Prescott National Forest


A view in the Bagdad area on Prescott National Forest
Typical view on Prescott National Forest
View of an arroyo west of Granite Mountain
Near Granite Mountain

The city of Prescott is just about in the center of the 1.25 million-acre Prescott National Forest. In the lower elevations, the Prescott is covered with cholla, ocotillo, saguaro and paloverde. As the elevation rises you move into chaparral, and then pinon and juniper. At the highest points you'll be in cool Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs.

The Forest doesn't offer a mass amount of developed campgrounds or picnic areas but there are more than 450 miles of trails and over 100,000 acres of wilderness. Most of the developed recreation sites are among the pines, with 5 campgrounds and 2 picnic areas close to several man-made lakes. Several of the developed sites also offer universal access for those with disabilities.

Prescott National Forest started life as the Prescott Forest Reserve in 1898. The property was transferred to the newly created US Forest Service in 1906 and was renamed the Prescott National Forest in 1907. In 1908 the Verde National Forest was merged into the Prescott. In 1934 the Tusayan National Forest was merged into the Prescott.

The administrative offices of Prescott National Forest are in Prescott with local ranger offices in Prescott, Camp Verde and Chino Valley. Prescott National Forest is bordered by Kaibab National Forest to the north, Coconino National Forest to the northeast and Tonto National Forest to the east.

A view on the southern side of Mingus Mountain
On the south side of Mingus Mountain

Campgrounds

Listed below are the developed campgrounds on Prescott National Forest. This list does not go into the multitude of primitive campsites available on the Forest. To check that out you're just going to have to go there and see for yourself.

Campground Name District Elevation Open Season # of sites Fees Features
Alto Pit OHV Campground Bradshaw 6,200' All Year 11 Fee Overnight Camping and Day Use
Groom Creek Horse Camp Bradshaw 6,000' 05/01 - 10/31 36 Fee Equestrian campground (horse required), trail access, drinking water, 12 corrals, 2 group sites
Hazlett Hollow Bradshaw 6,000' 05/01 - 10/01 15 Fee Hiking, remote area, drinking water
Hilltop Bradshaw 5,800 03/30 - 10/31 38 Fee Hiking, fishing, gold panning, drinking water
Lower Wolf Creek Bradshaw 6,000' 05/01 - 10/31 20 Fee Hiking, no drinking water
Lynx Lake Bradshaw 5,600' 03/30-10/31 36 Fee Lake, boating, fishing, gold panning, hiking, drinking water, no swimming
Mingus Mountain Verde 7,600' 05/01 - 10/31 25 Fee Loop B 6 sites($6.00), Loop E 19 RV sites ($6.00), hiking, scenic views, no drinking water
Potato Patch Verde 7,000' 05/01 - 10/31 40 Fee Loop A 28 sites, Loop B 12 RV sites, hiking, close to wilderness, drinking water
Powell Springs Verde 5,300' All year 10 Fee No drinking water
White Spar Bradshaw 5,700' All year 60 Fee Drinking water, 11 sites open all year
Yavapai Bradshaw 5,600' All year 25 Fee Hiking, drinking water, near Granite Lake

Group Campgrounds

Campground Name District Elevation Open Season Group Limits Features
Granite Basin Group Campground Bradshaw 5,600' 05/01 - 10/31 100 people maximum Hiking, lake, no swimming, fishing, near drinking water
Playground Group Campground Verde 7,500' 05/01 - 10/31 100 people maximum Hiking, scenic views, no drinking water
Turney Gulch Group Campground Bradshaw 6,000' 05/01 - 09/30 50 people maximum Hiking, remote area
Upper Wolf Creek Group Campground Bradshaw 6,000' 05/01 - 10/31 100 people maximum Hiking, no drinking water

Fees at Group Campgrounds and Group Picnic Areas:

  • $25 for groups of 1-25 people
  • $50 for groups of 26-50 people
  • $75 for groups of 51-75 people
  • $100 for groups of 76-100 people
 

Trails

Listed below are some of the hiking trails on the Prescott National Forest. This is not a complete list but hopefully, it's enough to whet your appetite for what you'll find if you come here for a visit.

Bradshaw District Trails

Trail No. Trail Name Length in Miles Difficulty Use Restrictions
126 Boy Scout 3.4 Moderate Moderate No motorized vehicles allowed.
307 Groom Creek Loop 8.7 Difficult Light No motorized vehicles allowed.
315, 316, 317, 318 North Thumb Butte Trails 315: 0.8
316: 1.5
317: 1.0
318: 1.4
Easy Moderate No motorized vehicles allowed.
62 Ranch 3.2 Difficult Moderate Fee area: $2.00; No motorized vehicles allowed.
9854 Seven Mile Gulch 3.1 More Difficult Light ATV's and motorcycles allowed but no cars, jeeps or trucks.
297 Smith Ravine 3.0 Difficult Moderate No motorized vehicles allowed.
33 Thumb Butte Loop 2.0 Difficult Heavy For hikers only.
299 Watershed 3.1 Difficult Moderate ATV's and motorcycles allowed but no cars, jeeps or trucks.

Chino District Trails

Trail No. Trail Name Length in Miles Difficulty Use Restrictions
6 Hyde Mountain 2.2 Difficult Moderate Motor vehicles less than 40" wide permitted.
20 Juniper Mesa 6.2 Moderate Light Wilderness access
2 Juniper Springs 3.0 Difficult Light Wilderness access
103 Martin Canyon 4.2 Difficult Moderate Motor vehicles less than 96" wide permitted.
3 Oaks and Willows 2.2 Moderate Light Wilderness access
1 Old Military 12.7 Moderate Light Motorized equipment less than 40" wide permitted.
66 Packard 5 Difficult Moderate Wilderness access
60 Sand Flat 3.4 Easy Light Motorized equipment less than 40" wide permitted.
11 Sheridan Mountain 3.8 Moderate Heavy Motorized equipment less than 50" wide permitted.
10 Shiver's Trap 5.8 Moderate eavy Motorized equipment less than 50" wide permitted.
63 Sycamore 16.8 Moderate Moderate Wilderness access
102 Woodchute 6.9 Moderate Light Wilderness access

Verde District Trails

Trail No. Trail Name Length in Miles Difficulty Use Restrictions
114 Black Canyon 6.4 Moderate Moderate No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed
108 Coleman 2.3 Difficult Moderate No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed
110 Gaddes Canyon 2.6 Moderate Moderate Multi-use trail. Motorized equipment less than 50" wide allowed.
533 Little Yeager 2.0 Moderate Moderate No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed
159 Nelson 8.7 Moderate Moderate No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed. Pine Mountain Wilderness.
105 North Mingus 3.0 Moderate Moderate No motorized equipment allowed.
165 Pine Flat 3.4 Moderate Light No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed. Pine Mountain Wilderness.
14 Pine Mountain 1.2 Moderate Moderate No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed. Pine Mountain Wilderness.
161 Verde Rim 6.0 Moderate Light No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed.
106 View Point 3.1 Moderate Heavy No motorized equipment allowed.
12 Willow Springs 1.6 Difficult Light No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed. Pine Mountain Wilderness.
111 Yeager Cabin 1.8 Moderate Moderate Multi-use trail. Motorized vehicles less than 36" wide allowed.
28 Yeager Canyon 2.4 Difficult Moderate No motorized equipment allowed.