Prescott Monstercross


At 8:00 am on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Meet just east of Prescott at the Frontier Village parking lot on State Route 69. Look for Harbor Freight Tool, and please park toward the west end of the shopping center well away from the stores. There are many more post-race food and drink options here than at the old meeting location, including a Subway owned by local mountain bikers!

Prescott Monstercross is an annual Spring ride around Prescott’s world-class trail system. And the route has evolved yet again for 2018! Again this year we have a shorter and longer options showcasing the Prescott Basin’s best singletrack, the diverse scenery, the slickrock, the ridgelines, more new trails, and just a little bit of Bradshaw chunk for good measure. The short loop this year is a bit more demanding than in past years, and the long loop is less demanding than the megaMonster from the past few years.

The basic details:

“Short” Loop

  • 62 miles of mostly singletrack – many of the miles are fast and flowy
  • 8,000 feet of climbing
  • Expect the ride to take between 5.5 and 9 hours
  • Water is available at the Willow Lake Dells boat launch, the Cayuse Trailhead in Granite Basin, and White Spar Campground (assuming the spigots have all been turned on for the season). Water is also available slightly off-route at the Thumb Butte Trailhead. Download the waypoints file for the locations of these water sources.

“Long” Loop

  • 75 miles of mostly singletrack – adds in some chunky trails higher in the Bradshaws (but this does NOT drop way off the west side of the range like in past years)
  • 11,000 feet of climbing
  • Expect the ride to take between 7.5 and 11 hours
  • Water is available at the Willow Lake Dells boat launch, the Cayuse Trailhead in Granite Basin, White Spar Campground, and Lynx Lake Campground (assuming the spigots have all been turned on for the season). Water is also available slightly off-route at the Thumb Butte Trailhead. Download the waypoints file for the locations of these water sources.
  • The Lynx Lake Store near the end of the route can supply calories for the last climb if you’ve bonked!

2018 Monstercross map (red = “short”, blue = “long”):

2018 Monstercross profile – “short”:Monstercross2018profileshort

2018 Monstercross profile – “long”:PMC2018profile

2018 GPX files (posted March 29, 2018; subject to change):
(follow the link and then download the file)

Monstercross track (short)

Monstercross track (long)

Monstercross waypoints




The route takes the following sequence of trails. You’ll need a GPS to follow the route exactly. To make sense of this description, you’ll likely need the City of Prescott Trails Map that is available at bike shops in town for $1 or download it for free here.

  1. BOTH ROUTES: Starting from in front of the Subway at Frontier Village, make way south to the Turley Trailhead
  2. Badger Mountain Trail (Circle Trail)
  3. Sundog Trail (Circle Trail)
  4. Peavine Trail under Prescott Lakes Parkway (Circle Trail)
  5. Over to Watson Lake boat launch (Circle Trail)
  6. Right/north on Hwy 89, left on Cavalry Rd
  7. Through the Dells to the Willow Lake Boat Launch (water spigot at bathrooms)
  8. Willow Lake gravel path west, rejoining Circle Trail at tunnel
  9. Circle Trail through Pioneer Park and west to Williamson Valley Road
  10. Left/south on Williamson Valley Rd
  11. Right/west on Dineh Dr, left on Hozoni Rd, right on Katahn Dr
  12. Begin Trail 347
  13. Left on 348. For the rest of the ride, you will only be on the Circle Trail for limited sections.
  14. Left on 351 to Cayuse Trailhead. Water spigot here.
  15. Begin 346
  16. Right on 332. Follow 332 and cross Iron Springs Road
  17. Right onto West Side Story (new trail)
  18. Straight onto Russ T. Fender (new trail)
  19. Right onto Tatanka (new trail)
  20. Right onto 332.
  21. LONG ROUTE: Right on 318.
    SHORT ROUTE: Continue straight on 332, crossing Thumb Butte Road. Continue following Circle Trail via trails 392, 322, 327, 393, and Trail 48.
  22. Cross Thumb Butte Road at White Rock Trailhead and begin new Trail 324 (water is available downhill at Thumb Butte Trailhead)
  23. Right onto unmarked trail (Bonanza) after 0.4 miles
  24. Cross Thumb Butte Road and look for unmarked trail at west end of campsite. Begin climbing all the way up to the ridgeline to the west.
  25. Left onto West Spruce Trail 264
  26. Straight/right onto Thumb Butte Road. Climb to overlook, descend.
  27. Right onto unmarked trail 0.25 miles southeast of overlook
  28. Straight across Copper Basin Road and onto Mt Francis Road 9402C
  29. Pass gate and begin down Trail 260
  30. Look for unmarked singletrack (Moby) on left after ~1000 feet. Turn left.
  31. At end of singletrack, turn left onto 2-track and descend. After a very brief climb, stay right and drop steeply.
  32. Right onto Trail 48. Then follow 2-track uphill to gate at top of Wolverton Trail 9415. Long route rejoins short route here.
  33. BOTH ROUTES: Continue straight on Wolverton Trail 9415 (Trail 48 will make a hard right here). Follow all the way down to White Spar Campground. Water is available in the campground.
  34. Begin climbing Trail 396
  35. LONG ROUTE: After ~2.25 miles, turn right onto unmarked fainter trail. Climb for 1000 feet, and then turn left onto Schoolhouse Gulch “Road”
    SHORT ROUTE: Stay on 396, following the Prescott Circle Trail, crossing Senator Hwy, and continuing straight on Ranch Trail 62 and the Badger Connector back to the Turley Trailhead
  36. At gate, stay straight onto E Schoolhouse Gulch Road heading southeast
  37. At next intersection, stay straight onto S Moose Trail Road
  38. Cross Marapai Road and descend narrow gravel road (Lower Groom Creek Rd)
  39. Road eventually veers left after Friendly Pines Camp and becomes Friendly Pines Road. Climb Friendly Pines Road all the way up to Sentator Hwy
  40. L on Senator Hwy
  41. Right onto Old Miners Road
  42. Left onto Yegan Drive and climb, then climb steeply up Preddy Lane
  43. Right onto Oak or Spruce Mtn Road
  44. Climb to Smith Ravine Trailhead. Left onto Trail. Descend all the way to Walker Road!
  45. Cross Walker Road and turn left onto Trail 305. Follow 305 all the way to its end at the Ranch Trailhead. Water is available just off route in the campground, and the Lynx Lake Store is back Lynx Lake Store Road to the right/east at the northern end of the lake.
  46. At Ranch Trailhead, begin climbing the recently rebuilt Ranch Trail
  47. Right onto Badger Mtn connector, rejoining the short route here.
  48. BOTH ROUTES: Right onto Turley to Turley Trailhead
  49. Return to start/finish via same way ride began


Use the comment section below to ask questions or make a comment about this race.  This ride is limited to 74 participants.


33 responses to “Prescott Monstercross

  1. I heard through the grapvine that the official circle trail is going to be re routed around Turley and Boy Scout trails with a new trail. Does that mean this course will use that bypass for 2018 ?

  2. I’ve opened the Waypoints GPX in Topofusion & Basecamp and it appears to be “empty”. What am I missing?

  3. No worries Kurt. We just finalized new plans for Prescott & are now planning to be there until early May – so should be able to make it to the big event in person!
    Looking at moving from Tucson to Prescott a day early to incorporate the Ripsey ride too 🙂

  4. You still have two options for long and short loop on the registration form. 10,000 feet ascent and 78 miles, this one is gonna hurt.

  5. Can we do a later start for the shorter loop? 8:30 am? 7:30 is brutal for most of us that have to drive up there in the morning.

  6. i vote to keep the earlier time. It is nice to finish while it is still light out. I too, have to drive up, but can camp the night before if don’t want to get up VERY early.

  7. Is there really someone that can do that 75 mile ride in 7.5 hours ? damn…

  8. It turns out that the GPX tracks had >10,000 points. This can cause them to get truncated on many GPS units. So, new tracks, with 9500 points, have been uploaded to the links above. I highly recommend re-downloading the files if you got them before 4/10. Thanks to Ray for supplying the tracks since Kurt is a little busy right now…

  9. Thanks for modifying the tracks, Jeff and Ray. I forgot to do that!

    And let’s compromise and make it an 8:00 am start! I’ll update the web page accordingly.

    And someone asked if the 75-mile route is possible to do in 7.5 hours. I would wager it certainly is possible!

  10. You can pull me off the list, I am still recovering from Sedona.

  11. Right onto Trail 48. Then follow 2-track uphill to gate at top of Wolverton Trail 9415. Long route rejoins short route here. — should this be “left on 48” ?

  12. the water is not turned on at white spar and possibly other places. learned the hard way

    • Lane, when where you there? I got water from that spigot at White Spar on Monday!

      • Kurt, the one by the bathroom by the start of 396 im talking about. It had a lock in it yesterday.

      • Im going to check a few of the water spouts today to be absolutely positive. Im only a mile from White spar

      • Great, thanks, Lane. I got water from that spigot earlier this week, so it’s odd that there’s a lock on it now! Hopefully one of the other spigots in the campground is on.

        The spigot at the Cayuse Trailhead in Granite Basin has been confirmed to be on, and there’s water available at the Lynx Lake Store for folks doing the long loop (near the end of the loop).

  13. de(un?)register me, had to make a last minute trip out of town

  14. Jay Lewandowski

    I’m out, not making it to the ride.

  15. The water at White Spar Campground is definitely on – all 4 spigots that I rode, including the one by the 396 trailhead, were functional.

  16. And the spigots in Lynx Lake Campground are confirmed to be on today. Thanks to Dan Hight for checking on those!

  17. I didn’t make it back to the start, please record a dnf for me, thanks!

  18. Finished mini at 4:45pm

  19. So sorry to keep you guys waiting, I followed Kurt’s instructions to post on the blog here.

  20. Hi Kurt – I finished the short loop @ 4:34

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