Summer is cooling down and soon will be leading into autumn, when the slight chill and changing colors will make it another fantastic season for the family to adventure through Greater Prescott! There’s no better way to absorb some sunshine, inhale fresh mountain air and bring everyone a little bit closer.
Remember that many adventures carry a little bit of risk, but if you take the right precautions whether you’re on foot, wheels, water or hooves everybody should be able to have a blast!
Hiking, walking — The easiest adventure of all to find, you can walk along the streets of nearly any neighborhood or stroll along the historic, hilly streets of downtown, ducking into shops and eateries along the way. For more of a more vigorous experience you can try any hiking path on the renowned trail systems in the City of Prescott or Prescott National Forest, with paths suiting all levels of experience.
Bike riding — Another activity that can be done just about anywhere in town, start out with leisurely rides through your neighborhood or on relatively flat grades like the Peavine or Iron King trails, and as you build confidence take on some of the more challenging trails in the forest or in the Granite Dells, depending on the skills of everyone involved.
Horseback riding — If you don’t have any steeds of your own, check out Yavapai Trail Adventures southwest of town in the Copper Basin area of the national forest. Instructors match you with an appropriate horse for your size and experience level for rides ranging from 90 minutes to half a day, with many private trails through the wilderness to choose from.
Water adventures — Refresh yourself with boating, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding in most of the area’s lakes, with onsite rentals available at Watson and Willow lakes until Oct. 17 and at Goldwater Lake until Sept. 26. Swimming is permitted in Lynx, Mingus and Granite Basin lakes.
Fishing — Hold a family fishing derby from the shores of any of Greater Prescott’s regularly stocked lakes: Fain Lake in Prescott Valley and Watson; Willow, Goldwater, Lynx, Granite Basin and Mingus lakes in and around Prescott.
Camping — Many campgrounds in Prescott National Forest have campsites large enough to accommodate RVs, but most do not have hookups available. But any of them can be a great option for getting out of the house and bringing everyone a bit closer to nature.
Ziplining — The nearest zipline open to the public is the Predator Zip Line in Camp Verde at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park; the two- to three-hour tour takes you over the zoo and its inhabitants, an unforgettable perspective of the surroundings and vistas across the Verde Valley for everyone.