Originally Published: January 16, 2016 6 a.m.
Mary and I just finished hiking the PCT. Unlike that other PCT, the world famous Pacific Crest Trail, a "through hike" of the Prescott Circle Trail is something most Prescott-area hikers could realistically set as a 2016 goal.
Over the course of the past wintry month, we hiked the 54-mile loop counterclockwise in thirteen segments, ranging from two to eight miles in length. Because most segments are easily completed in a morning or afternoon, other than setting up the car shuttle, little advance preparation is required. The trail is well-signed and the latest City of Prescott Trails and Outdoor Recreation Map will show you all the trails and parking areas. For an in-depth guide, you'll want to purchase Nigel Reynolds' "Guide to the Prescott Circle Trail."
The Prescott Circle Trail traverses Prescott National Forest, State Land and City of Prescott Open Space. Two miles of the loop are still incomplete, and must be hiked along paved roads. Although some sections are more fun than others, each gives a different perspective on Prescott, and the mountains that surround us. There is great satisfaction, both in looking way across town to see where you have been, and in knowing you walked from there to wherever it is you stand now.
As we understand it, the concept of the PCT comes from the Yavapai Trails Association. Twenty years later, the Prescott Circle Trail is a reality, and what a treat for Prescott area residents. Thanks to all involved with making it so.
Toni Kaus and Mary Trevor