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Name: Prescott #305 Trail Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Hike Difficulty: (Medium) The trail is non-technical, but some of the topmost portions can get you puffing
Time: All day for the entire thing, but you can just do what you want Region: NW Arizona
Length: Approximately 7 miles (one way), but there are multiple starting and stopping points so you can make it as long (or short) as you want Elevation gain/loss/change: +910 / -428 ft / +482 ft (one way)
Type: Out-and-back Avg Elevation: 5800 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, early/late summer Fees: NA (see note below in Special Considerations)
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: November, 2009
Short Description: A beautiful hike through the pine trees near Prescott
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Smith Ravine #1 (there's also a 2 and 3 close by). AZrunr6
References / Contact Information: Hike Arizona
Points of interest: . Tall pine trees. Lynx Lake Recreational Area. Zeke’s
Special Considerations: The last time I visited this trail (November, 2009), the Forest Service has done away with the $2/day fee for parking. We asked the person in charge of the trailhead and he informed us that they no longer collect the fee. Some internet sites (and the FS own literature) are not up-to-date and still talk about this fee. All the payment boxes on the sign at the parking area had been removed
How to get there: There are numerous places to start this trail. The lowest point is 0.5 miles from the intersection of SR 69 and Walker Rd. There’s a trailhead on the right side (west) of Walker Rd. at Waypoint 001. There’s two parking areas, the one on the left (just as you come into the parking area) contains the trail. To get to the trailhead, just before you get into Prescott turn left on Walker Rd, at the sign for Lynx Lake Recreational area. Click here for directions.

Another trailhead starts you two miles along Walker Rd. (from SR 69). At Waypoint 005, turn right onto a short dirt road leading down to a small parking area The trail immediately goes through a large, long drainage tunnel that goes under the road. About a hundred yards after you exit the drainage tunnel, the trail intersects Trail 305 (Waypoint 004). Turn right to hike up the trail, left to take you down to the first parking area.

Trail Description

This is a nice trail located in Prescott. The trail's easy and well-marked. If you want to get out of the heat and into the pines, this trail’s for you.

Note: This trail was originally done as a mountain bike ride but is a great hiking trail. Many of the pictures and video are from my original ride.

General Information and History

This is a popular hiking and mountain biking trail near Prescott. The top half of the trail is through nice pine forest, while the bottom half through the foothills and scrub trees. If you're camping at Lynx Lake, you can access this trail from numerous points. It’s also a nice area for fishing and mountain biking. The lake is fairly large (by my southern Arizona standards). From what I saw, the campground is decent and well maintained. One year, my two daughters and I rented a small rowboat with an electric trolling motor from the boathouse. We had a great time cruising the lake for a couple of hours.

The area around Prescott has a lot to offer. You can hike parts of the trail in the morning, then explore the mountain’s south of Prescott. There’s a ton of dirt roads, most of which can be done in a high clearance 2WD vehicles (or a car if you’re careful). A trip along Senator’s Highway and back around the western side of Prescott through Groom Creek won’t disappoint you (see Senator Hwy Adventure). While you’re in the area, you can also visit Old Prescott, which has quite a history.

One final place you HAVE to visit after your hike is Zeke’s—a place for eatin’. We’d heard of this restaurant from a couple of friends who used to live there. They raved about the food … and the huge portions. And they were RIGHT. Zeke's was awesome.

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The Trail

Proceed south from the trailhead (Waypoint 001) through scrub pines and up and down the small foothills. These aren’t too bad and are just a warm up for what’s coming. There are a few trail intersections, but these are well marked. Keep going on TR305. After about ¾ of a mile, you’ll cross Walker Rd. Continue up the trail another 0.7 miles and you’ll come to the Lynx Lake Ruins parking area (you can also start the hike from here if you want). Find the TR305 signpost at the other side of the parking area and keep going.

At Waypoint 004, you’ll pass through a strange archway of walnut branches. This is a sculpture made by some Prescott College art students. Now, I’m not an artsy kind of guy, but it was still pretty cool. Just beyond (or just before if you’re coming down the hill) is the intersection of the super short trail through a large drainage tunnel to the second parking area (Waypoint 005). You’ll see the somewhat feint trail at the wooden trail marker and a sign with a miner’s symbol and the number 12.

Keep curving left to continue up TR305. Now you’ll start climbing through some tall pines. You’ll cross some paved roads. At Waypoint 006, you’ll begin crossing the Lynx Lake campground roads. You’ll cross a bunch of these, but again, the trail is well marked.

At Waypoint 009, you’ll pass another dirt road. Not far from here is where the climb really starts in earnest. Climb, then climb some more, then you can do some more climbing. When you reach the dirt road at the top of the climb, congratulations, you’re done! The top-most parking area across the street (Waypoint 010) is where you want to park if you just want to hike the upper portions of the trail.

Now, you can retrace your route and hike back down the mountain you just busted your butt getting up.

Have fun and be safe!

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