By Oliver Davis
Social Media Coordinator
Prescott is a great place to get out and explore the outdoors. Some of the most beautiful places are just a couple minutes from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, yet students seldom find the time to go out and see nature instead of the inside of their textbooks.
There are plenty of noticeable landmarks that one can see from campus, like Granite Mountain or the Granite Dells right across the street, but there is one more shape in the skyline that is the most unique. Thumb Butte stands tall to the south of campus, and its peculiar shape makes it even more distinct.
The most common thing to do in the Thumb Butte area is to hike up to the top of the mini-mountain and take in its breathtaking views. There are, however, many other hikes that one can do in the same area besides the short yet steep hike to the top.
Thumb Butte sits in the Prescott National Forest which is home to hundreds of miles of trails available for use. Many of these trails begin only several minutes away from the Thumb Butte parking lot. The variety of trails allows hikers to choose between a short in-and-out hike that can last less than an hour, or an all-day adventure that could leave you over a thousand feet above Prescott with amazing views of the surrounding Bradshaw Mountains.
The trails are also available for mountain biking and horse riding, so there are plenty of different ways to explore the forest!
One particular spot offers what is arguably the best view in Prescott. One can hike up to it, but it is much easier to drive up a long dirt road which goes to what is referred to as the Sierra Prieta lookout. Follow Thumb Butte road past the parking lot for approximately three miles along an extremely bumpy road until coming across views that go for miles beyond Prescott. There is nothing better than witnessing the sunset from this point where almost nothing could distract from its beauty.
Whether it’s going for a short hike or to see miles of mountains in the distance, a day in the Thumb Butte area is unbeatable.