Prescott National Forest


October 23rd-October 25th, 2020

Distance: Thumb Butte Trail 33 is a 2.5 mile loop trail.

Dog Friendly: Yes.

Fee: $18 per night for camping. $5 for Thumb Butte Trail.

Restrooms at trailhead: Yes.

Kid Friendly: Yes.

We camped in Prescott National Forest at a designated campsite. The campsite we stayed at was Lynx Lake and is very close to the city of Prescott. The Cost Co in Prescott was only about 3 miles from where we camped, but it felt like we were far away from civilization! Prescott is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Phoenix area. We drove to Prescott directly after work on Friday. The drive to Prescott isn’t bad, but there always seems to be traffic on the I-17. Since we were at a designated campsite that had a fire pit that was inside of a National Forest we were able to have a fire even though there were fire restrictions. Since we were so close to the city of Prescott we actually went and got more wood because we ran out! When camping it is important to always check for fire restrictions. We recommend going to the specific National Forest website because they will always have the fire restriction updates. It did get pretty cold at night. I was happy that we were able to have a fire to keep warm.

Our first night camping was a little rough. At about 2:30 am we woke up to the sound of an animal going through trash. I immediately started to freak out. We also heard what sounded like some animal run directly through out camp site and knock something over. Finally, we saw a guy that was sleeping in a camper next to our campsite walk by with a flash light and a bag of trash. He threw it away. I eventually fell asleep only to be awoken by coyotes. It sounded like there was 12 of them, but I did learn by a google search that coyotes can make it seem like there are more of them than there actually are. They were so loud and I was paranoid because we had our little dog Finnick with us. We finally fell asleep, but it was probably the worst sleep we have ever had! The next morning our camping neighbor asked us if any raccoons visited us. I didn’t know that it was raccoons that were going through the trash at the time. My first instinct was that it was a bear. Our neighbor left his trash out and that is what the raccoons were going through! Camping 101 please don’t leave your trash out!!

The next morning we made coffee and breakfast using our Coleman Camping Stove. You can find our camping gear here. Our camping neighbors ended up leaving so we took their spot because it was a lot bigger than the spot we originally had. We actually booked this two months in advance and got the last spot, but it seemed like some people didn’t show so they had some walks up to camp. We then hiked Thumb Butte Trail 33 which is a 2.3 mile loop trail in Prescott National Forest. To get to this hike from our campground we had to go through the city of Prescott. It was only about 15 to 20 minutes. It did cost $5 because we were on National Forest Land. This is an easy to moderate hike depending on your skill level. There is steady elevation as you gain 688 feet in a short distance. We really enjoyed this hike. There are so many beautiful Ponderosa Pines that you just don’t get in Phoenix! Since we went at the end of October there was also a lot of fall colors. We went counter clockwise so that way we went up on the unpaved section and down on the paved section to avoid slipping. Once you get to the “Butte” there is no direct path to the very top. We were with Owen’s family and had our dog so we didn’t climb to the very top, but we did see people up there. You have to rock climb to get to the top! The view from where we were was still good. So many pines!!

Once we got back to the campground we walked around Lynx Lake. Lynx Lake is pretty small, but was so pretty! Especially with the fall colors. We picked up 15 lbs of trash because Lauren is an ambassador for Keep Nature Wild. A company that picks up 1 lb of trash for every item sold. The loop around Lynx Lake is a 2.4 mile trail. It is very easy! We were able to get to the trail right from our campground. You can kayak, canoe, and do other water actives on the lake, but we didn’t do any of that. After we picked up our trash we headed back to our campsite and got ready to make dinner. Overall, we had such a great trip! We just wish we weren’t woken up on the first night. Friendly reminder to always put your trash out of the way of animals! If you are interested in any of the gear we use click the link above or DM us on Instagram.

Happy Hiking & Camping!

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