About 100 miles southwest of Flagstaff and 100 miles north of Phoenix, the city of Prescott, AZ sits nestled in the Prescott Valley. Hemmed in on either side by the Prescott and Coconino National Forests, Prescott has some of the most beautiful natural areas in the American southwest, with lakes, deserts, canyons and mountains, and everything in between. It also has a strong sense of local community, with a number of thriving museums and galleries. Book an RV in Prescott today to experience the real Arizona.
To the west of the city lies the Prescott National Forest. A 1.25 million-acre expanse of Sonoran desert textured with mountains and lakes, this is the perfect place to take the Prescott rental RV for both short day trips and longer overnight excursions. You’ll find no shortage of things to do out here. Hike, bike, rock climb, and horseback ride across the Sonoran desert, or take the Prescott camper rental up to higher elevations for chaparral, followed by piñon pine and juniper and finally capped off with high-altitude ponderosa pines.
And if all that still isn’t enough for you, then it’s time to gear up the Prescott motorhome rental for the even more massive Coconino National Forest. Just east of the city, this is actually one of the most diverse national forests in the entire country. With desert, alpine tundra, and everything in between, Coconino is a fantastic destination for any RV vacation. The park is divided into three ranger districts: the Flagstaff Ranger District, the Mogollon Rim Ranger District, and the Red Rock Ranger District. The nearest of these is Red Rock, a collection of buttes, pinnacles, mesas and canyons surrounding the city of Sedona.
In addition to the trails of its nearby national parks, Prescott is also home to a number of lovely areas just minutes from the center of town. Watson Lake, for instance, is just four miles out, but it really feels like it could be on another planet. Its clear, smooth surface is textured with inroads of boulders from the granite cliffs that hang above and around this area, and Arizona’s naturally strong lighting makes for some truly striking views. Kayak, boat, hike, and rock climb (but note that swimming is prohibited).
Another prime day trip destination is Lynx Lake, located in the Prescott National Forest. It’s about a 15-minute drive with the Prescott travel trailer rental, nestled in the forests of the Bradshaw Mountains. You can actually visit the very place where Sam Miller was wounded by a cougar while panning for gold, and even pan for gold yourself in the Salida Gulch trailhead along Lynx Creek! It’s all open to the public, although you do need to bring your own pan.
Yet another lovely local gem is the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, the remaining portion of what was once a 1,000-acre streamside forest of cottonwood and willow. This area was devastated up through the mid-20th century as a result of unsustainable land use practices, but over the past 40 years or so, most of the vegetation and wildlife in Watson Woods has since returned. It now provides a much-needed oasis for people and wildlife alike.
A complete, up-to-date map of Prescott’s trails is available through the Avenza Map app.
Exploring the City
Now, if you’re looking for a break from all the natural beauty and backwoods trekking you’ll be sure to find in any Prescott motorhome rental, you’ll find a surprising number of cultural centers and museums throughout this city. The coolest of these is probably the Sharlot Hall Museum, which devotes itself to improving public and community understanding of the historical, social, and natural aspects of Arizona, with a special focus on the Central Highlands. It spans almost four acres and contains ten exhibit buildings, five of which are historic structures. The exhibits vary widely in both topic and scope. Some feature fossils and prehistoric artifacts, including a mastodon skull dug up just south of Prescott. Other exhibits focus on the cultural or historical heritage of this area. The Sharlot Hall Museum also hosts several events throughout the year. If you’re coming in the first week of June, be sure to check out the family-friendly folk art festival. Meanwhile, the second weekend of July brings with it the Prescott Indian Art Market, featuring jewelry, paintings, and sculpture from local Native American artists.
If you can’t make it that weekend, or if you just fall in love with native art at the market, you’ll definitely want to check out the Smoki Museum of American Indian Art and Culture. Established in 1935, this museum features American Indian artifacts from throughout the Southwest, as well as the work of some of the Prescott area’s over 10,000 artists. The Smoki hosts two Navajo rug and Indian art functions each year, as well as an Indian Education Series in February and March, and various lectures throughout the year.
Other must-see Prescott sites include the Phippen Museum of Art and Heritage of the American West, the Highland Center for Natural History (home to the James Family Discover Gardens), and the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary.
Parking your RV
This city is practically build for a Prescott rental motorhome vacation, so you’ll have absolutely no trouble finding a great RV park just about anywhere you’d like in or around Prescott. There are also a ton of campgrounds in the Prescott National Forest and Coconino National Forest. The only hard part will be deciding on just one.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Prescott RV rental adventure today. You won’t regret it!