Travel Hooray – Arizona Hiking: Badger Mountain Trail


BADGER
MOUNTAIN TRAIL

View from Badger Mountain Trail in Prescott

From its northern
terminus at State Route 69 to where it meets the Ranch Trail in Prescott National
Forest, the Badger Mountain Trail delivers a continual joyride through changing
vistas and ecozones. 

The
6.77-mile route winds around the undulating edges and gullies of what is better
known as P Mountain—a high-visibility hill inscribed with a big white “P” that
stands out over a sea of shopping centers, hotels and casinos. 

Badger Mtn Trail crosses several drainage areas

Located
just over a mile from historic downtown Prescott off State Route 69, the Badger
Mountain Trail links the Prescott Mile-High Trail System, Prescott Circle Trail
and forest service paths. 

Sierra Prieta Mtns seen from Badger Mtn

Granite Mountain (center) seen from Badger Mtn

The internal route
is accessible via connecting trails at either end, however, neither terminus
has parking, so the best way to get into the heart of the trail is to use the
Turley Trailhead that’s tucked into a suburban neighborhood.  This access point lands hikers smack in the middle
of the trail. 

Views of Prescott Valley dominate the hike

Route traces the western slopes of Badger Mtn

Map signs posted at
junctions make following the trail simple.  From the trailhead, begin by hiking 0.64-mile
on the Turley/Badger Connector to the signed turnoff for Badger Mountain.  For the best views and most variety, head
right at the signpost and into the core of the uphill trek.  

Badger Mountain is also known as P Mountain

Initially, the sparsely shaded trail unpacks
great views of iconic Prescott geological formations Granite Mountain and Thumb
Butte.  As the trail makes its gradual
ascent up the mountain’s west flanks, views of sprawling Prescott Valley and
the distant peaks of Flagstaff dominate the skyline.

Turley Connector/Badger Mountain junction


At a little past the 1-mile point from the trailhead,
the route makes and abrupt bend into the first of several drainage areas it
will traverse where the vegetation changes from high-desert scrub to oak-conifer
woodlands.

A twisted manzanita shrub on Badge Mountain

 
The trail makes long, easy
curves in and around these leafy corridors providing dappled shade and brakes
from the sun-exposed slopes.  Vistas also
alternate among big valleys, green ravines and the pine-covered peaks of the Sierra
Prieta Mountains to the west.

Oak trees line ledges above a drainage

 Near the
2-mile point, the route enters the national forest for the final climb to the
Ranch Trail #62 junction.  This makes for
a good turn around point, otherwise continue on trail #62 for 3.8 miles to
Walker Road near the Lynx Lake Recreation Area.

Thick vegetation in a drainage area

LENGTH:  7.38 miles up-and-back as described here or
6.77 miles one way for full trail

RATING:  moderate

ELEVATION:
5,669 – 6,308 feet as described here or 5,510 – 6,308 for full trail

GETTING THERE:

From
Courthouse Square in downtown Prescott, go 1.1 miles east on Gurley Street to
just before the State Route 69/89 interchange. 
Turn right onto Overland Road and continue to a stop sign at Butterfield
Road, turn left and continue to the junction of Wagonwheel Road and Well Fargo
Road.  Veer right and follow Wells Fargo 0.2-mile
to the signed turn off for the Turley Trail on the right.  Follow this narrow dirt road a short distance to
the parking area.

INFO &
MAPS:
City of Prescott

https://www.prescott-az.gov/recreation-area/badger-mountain/

 





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