Prescott Circle Trail History & 2023 Challenge

This year, we encouraged our community members to “get outside” and enjoy our beautiful resources by participating in the “Circle Trail Challenge,” an individual challenge of exploring all 54 miles of our unique Circle Trail.

The Prescott Circle Trail is a 54-mile non-motorized trail that gives hikers, backpackers, horse riders, and mountain bikers a route through Prescott National Forest, City of Prescott, Yavapai County, and state lands. You will get views of Watson Lake, Willow Lake, and Goldwater Lake, cut through Granite Dells, and take in Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte.

Click to view map of the full route with segments.

Back in 1990, the Yavapai Trails Association initiated the idea of a non-motorized trail that would “circle” the city of Prescott. With many partners and volunteers, by late 2014, the 54-mile Prescott Circle Trail (PCT) was completed for the enjoyment of hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.

The topography of the trail ranges from 5140 to 6990 feet in elevation and it passes many Prescott landmarks including Watson, Willow, and Goldwater Lakes; Thumb Butte, the mountain that towers over town; and Pioneer Park on the north side of town. There are three campsites along the trail for those who are interested in camping along the way. The PCT is a beautiful trail that meanders through forest, chaparral, and grasslands.

Recently, Yavapai Trails Association has partnered with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s to offer the community the “Circle Trail Challenge”. It is our hope this challenge encourages people of all ages to get outside and spend time on our marquee trail. Get out your hiking poles, saddle your horse, put on a helmet, and hit the trail!

The trail has been divided into 11 segments to be completed in a day, weeks, months, or even years; simply keep track of the sections you complete. The trail is for you, whatever way you chose to complete it, or when. Finish all the sections of the Challenge, then complete the Challenge Completion and Additional Information form ( PDF here). You will receive a certificate of completion, and a Circle Trail Patch or a Circle Trail bumper sticker (sponsored by Russ Lyon Sotheby’s). Your name will be added to the permanent PCT Challenge list of completers.

YTA invites you to achieve the physical accomplishment of completing the entire Prescott Circle Trail any way you can! Visit for more information about the Circle Trail.

Have fun! Be safe.
Follow the trail etiquette rules. We hope to see you on the trail soon! Any questions may be directed to

Bringing your four-legged fur babies on the trail with you? Take a look at this video to understand the rules and regulations around animals on the trails.

Here is the list of those who completed the Circle Trail Challenge so far:


Michelle Regn
Michelle Whitman
Susy Whann
Ann Hendrickson
Ted Becker
Marcia Bennett
Nelson Zarate
Janet Kusy
Bill Otto
Michael Lewis
Jim Anderson
Kimberly Stoker
Ross Vanstone
Sean Underhill
Don Bell
Beverly Biggs
Jim Hays
Leah Gilbert
Wayne Coates
Brian Besser
Diane Kennedy
Jon Wolfinger
Mitzi Hammes
Karen Sampson
Lisa Huddleston
Dave Hardy
Tana Brown
Glen Harmon
Eric Mansfield
Tim Miller
Forest Fanara
Keith Cook
Marjorie Cook
Michael Butler
Steve Brown
Kristi Allet
Terry Andress
Renee Swischuk
Rachel Dockendorf
Holly Hovious
Jeff Hemperly
John Schuderer
Barbara Schuderer
Tyler Prehn
Billy the Kid McMillen
Pilar Hemry
Lisa Saeter
Pam Mitchell
Bryan Pressner
Rita Dennis
Julie Snyder
Sue Tenpas
Becky Church
Saadia Ballard
Brandelyn Andres
Oliva Marsh
Jim Hines
Karen Luce

Dianne Echazabal
Sally Jernigan
Mark Neuman
Dustin Rodgers
David Holt
Ralph Wilcken
Sue Holle
Ken Paris
James M. Smith
Gary Fenker
James Darragh
Ed Kozak
Judi Ross
Marla Darragh
Bob Knowlton
Judy Knowlton
Peg Waura
Ron Sampson
Andrew Fiore
Tom Winiecki
Krissy Wilcken
Rob Hehlen
Kinlee Henderson
Stephanie Henderson
Rebecca McElrath
Scot McElrath
Paul Rider
Lori Burgoyne
Jessica Goodman
Rachel Meyer
John Morris
Roger Stanley
Judd Simmons
Phil Caballero
Waylon Biggs
Peggy Hawman
Eric Hawman
Rebecca McElrath
Jayson Ewald
Jessica Manley Ewald
Jim Hines
Megan Elizabeth Merry
Paul Yost
Emily Hobson
Janet Grossman
Sarah Stolar
Karen Wittman
Ted Becker
Katherine Augustine
Lois Frasure
Ustadza White
Patty Brownsberger
Tim Brownsberger
Jim Simkins
John Pilman
Mary Kerschbaum
Adrienne Oliver
Heidi Popp

Catherine Shuter
Michele Bibeau
Dirk Thayer
Greg Flowers
Linda Goodman
Andrea Klein
Adriana Zele
Holly Hovious
Jeff Hemperley
Neal Helfman
Bruce Brandon
Rachel Brandon
Caroline Esmond
Jim Thordahl
Jay Crocker
Grover Owens
Joyce A Lefler
Phil Reynolds
Megan Reynolds
Dan Rusing
Jeff Hemperley
Al Anderson
Lydia Anderson
Jerald Silby
Holly Hovious
Bryce Thayer
Matthew Sanders
Jim Higgs
JC Konecny
Penny Konecny
Irene Paulina Moreno
Cody Boese
Anthony Morales
Lily Weinberg
Peter Gaido
Diana Van Trump
John Pillman
Jane Osborn
Ken Paris
Amanda Kay Olmut
Gretta Jordan
Janet Gabrielson
Lisa Cuthbertson
Debbie Cotton
Ursula Tobler
Tracy Horsley
Andrew Piziali
Phillip Gastelum
David W. Sorenson
Christi Bonar
Susan Noonan
Lori Hope
Helen Boland
Cole Skodinski
Elena Harris
Jed Goldp
Collen Sober (2016)
Gregory Sober (2016)
Joseph Wagher
Michelle Wagher
Kristen Kauffman
Kathryn Farley
Dan Hale
Scott Sabo
Susan Ortbals
Andrew Ortbals
Bob Hanus
Bonnie Couch
Toni Kaus
Mary Trevor
Carl Lieberum
Marlene Walsh
John P Walsh
Diane Cassidy
Sandra Scott
Jim Anderson
Cindy Fraher
Andy Fraher
Ben Maki
Banner Maki
Anden Maki
Cary Lieberum
Jenica Scaife
Rob Andress
Justin Goodson
Michael P. Thieme
Bill Moore
Geri Moore
Jim Thordahl
Linda Hunya
Kelly Melton
Marian Shepherd
Elvie Steeth
Tyler Prehn
Dawn Marcuse
Shawna Rumrill
Amy Kubin
Linda Lieber
Carter Gullikson
Rachel Johnson
John Pillman
Michelle Gullikson
Joseph Lee
Stephanie Hedden
John Clark
Michael Roberts
Emily Peterson
Joe Peterson
Michele Sharp


Here are the comments from some of those who completed the challenge about their experiences :

Ron Sampson, 56:

“It was a FANTASTIC experience and exceeded my expectations!”
(He completed the PCT on bicycle in 6 hours and 50 minutes.)

Michelle Regn:

“I started out with camping gear in my backpack, but completed the first day so quickly, that I took a Lyft back to my house in less than 15 minutes. The next two days, I started hiking where I left off & finished the entire trail in 3 days; a little weary, but very happy. Gorgeous scenery & so accessible.”

Ann Hendrickson:

“As a fairly new resident of the area, the Prescott Circle Trail was (and is) a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area.  I LOVE the easy access points to get on and off the Circle Trail. What a great asset to the Community!”

Nelson Zarate, 70:

“We were two hikers starting at the Sundog Ranch trialhead at 3AM that day. The temperature was about 28F but slowly it got warmer to around 75 in the afternoon. We tried to keep a steady pace to about 3 miles per hour finishing at about 9PM!”

Beverly Biggs:

“I am proud of Prescott for offering the hiking trails, maintaining them, and adding new trails. Many THANKS.”

Leah Gilbert, 75:

“Great feeling of accomplishment. Have completed some segments more than once. Thank you to so many for their vision in making Prescott a unique place to enjoy nature and the great outdoors!”

Contact Us

Yavapai Trails Association
P.O. Box 403
Prescott, AZ 86302