkway (across from the Prescott Gateway Mall near milepost 294 ) to State Route 89. Turn right, continue 3.5 miles to Pioneer Parkway, go left and drive 5 miles to Williamson Valley Road. Turn right and make an immediate turn into the lot at the Welcome to Williamson Valley sign.
Maps & Apps, City of Prescott:
Yavapai County Parks:


Allen Pogue said...

I'm new to AZ. Do these trails get snowed under in the winter?

Mare said...

Prescott does get some snow but, not enough to "snow in" this trail. Except for for the mountain peaks above 7000' where snow might be an issue in winter, you can hike year-round in Prescott.