Our second week in Prescott has been filled with hiking (as usual) and exploring various neighborhoods to learn what parts of town we'd like to live in. We've looked at a few houses but none have been The One. Now it's a waiting game to see if anything interesting comes on the market.
Hans has also played pickleball a couple of times at the outdoor courts at Pioneer Park where there are eight brand new, dedicated pickleball courts with plans to add four more. We like that Prescott takes their pickleball seriously!
One of the more interesting hikes we did this week was a six mile out-and-back hike to Quartz Mountain, aka White Spar. From the Aspen Creek trailhead we took pretty forested trail #48 to sunny exposed trail #9415, to #9415A which got us up onto the unique quartz formation.
|The entire top of this small mountain is quartz!|
|Terrific views of Prescott while standing on all that quartz.|
|This photo captures maybe a quarter of the exposed quartz.|
|Milky white quartz and spiky cactus.|
I'd love to see the cactus blooming against the quartz!
|Horned toads seem to be abundant in the Prescott area...but are hard to see unless they move!|
We enjoy hiking from the Williamson Valley trailhead and one day decided to hike trail #308 as far north as we felt like going before turning around and finishing up with a loop back to the TH via trails 345 and 347...about a 5.5 mile hike.
As we headed north on trail #308 we crossed Mint Wash and entered terrain burnt in the 2013 Doce Fire. Granite boulders became part of the landscape and, much to our surprise, we came to a small stream flowing down the mountain.
Once the stream hit Mint Wash it quickly disappeared into the sand. An old timer on the trail told us this stream usually only runs after a good snowfall or a heavy monsoon season like they had this year. What a delight to find water in the high desert when you least expect it!
|From the Williamson Valley TH we cross a meadow lush with monsoonal grasses, watched over by Granite Mountain.|
|Here is the same area in April 2018, after several years of drought.|
|Approaching the burn zone: layers of green grass, skeletal trees and blue sky.|
|A seasonal oasis in the high desert.|
The old timer we met on the trail said he once saw dozens of baby snakes in this pond, we only saw tadpoles.
|The stream abruptly disappears into sandy Mint Wash.|
|We saw many signs of life around the stream.|
We're still experiencing unseasonably warm temps so more forest hiking is in our near future, but if the weather guessers are right things will get a little more comfortable next week and maybe even a little bit wet...we shall see.
|Acorn woodpeckers are abundant in the Ponderosa forests.|
|Not something you see every day...|
|...but when driving through the big valley north and east of Prescott|
there's a good chance you might see Pronghorn in the open prairie.
That quartz mountain is amazing! I've seen lots of quartz in the Black Hills, but it was scattered throughout granite. Glad you are finding some nice hikes. I'm in full fall color mode here in Oregon.ReplyDelete
This was the most impressive field of quartz I've ever seen...and there are small deposits scattered all over these mountains.Delete
I think fall colors will be muted here...doing fall vicariously through you and friends in CO!
We were in Prescott just after the fire, unfortunately it left a bad vibe and we have not been back. Thanks for sharing what we are missing, looks like we need to go again!ReplyDelete
I can imagine how depressing it would have been right after the fire. We really like the area...the wealth of trails and another important factor for us is reasonable driving distance to San Diego.Delete
Prescott has so much variety for hiking. Due to time constraints we didn't get all the way up to the top of Quartz Mtn but it looks like we need to the next time we're there.ReplyDelete
Hope you find a house soon. Home prices in Prescott just keep going up!
Yes, you should do it next time!Delete
Yes, Prescott is pretty expensive...but coming from SD it is fairly reasonable.
I just looked at average weather for Prescott. Sounds like a good year round place to live. Plus with all of the hiking nearby, I can see why you enjoy it. Best of luck with the house hunting. What a surprise to find a water source and another hiker to tell you some of the history he's seen in the area.ReplyDelete
Yes, the climate is a major factor for us, as well as the trails and distance to San Diego. Fingers crossed!Delete
Sorry you haven't found the ONE yet, but it is out there:) I love that photo of the milky white quartz and the cactus. That rock is beautiful. Happy hiking!ReplyDelete
We so wanted to luck out like you guys did! Oh well, if the right thing comes along we'll jump on it! :-}Delete
Well, the One may have not revealed itself yet, but Im sure the trails are keeping you busy. Would like to hike Quartz Mountain should we stop by Prescott again.ReplyDelete
Yes, lots to keep us busy around here...that's why we like it!Delete
Wow, oh wow!! Quartz Mountain is so beautiful! That is definitely going on our list for when we make it back to Prescott. It's been many years since we've been there, but we've always wanted to return for more exploring. I can understand why it appeals to you. Wishing you good luck in finding the perfect home!ReplyDelete
Even though many of the forest trails are very similar around Prescott, there is also some variety of terrain and some hidden gems along many trails. Perhaps next time you come through we'll be able to show you some faves!Delete
That would be fun! Would love to see Prescott with you—I know you've discovered all the best places. :-)Delete
Location is (almost) everything...From P. you can warm up or cool down as needed in less than two hours, and I think that's pretty neat.ReplyDelete
Yes indeed, one of many reasons why Prescott could work for us!Delete
Quartz Mountain is beautiful! Hope the temps moderate soon and that "the one" pops up in the housing market.ReplyDelete
Love that quartz!! So rare to see such a big deposit. You always find the coolest wild life on your hikes.ReplyDelete