Prescott College is small liberal arts institution with a highly distinctive approach to experiential education. New students begin their educational journey with a month-long Wilderness Orientation, backpacking in small groups through the forests and mountain canyons of the Southwest. In the second year, each student works with their faculty advisor to customize an individualized program of study that meets both the student’s specific learning goals as well as those of the professional field they will enter. Along the way, our students may “study abroad” at any of the other colleges and universities in the Ecoleague, the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning, or at the College’s Kino Bay Center in Sonora, Mexico. In the senior year, each student completes a practical Capstone Project in which they demonstrate their competence in their fields of study and their readiness for professional work or graduate studies.
One example of how experiential learning is woven into all courses: Kurt Refsnider (Environmental Studies and Sustainability Department) and Kaitlyn Boyle (Adventure Education Department) co-teach Geology through Bikepacking, a month-long course in which students investigate and learn to unravel the geology of the Colorado Plateau region through a series of self-supported mountain bike trips.
Riding in the town of Prescott, Arizona
Prescott is located about a mile above sea level in the central highlands of Arizona. The town is surrounded by national forests with hundreds of miles of great trails ranging from fast, flowing single track through the ponderosa pines to the technical slick rock of the Granite Dells. The Prescott Circle Trail, a 50-mile loop trail around town, was also recently completed. Each year Prescott hosts Epic Ride’s famous Whiskey Off-Road race and many other mountain bike and endurance events. The climate is ideal for cycling year-round. We are also just a short drive from the red rock trails of Sedona and the higher elevation riding around Flagstaff, and when the snow falls occasionally in the mountains surrounding Prescott, the remarkable desert trail systems around Phoenix and Tucson are nearby.
Additional information about cycling in the Prescott area: