Our Weekend Hikes

As I said before, this weekend we started the first annual Hiking Spree put on by the Highlands Center for Natural History and the Prescott National Forest. Yesterday's introductory hike was a very easy one mile, flat loop near the Highlands Center. It was a great way to start. Though I didn't happen to take any share-worthy photos on that hike.

Today, we were quite a bit more ambitious. We took on the Thumb Butte loop, which is a 2 1/2 mile, very steep loop through gorgeous terrain (see first photo). Unfortunately, so many of the Ponderosa Pines were killed during the beetle infestation a few years ago. But it was still quite nice. And it kicked my butt. The kids got quite tired, but were troopers through it all. Here are some more photos.

Thumb Butte is in the Prescott National Forest, much of which looks like this.

This was the view from near the top of the loop, looking down on the forest.

Here you can see the city of Prescott and just how close we were to town. The forest is right next to the city.

Here is a closer view of the butte. We didn't climb to the top of it, but just to the base of the rocks. You can climb to the top (during the part of the year that the raptors aren't nesting), but it's a little tricky. Especially with kids and a dog in tow.

The prickly pear cacti were fruiting wildly. Most had fruit of a gorgeous, deep red color. The stuff is tasty. We have to find some good recipes.

This is a view of another part of the forest on the way back down. We live in such a beautiful place!