Constellation Trails

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Rock formations seen from the Constellation trail system
Hiking the Constellation trail system
Rock formations seen from the Constellation trail system
Views from the Constellation trail system
Map of the Constellation trail system
Rock formations seen from the Constellation trail system
Remains from the Constellation airplane crash
map: Constellation trail system
elevation plot: Constellation trail system

Location

How to Get There
This hike is located near Prescott, AZ.

From the Phoenix area, take I-17 to the junction of HWY-69. Turn left onto HWY-69 towards Prescott. When you enter the city of Prescott Valley, turn right on the signed road for Prescott Lakes Parkway. Take this road to HWY-89 and turn right. From here, its about 3.6 miles to the Phippen Museum of Western Art (it will be on the right). Turn right here and park at the location signed for 'Trailhead parking'.
addressone
Highway 89
city
Prescott
state
AZ
country
USA
Region
Prescott Area

Hike details

Distance
2.40 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
There are many trail options in this group of trails. The hike we did was 2.4 total miles. But you can customize your hike to different lengths.
Time
1.00 [Hours]
Time-details
It took us just over an hour for our meandering path in this area.
Elevation Change
300 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 300 ft of climbing
Hike Trail Type
Loop
Special Features
Water

Season

Best Season
  • April
  • May
  • September
  • October
Worst Season
  • January
  • February
  • December
Season Details
Late Spring to Early Fall.
Date Hike completed
August 13, 2016

Solitudue

Solitude
High
Solitude Details
Surprisingly good for such an easily accessed area. We saw only two other hikers.

Difficulty

Difficulty Rating
Easy
difficulty detail
There's a bit of scrambling in places, but you could avoid these if you wanted. These trails make for easy hiking.

Permits

Be Aware of
When the trail goes across the rock, there are usually white paint dots to help you stay on the path.

Hike the Constellation trail system near Prescott, Arizona.

The Constellation trail system is a group of trails near the Phippen Museum of Western Art that allows for some close up views of the various unique rock formations of the area.

From the Phippen Museum trail parking area, backtrack towards the highway and cross under the highway (low ceiling, watch your head) to the Constellation trail system. On the other side of the passage and after a short walk there is a good map of the trails of the area. This trail system is named for a 1950's airplane crash that occurred in this area. Nearby, people have placed the discovered metal remains of this crash.

Since this area holds many trails, you can pick a direction and just start walking. All the trail junctions are well signed and there is a map and 'you are here' location at each, so route finding is easy. We chose a zig zagging path to explore the majority of this area, but fell free to customize your hike to any length you like.

We took a right and started hiking on the North 40 trail. This trail gains some elevation gradually as it passes by trail junctions for the 'Ham and Cheese' trail and the 'Hulley Gulley' trail. Pass by these for now (we'll take them on the return). There's more elevation gain on the 'Lost Wall trail' as well as great views of the unique rock formations (Granite Dells) of the area. You'll reach the high point of the hike is it bends East.

Continue on the 'Rock wall' Trail until you hit the 'PMBA' trail junction. Turn left onto this trail and hike to the intersection with the 'Hulley Gulley' trail. Hiking through this neat little gully is one of the many highlights of the trip. Continue to the intersection with the 'Ham and Cheese' trail, which goes through another gully, turning left at the trail junction to reach the starting point.

Map

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