Historic Prescott Tour
Historic Prescott Tour
Drive Dates: Thursday, May 6 and Saturday, May 8
Total Drive Distance: 237 miles
Estimated total tour duration: 7 hours
Saddle up for a drive to “Rich Western History” in Prescott! Leaving the Valley of the Sun for the central highlands of Arizona, our tour will take us to “Everybody’s Home Town,” surrounded by the cool pines of the Prescott National Forest. Once the Arizona territorial capital, Prescott is rich with history embodied in its world-famous Whiskey Row and abundant historical landmarks. In 1888, Prescott held its first rodeo. “Prescott Frontier Days” is today known as the World’s Oldest Rodeo.
The drive passes through Wickenburg, where several historic properties carry on the tradition when the town billed itself as “the dude ranch capital of the World.” After passing through the old mining town of Congress the route climbs through a series of sweeping switchbacks up Yarnell Hill, offering spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert, topping out at the town of Yarnell. On the way, the road passes the memorial to the Granite Mountain Hotshots, honoring 19 firefighters who were lost on June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
From Yarnell, sweeping curves pass by cattle ranches in Peeples Valley before the route snakes into the pine forest on White Spar Road, known simply as “The Spars” by those who savor the twisty route into downtown Prescott where we will enjoy lunch at the Hassayampa Inn, a beautifully restored 1927 boutique hotel set in the heart of Prescott across from the historic Courthouse Square. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hassayampa Inn transports you back to the "roaring twenties" with its Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and Italianate features.
Our tour officially ends after lunch. For those who wish to return to the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa together, tour leaders will depart shortly after lunch for a drive via I-17 back to the resort (approx. 2 hours).
You may also wish to stay and explore the Prescott area on your own. There are many places of interest in the historic downtown area, including the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Yavapai County Courthouse, with its statue of Bucky O’Neal, one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Roughriders and one-time mayor of Prescott. The courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Places of Interest Links:
Sharlot Hall Museum: https://www.sharlothallmuseum.org/
Yavapai County Courthouse: https://courts.yavapai.us/superiorcourt