The Peavine Trail is a tentpole of the City of Prescott’s Mile High Trail System, attracting some 70,000 visitors annually. It’s no wonder why.
Its wide, flat base is a former railroad bed that draws families (if you have a dog, bring him or her, too) and trios or quartets of friends to explore the path together. It’s rated “easy” by most sources and is designated for wheelchair users, along with hikers, runners, cyclists and horseback riders.
Its 6-mile one-way length makes a respectable workout for everyone, and it’s easy to double back anywhere you like, as there are parking lots at the north and south ends.
The Peavine’s impressive full name is the Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail, and it draws tourists as much as locals with its slideshow of natural beauty.
From its main entrance off of Sundog Ranch Road, it unfolds past the dense beauty of Watson Woods and an entrance to the Discovery Trail, where you can study this area in depth. Then you get your first look at Watson Lake with the marshes at its southern end, which helped both Watson and Willow lakes to be designated as “Important Bird Areas” by the Audubon Society.
From there you move north into the Dells themselves, the majesty of the tan and pink granite walls dwarfing hikers and riders as they pass on the trail. You do get additional peeks at the lake, especially at one kayak-frequented cove reaching to the base of the trail.
A bit more than 3 miles in you pass the Point of Rocks and come to the head of the Iron King Trail, another “rails to trails” path extending 4 miles east past Glassford Hill to its namesake road in Prescott Valley.
This is about where the Peavine exits the Granite Dells and continues onto flatter grasslands, a quieter section that rewards with stunning views of Granite Mountain and other peaks.
After 1.8 miles the trail meets the northern parking lot, which is free. The final leg of the Peavine continues for yet another mile after that via an underpass at 89A, traveling along the east edge of Prescott Regional Airport almost to the runway.
This beloved trail has been a path to healthy living for many in Greater Prescott, beckoning those of all ages and abilities to find their way to wellness.
Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail
The Peavine Trail starts at its south trailhead, which is reached from Prescott Lakes Parkway’s roundabout intersection with Sundog Ranch Road, just north of the Yavapai Humane Society campus. Turn north on Sundog Ranch and the trailhead will be on your left.
The north parking lot is just more than 5 miles to the north near Granite Dells Parkway and State Route 89A. Exit south onto Granite Dells Parkway, take the first right (west) turn onto Centerpointe East Drive, then turn right (north) onto Side Road. The lot is at the end of Side Road on your right (east).
- Parking fees: $3 at the south trailhead, none at the northern parking lot
- Usages: Hiking, cycling, horseback
- Mileage: 6 miles (one way)
- Level of difficulty: Moderate
- Elevation: 5,160 feet to 5,220 feet
- More information: www.prescotttrails.com