September 7, 2023
Prescott is home to four beautiful seasons, and with mild temperatures throughout the year, this is the perfect town for year-round outdoor recreation. Regardless of what kind of adventure you crave, Prescott’s mountains, lakes, rivers, forests,and meadows offer exciting opportunities for campers young and old.
On top of the stunning scenery, Prescott is loaded with amazing history. From its world famous Whiskey Row to captivating landmarks and heritage museums, you will feel like you are walking back into the Old West. If you enjoy modern conveniences like fine dining and shopping, there’s plenty of that to be found as well.
Here are 10 fun adventures you can have in and around Prescott, Arizona.
1. Experience The Mile-High Trail System
The Mile-High Trail System contains nearly 70 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This system includes Rails-to-Trails projects, the urban Greenways Trails, and the Prescott Circle Trail System. The trails vary in difficulty, elevation, and terrain, so beginners and the more experienced will find something to love about this beautiful trail system.
2. Visit Watson Lake
Watson lake is a small, scenic reservoir surrounded by large, unusual boulders. This lake has been the star of many photographs with its small islands covered in bright green vegetation and lovely blue water. Watson Park is popular for its fishing, boating, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, and picnicking.
3. Explore Prescott National Forest
Discover 1.25 million acres of mountains, rivers, mesas, ponderosa pines, juniper, and desert. Thumb Butte is perhaps the best known landmark here, popular for its impressive ponderosa pines, excellent hiking trails, and fantastic picnic facilities. Other special places include Horsethief Basin, Castle Creek Wilderness, and Granite Basin. These recreation areas are ideal for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, and OHV riding.
4. Discover Whiskey Row
If you’re looking for delicious food and your choice of bars, Whiskey Row is the place to be. In 1900, a fire destroyed this block. When it was rebuilt, there was an absurd number of saloons (40 to be exact), hence the name Whiskey Row. Once popular with cowboys, prospectors, gamblers, and outlaws, this historic district features tons of interesting history, restaurants, shopping, annual shoot-outs, and of course, saloons.
5. Spend a Day at the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary
This non-profit wildlife sanctuary is the ideal place to spend the day with the family. Enjoy unique, up-close experiences with the animals, including the rare Mexican Gray Wolves, have a picnic, or play on the playground. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Tarantula Grotto or one of the other interesting exhibits.
6. Go Birding
More than 360 different species of bird call Prescott home, making it one of the top birding destinations in Arizona. The best locations for birding include Goldwater Lake, Granite Basin Lake, Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, Lynx Lake, and the Thumb Butte Picnic Area.
7. Visit a Museum
Source: Wikimedia Commons/Doncram – The Governor’s Mansion, Sharlot Hall Museum
There are several unique museums in Prescott that are worth a visit. Popular options include the Sharlot Hall Museum, the Phippen Museum, and the Smoki Museum. The Sharlot Hall Museum is considered one of Prescott’s gems and can be a fun, interactive adventure for the whole family. Visitors can explore historic buildings, partake in living history adventures, view exhibits, or take a tour. The Phippen Museum displays the work of George Phippen and other well-known Western artists. Smoki Museum features Indian artifacts and promotes culture and art.
8. Play a Round of Golf
Prescott is home to 7 scenic golf courses. Each course offers its own unique challenges, and because this beautiful town sits at a cool 5,200 feet, you never have to worry about the heat interfering with your golf game.
9. Celebrate the Holidays
Prescott is well-known and loved for being “Arizona’s Christmas City.” If you adore old-fashioned holidays that include watching parades while drinking hot cocoa and perusing winter craft sales after listening to some carolers, this is your dream Christmas destination.
10. Camping in Prescott, Arizona
There are tons of amazing campgrounds in and around Prescott, but one of our favorites here at Camp Native is Apple Creek Cottages. Only 1.5 miles from downtown Prescott and Whiskey Row and minutes from Prescott National Forest, Apple Creek gets you close to the action while giving you a peaceful retreat to enjoy the beauty of the area. This campground offers a number of unique cottages that sleep between 2 and 6 people, lovely courtyards, walking paths, fire pits, swings, barbecues, and privacy. You can learn more about Apple Creek Cottages on Camp Native or book your stay today!