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Prescott Circle, Segment 6
Prescott
September 21, 2019
by David French
Dave’s    GPS Map 
Dave’s   Elevation 
Bill’s   GPS Map 
group
Here we are on the trail. [photo by Dave]
Dave, Mark P, Laurie, Heather, Scott, Bill, Dan, Ramona, Vicki, Neil, Billie, Michelle, Jahonda, Mark J.

The Prescott Circle Trail circumvents the Prescott area and provides 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. About 2/3 of the trail is in the Prescott National Forest. I have set out to hike all of that part of the trail, and this hike essentially accomplishes that goal. This segment is in the SE quadrant, and the Turley Trailhead is just southwest of the junction of US 89 and SR 69.

Ten hikers met at Bell &amo; I-17, loaded into 3 cars, and left right at 7 AM. We stopped at the Maverick Station in Prescott Valley where 3 more hikers joined us. Another hiker met us at the trailhead.

The trailhead is a little tricky to find. We made a couple of wrong turns before we finally got there. I have updated the hike description to aid future hikers in finding it.

Bill
Bill is a Wisconsin Badgers fan.

We started out on a bright sunny day, with pleasantly cool temperatures. Started hiking on the Turley Trail, then branched off on a trail that connects to the Prescott Circle Trail. It is well signed, just make sure you read the signs.

hikers
Looks like a motley crew to me. [photo by Dave]
sign
Part of the Prescott Trail System. [photo by Dave]

We hiked up on a very new trail that was well designed to be maintained and last, with gentle grades, and lots of switchbacks. Shade was great in many places, particularly towards the top, spotty in other places and some stretches where there was little shade.

We intersected Ranch Trail 62, which comes up from Walker Road to the east and continued to our right. We passed the junction with the Boy Scout Trail and made a note for the return trip. Then we continued on for about a mile to another junction, which was our planned turnaround point. Here we stopped for lunch or snacks and then headed back.

tree
You can recognize Alligator Juniper by its bark. [photo by Dave]
break
Good place for a break. [photo by Dave]
hikers
You don’t say ... [photo by Dave]
hikers
See, it’s like this ... [photo by Dave]
granite
View to the north, Granite Mountain. [photo by Dave]
butte
Thumb Butte. [photo by Dave]

When we reached the Boy Scout trail junction again, we had to make a decision. The trail we hiked up on was new. I understand is to basically replace the older trail. The portion of the older trail near the junction did not look like it had been used much recently, so I had asked one of the bikers we met if he had every used it. He had not. I assumed the trail could have some steep down grades and loose scree. So I opted to go back the way we came and two others joined me. Bill led the other 11 hikers down the old Boy Scout trail.

hikers
The trail has its ups and downs. [photo by Bill]
hikers
There is some shade on this route. [photo by Bill]
group
Here we are on the trail. [photo by Bill]
hikers
A’down we go. [photo by Bill]

The two trails are roughly parallel. We would have arrived at the trailhead essentially at the same time, except I failed to read the last trail sign and we took a short detour.

Everyone finished in good shape, maybe a bit tired. Five of us went to Augie’s for drinks and eats afterwards.

My stats are 10.5 miles, 5:30 hours, 1250 ft elevation gain, elevation range 5663'-6491'.

Bill got 9.85 miles and +-1380' elevation gain.

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updated September 23, 2019