With so many trails to visit and explore in the Grand Canyon State, we’re sure you’d appreciate a glowing recommendation from fellow hikers. This hike, in particular, treats you to the beauty of various rock formations that you also get to move amongst. The Constellation Trail in Prescott is not just picturesque. It is also ideal for hikers of all levels. The best thing about this is you can even bring your pets here so you can both share the adventure!
The Constellation Trail Is a Fantastic Hike You’ll Remember for Years to Come
There is currently a threat to this hike because some major developments are closing in on the Granite Dells. However, if you support the movement to protect this area in Prescott, the decades-long vision to protect the Dells as Prescott’s premier public park may just come true. Before this becomes (hopefully not) a 1,800-acre development with thousands of homes, you need to see it in its raw, true, and gorgeous form.
Constellation Trail is truly a fantastic hike. You best believe it! You will see many rocks and small inclines that will challenge you as you go along. Aspiring photographers will be delighted with the opportunity to capture many beautiful sights and rock formations. It’s also not hard to follow the trail because it is well-marked, and the grounds remain fairly flat and steady throughout. In fact, you’ll think you’re simply strolling around, except, of course, you’re actually climbing up a mountain. Come after some monsoon rains, and you will be rewarded with views of lush riparian vegetation as well as some chaparral and rocky granite outcroppings.
You don’t even need to worry if you get tired from the hike. There are benches that serve as resting points if you want to stop, take a break, and simply be in awe of the scenery before you. You can also just look around and see the blooming plants.
There Are Actually Multiple Trails in the Area and You Can Explore All of Them
Let’s get one thing straight. The Constellation Trail isn’t an “in and out” experience. What we mean by that is that you will find multiple trails in the area looping in and out of each other’s paths. You are free to explore all those, but make sure you planned ahead. If not, just know that no matter which spur trail you take, you can continue looping around and reconnecting to the Constellation Trail quickly and easily. That’s the beauty of this hike. The surrounding spur trails are the same with Constellation Trail. The level is easy to moderate. You must anticipate elevation gains as well.
All spur trails will take you to the picturesque views of the Granite Dells, while some areas that offer a bit more elevation gain will treat you to the beauty of Chino Valley and Flagstaff in the far distance. On a clear and sunny day, the Flagstaff peaks will also be visible!
You will also be in awe of the blooming plants you’ll see along the way. How pretty are these, right?
Come during winter to stumble across some snow or ice. It does not happen too often, but if it does, it’s surely worth it! If you are coming during summer, be prepared to brave the intense Arizona heat. It’s probably best if you hike during the early morning, late morning, or through the late afternoon. With that said, the best time to come to Constellation Trail is either during the Fall or Spring season.
What You Can Expect From the Amazing Hike
- The trail is well-marked so you won’t get lost if you simply follow the signs.
- If you come late in the morning, you’ll find more people than you might like. Parking will also be difficult during that time. The parking area recently charged $3 for you to park, but it’s worth it because you will also be able to use restrooms with running water, and the parking passes work at many other places around town.
- Constellation Trail treats hikers to an easy to moderate hiking experience. You should wear the right shoes since the trail will be rocky and a bit dusty.
- You will be able to smell the wonderful pine-mountain air during your hike. It’s enough to keep you calm and soothe your senses.
- Make sure to bring bug spray since there can be a lot of mosquitoes.
- This trail can get crowded during the weekends.
- The hike will give you mild elevation changes, and stunning granite formations.
- You can bring your dogs here! Just remember to keep them on leash and also pack water so they don’t get dehydrated. Thankfully, this is one of the beautiful dog-friendly hikes in Arizona.
Constellation Trail Details
Trail Distance: 3.9 km
Elevation Gain: 72 m
Route Type: Loop
Location: 5761 AZ-89, Prescott, Arizona 86301
The Movement to Save the Iconic Rocky Dells
Major developments are closing in on the Granite Dells, and many locals are fighting to keep these developments from ruining the beautiful quality of life. The Granite Dells (or just “The Dells” are one of Arizona’s most stunning landscapes. It is actually Prescott’s most striking feature – which is a beautiful wonderland of wild rock formations interspersed with the Willow and Watson Lakes. The gorgeous trail features over 50 miles of trails that will take you over slickrock, in deep slot canyons, and through rock formations. It is also home to many wildlife, and serves as a peaceful recreation area where you can enjoy paddling, fishing and more.
Furthermore, the Granite Dells area was once a bustling railroad (it is now the serene Peavine Trail). If you love climbing, you’d know that this place has more than 500 established sport, traditional, and bouldering routes for all levels of climbers.
They say growth is inevitable, but it should not be at the cost of quality of life.
You Might Have Heard of ‘Save the Dells’
Many people are advocating to save the Dells because it is not just a destination, but also an important landmark. The goal of this cause is to preserve the remaining undeveloped portions of the Granite Dells (the Dells) as part of a publicly accessible Granite Dells Regional Park. They say that this fight to save the area also reflects the wishes of the Prescott community and the stated objectives of Prescott’s General Plan and Open Space Master Plan. If acknowledged, many people will still be allowed to do some activities such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, and horse riding.
AED actually owns over 15,000 acres, and the ‘Save the Dells’ project is only concerned about 500 acres, or only about 3% of AED’s total land. Their proposal is to protect the public open space famous areas such as iconic Point of Rocks, the Peavine, and Iron King Trails. They also want to save the ecologically important riparian area that all interconnect with the existing City of Prescott open space.
The “Save The Dells” cause promotes the “last chance to preserve the iconic rocky Dells” before it becomes lost forever. Surely, this is just a fight for the best solution that will be appreciated for generations to come.
Your Dog Will Love The Constellation Trail!
You can just stop and revel at the beautiful view in front of you. It might be an excuse to take a break, but no one will apprehend you for that!
Of course, don’t forget to capture a beautiful photo of your dogs in the trail. This will serve as the remembrance that you were once in this gorgeous place.
We’re pretty sure your dog will love Constellation Trail as much as you do, so don’t be mad if they stop from time to time to see the views.
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