Prescott Altitude Sickness: Complete Guide & 5 Tips To Avoid It

Prescott Altitude Sickness

As a charming mountainous city in Arizona, Prescott surprise many visitors with its higher than normal elevations. In this complete guide we'll detail all you need to know about Prescott altitude and our proven tips to help you avoid Prescott altitude sickness.

Prescott AZ Altitude

Prescott AZ altitude sits at 5400 feet above sea level. This makes Prescott one of the highest cities in Arizona.

  • Prescott altitude - 5400 feet (1,600 m)

Located in the central part of Arizona, Prescott is known for its historic downtown and outdoor recreation opportunities. The city is surrounded by national forests and offers a variety of hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and rock climbing areas. The nearby lakes and rivers provide ample places for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Some of the popular areas nearby include Prescott National Forest, Prescott Circle Trail, Watson Lake, and Jerome. At slightly farther distances, iconic destinations include the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Sedona.

Altitudes of destinations that surround Prescott:

  • Prescott National Forest altitude - 5600 to 6200 ft (1706 to 1890 m)
  • Mount Union altitude - 7969 ft (2429 m)
  • Prescott Circle Trail altitude -  5140 to 6690 ft (1566 to 2039 m)
  • Watson Lake altitude - 5100 ft (1600 m)
  • Jerome altitude 5066 ft (1544 m)
  • Prescott Valley altitude - 5100 feet (1600 m)
  • Chino Valley altitude - 4707 ft (1435 m)
  • Dewey–Humboldt altitude - 4581 ft (1396 m)
  • Grand Canyon altitude - 7000 to 8000 ft (2100 to 2400 m)
  • Flagstaff altitude - 6909 feet (2106 m)
  • Sedona altitude - 4350 ft (1330 m)

At the heights of these elevations of Prescott AZ and its surrounding areas, you'll want to be well prepared.

Is Prescott AZ Considered High Altitude?

Yes, Prescott is considered high altitude.

High altitude starts at 4900 feet, according to Mountain Medicine.¹²  Prescott AZ exceeds that elevation, making it a high altitude destination.

Prescott is part of the northern region of Arizona called "High Country, which is a nickname for the Colorado Plateau that also includes Flagstaff, Sedona, and Payson.

What Is The Highest Point Near Prescott AZ?

Less than an hour away, Mount Union is the highest point near Prescott at 7969 feet above sea level.

As the highest peak in the Bradshaw Mountains that are visible from Phoenix, Mount Union is located in the Prescott National Forest.

Is Prescott The Mile High City?

While Prescott is 5400 feet, making it a city that's over a mile high, Denver is also coined the "mile high city" at nearly exactly 5280 feet high.

Does Arizona Give You Altitude Sickness?

Yes, some areas of Arizona including Prescott can give you altitude sickness.

Research has shown that altitude sickness starts around 5000 feet, in which Prescott exceeds that height.¹⁴ Denver for example at slightly lower altitude of 5280 feet, gets an estimated 10% of visitors that struggle with altitude sickness.¹⁵

Prescott Altitude Sickness

Prescott Altitude Sickness can be a threat if you're not careful. Also known as acute mountain sickness, it occurs when there's a lack of oxygen at high altitudes. The higher you go, the less oxygen there is in the air.

Physiological stress, oxidative stress, increased respiration, and dehydration can play a role too. The dry climate of Arizona can compound some of these issues. This leads to symptoms such as headache, nausea, and fatigue.

Symptoms of Prescott altitude sickness may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Lack of energy
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Feeling ill

These symptoms typically develop within 6-24 hours. Stay alert to how you feel and it's best to take altitude precautions for your trip which we'll cover below.

5 Tips To Avoid Prescott Altitude Sickness

Are you planning a trip to Prescott, Arizona, and worried about altitude sickness? Prescott is a beautiful destination, but with its high elevation, altitude sickness is a real concern for visitors and can ruin your vacation.

As a Colorado company with years of high altitude experience, we'll share with you our top researched tips to avoid Prescott altitude sickness and make the most of your trip.

Here's 5 Tips To Avoid Prescott Altitude Sickness:

1. Take It Slow

When you are at a high elevation, it's important to take it slow and avoid overexertion until you're acclimatized. This is especially true if you are engaging in activities like hiking and exploring the outdoors.

Start with easy, low-intensity activities, and gradually increase the intensity as your body adjusts to the elevation. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Pushing yourself too hard can make altitude sickness symptoms worse.

2. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial when you are at a high elevation. The air at high elevations is dry, and your respiration increases.

In fact, the Wilderness Medical Society estimates that you lose water twice as fast at high altitudes than at sea level.¹⁶ You can easily become dehydrated without even realizing it. Stay hydrated by aiming to drink at least half your body weight in water each day.

TIP: To maximize your hydration, add sea salt (considered electrolytes) to your foods and water. And take Zaca hydration chewables to enhance water absorption.

3. Limit Alcohol Intake

Limit alcohol while at high altitudes like Prescott because it can cause dehydration, lower oxygen saturation, and effect sleep quality¹⁷ making the symptoms worse.

A hangover and altitude sickness are a bad mix. It's best to wait until you feel acclimatized before you start drinking.

4. Get Ample Sleep

Sleep is the time when your body heals and repairs itself for recovery, so it's important to get plenty of sleep during your altitude acclimatization process.¹⁸ In addition, high altitudes can cause insomnia or sleeping difficulty.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.¹⁹ To help your body's circadian rhythms, get plenty of natural sunlight during the day.

5. Take Antioxidants

Research reveals that high elevations cause oxidative stress to your body.²⁰ Antioxidants are shown as a proven method to help.²¹

A study from India displayed high elevation to deplete glutathione, which is the body's master antioxidant. Take antioxidants to fight this attack on your body and boost your levels.²²

In conclusion, follow these top researched tips to avoid Prescott AZ altitude sickness — including taking it slow, staying hydrated, limiting alcohol intake, getting ample sleep, and taking antioxidants.

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1. Prescott Arizona Elevation,_Arizona
2. Prescott National Forest Elevation
3. Mount Union Elevation
4. Prescott Circle Trail Elevation
5. Watson Lake Arizona Elevation
6. Grand Canyon Elevation
7. Flagstaff Arizona Elevation,_Arizona
8. Prescott Valley Arizona Elevation,_Arizona
9. Chino Valley Arizona Elevation,_Arizona
10. Dewey–Humboldt Elevation,_Arizona
11. Prescott AZ Elevation
12. Effects of high altitude on humans
13. High Country Arizona
14. Patient education: High-altitude illness (including mountain sickness)
15. Don’t let altitude sickness ruin your trip to Colorado
16. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
17. Effects of Alcohol
18. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
19. National Sleep Foundation
20. High altitude and oxidative stress
21. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
22. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione