Thumb Butte Trail #33

Due to its proximity to downtown Prescott, Thumb Butte Trail #33 is one of the most popular and heavily used hiking trails on the Prescott National Forest. Signs along the trail identify vegetation and explain forest ecology. The trail climbs steeply to a ridge just below the rocky crest of Thumb Butte. Here, Groom Creek Vista offers spectacular panoramic views of the Prescott area, Bradshaw Mountains, Sierra Prieta Mountains, Granite Mountain, Mingus Mountain, and, on clear days, the San Francisco Peaks. During certain times of the year, peregrine falcons nest on the rugged basalt crags of Thumb Butte. There may be closures in place to protect their habitat—please obey all posted signs.

This trail is open to hikers only. Dogs must be on leashes; please clean up after your pets. Drinking water and other amenities are available at the Thumb Butte Picnic Area, but not on the trail itself.

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Printable Resources:

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day-use site and trailhead:
  • March 1 - April 30: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • May 1 - September 30: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • October 1 - February 28 (or 29): 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • $5 for day use (Wednesdays are free)
Open Season: Spring
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Approximately 10 minutes from Prescott, AZ
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.

General Information


From downtown Prescott, AZ: Travel west on Gurley Street (becomes Thumb Butte Road) for 3.4 miles to the Thumb Butte Picnic Area, on the right. The trail begins just across the road from the picnic area. Please note that there is no horse trailer parking in the recreation area. Road conditions are paved.

General Notes:
  • Connecting trails: #314
  • Maps:
    • USGS Map: 7.5’ quad for Iron Springs
    • Prescott National Forest Map, west half
  • Average hiking time: 1 hour, round trip


Day Hiking

  • This popular trail climbs to a ridge just below the rocky crest of Thumb Butte, one of Prescott’s most prominent landmarks.
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.1 miles

  Elevation : 
6,314 feet