Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Explore Arizona: Prescott Hiking | Aspen Creek Trail #48

I started our Explore Arizona series last year and I look forward to continuing it, and sharing all of our favorite hikes and outdoor spots around our beautiful state of Arizona. Most of the time we take the boys with us, so almost all of the hikes I'll share will be kid-friendly too. We've been using our trusty Ergobaby Performance carrier, although with the mileage we've been clocking we definitely need to upgrade to a proper pack, both for Hank and Charlie's sake!

Today I wanted to share one of our favorite local hikes. In our family we call this the "Secret Waterfall Hike" but it's better known as the Aspen Creek Trail, or Trail #48. It's an easy one, although a little long for small children walking on their own, and unshaded in many parts so you'll want to be sure to wear hats and sunscreen.

The hike is beautiful though, and my most favorite part is at the very beginning. In fact, I love the whole drive up. But once you park and cross the street to access the trail, you walk along the creek for a bit, and wind up until you get to some beautiful rock formations. If water is flowing, inside you'll find what Henry calls the secret waterfall. It's an awesome place to explore, and if you don't feel like hiking, your kids will enjoy being right there, or playing along the creekside.

If you do decide to continue on your way, you'll follow the trail as it ascends through tall trees and rocks, with beautiful views of the Sierra Prietas, the Bradshaws, and the San Francisco peaks. We had to look it up after we hiked it the first time, but the mountain with all of the towers on it is Mt. Francis. You'll be surrounded by nature on all sides, and we've only seen other hikers one time while up there. There are plenty of mountain bikers though, and we usually see at least 3-4 each visit.

The trail is 11 miles total, with an elevation of 6,539 feet with an accumulated gain of about 3,000 feet.

To get to the trail, you'll want to follow Copper Basin up, about 6 miles west of Prescott. The last 2 miles are dirt road. You'll see the parking area (will accommodate about 6-7 cars) just as you cross Aspen Creek- it's pretty obvious but you can also look for signs for FR9401L. Park and walk across the dirt road to access the trail.

I hope you enjoy it, and be sure to let me know if you go! The photos below come from two recent visits, via my iPhone.

Happy trails to you! xoxo


  1. What a fun series! It makes me want to go and soak it all the FL sunshine!

  2. Prescott is so perfect, isn't it?! My in-laws live up on the mountain off Copper Basin Rd. Those trails up there are wonderful, and if you ever get a chance to go to the top of the mountain at Copper Basin- the lookout is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Love your blog :)

  3. This is gorgeous. There is nothing like a family hike! We love them!

  4. I just feel like I have to give the advice to make sure you actually prefer the 'proper pack' to the ergo before you buy it. We thought the same thing but when we tried the structured pack decided the ergo was better - more comfortable and felt much less heavy - and we kept stuffing our son into the ergo till he was 3.5.

  5. I'm really loving these posts right now because even though I don't live in Arizona they're helpful to the area I live in now (Kelowna, BC).
    We just moved here a week ago and we've already gone hiking 5 times - there is an extensive amount of trails out here and it's absolutely gorgeous as we are surrounded by mountain/lake views. I look forward to more of these posts :)


  6. Lovely shots, a fun experience for children and they enjoy it so much. For toddlers 2.5 y/o + up to 60lbs., check Piggyback Rider page for easy backpack kid carrier. Thanks !