As its name implies, the Prescott Circle Trail (PCT) is a trail that circumnavigates the City of Prescott in central Arizona. The trail is actually a composite of individual non-motorized routes that lie on lands managed by the City of Prescott, Prescott National Forest, and Arizona State Land Department. The PCT was officially accepted in 2007 into the Arizona State Trails Systemand as a consequence made the project eligible for state grant funds and made possible the purchase of trail easements from the Arizona State Land Department. The trail is expected to be completed by late 2015. The current incomplete section in a small northwest segment of the trail was temporarily rerouted in 2015.
The Prescott Circle Trail (PCT) is designated non-motorized for its entire length, meaning it is intended for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers only. It is a beautiful trail that meanders through forest, chaparral, grasslands, and along the shorelines of Watson Lake, Willow Lake, and Goldwater Lake. The topography along the route ranges in elevation from about 5,200 feet to over 6,000 feet.
The route when completed will feature a number of sites for trailhead parking as well as sites within the interior of routes that will be suitable for overnight camping.
The concept of this trail began with the Yavapai Trails Association under the long-time presidency of Jan Alfano dating back to about 1990. Construction and maintenance of the trail was facilitated through grant application and funding but mainly with the physical work of many real volunteer people too numerous to mention. They came from City of Prescott and National Forest personnel, Vista volunteers, individual citizens, and most recently from the volunteers of the “Over The Hill Gang.” This latter group has assisted with trail building within the boundaries of the City of Prescott as well as on federal lands within the Prescott National Forest.
A former long-time board member of YTA, Nigel Reynolds, has independently written and published a complete "Guide To The Prescott Circle Trail." The Guide provides detailed descriptions and annotated maps of the various segments of the trail. It is currently available for sale in Prescott at The Hike Shack, Manzanita Outdoors, Jay's Bird Barn, Granite Mountain Outfitters, Peregrine Book Store, and Prescott Chamber of Commerce.
To see a more complete description of the PCT click either of the two links below.