Prescott Circle Trail History & 2020 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 marquis 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, complete the Challenge Completion and Additional Information . You will receive a certificate of completion, 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

Here is the list (name and age) of those who completed the Circle Trail Challenge so far:


Michelle Regn
Michelle Whitman | 53
Susy Whann | 74
Ann Hendrickson
Ted Becker | 72
Marcia Bennett | 57
Nelson Zarate | 70
Janet Kusy | 71
Bill Otto
Michael Lewis | 35
Jim Anderson | 72
Kimberly Stoker | 46
Ross Vanstone | 39
Sean Underhill | 37
Don Bell |79
Beverly Biggs
Jim Hays | 79
Leah Gilbert | 75
Wayne Coates | 71
Brian Besser | 66
Diane Kennedy
Jon Wolfinger | 33
Mitzi Hammes
Karen Sampson | 56
Lisa Huddleston | 62
Dave Hardy | 73
Tana Brown | 61

Dianne Echazabal | 63
Sally Jernigan | 62
Mark Neuman | 48
Dustin Rodgers | 33
David Holt | 60
Ralph Wilcken | 46
Sue Holle | 65
Ken Paris | 72
James M. Smith | 77
Gary Fenker
James Darragh
Ed Kozak
Judi Ross
Marla Darragh
Bob Knowlton
Judy Knowlton
Peg Waura
Ron Sampson |56
Andrew Fiore | 42
Tom Winiecki | 68
Krissy Wilcken | 47
Rob Hehlen | 62
Kinlee Henderson | 10
Stephanie Henderson | 34
Rebecca McElrath | 52
Scot McElrath | 58
Paul Rider | 29

Catherine Shuter
Michele Bibeau
Dirk Thayer | 63
Greg Flowers | 66
Linda Goodman |62
Andrea Klein |57
Adriana Zele | 51
Holly Hovious | 43
Jeff Hemperley | 54
Neal Helfman | 54
Bruce Brandon | 60
Rachel Brandon | 21
Caroline Esmond | 66
Jim Thordahl | 79
Jay Crocker | 70
Grover Owens | 67
Joyce A Lefler | 67
Phil Reynolds | 41
Megan Reynolds | 39
Dan Rusing | 67
Jeff Hemperley | 54
Al Anderson | 42
Lydia Anderson | 12
Jerald Silby | 74
Holly Hovious | 43
Bryce Thayer | 20
Matthew Sanders | 37


Joseph Wagher | 43
Michelle Wagher | 47
Kristen Kauffman | 35
Kathryn Farley
Dan Hale | 52
Scott Sabo | 37
Susan Ortbals | 56
Andrew Ortbals | 59
Bob Hanus | 54
Bonnie Couch | 38
Toni Kaus | 68
Mary Trevor | 71
Carl Lieberum | 66
Marlene Walsh | 68
John P Walsh | 69
Diane Cassidy | 67
Sandra Scott |83
Jim Anderson | 73
Cindy Fraher
Andy Fraher
Ben Maki
Banner Maki | 8
Anden Maki | 7
Cary Lieberum | 64
Jenica Scaife | 38
Rob Andress | 47
Justin Goodson |45

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