Sunday, April 5, 2015

Prescott, AZ: Hiking around Watson Lake

Holy cow, we hiked a beautiful trail Friday. It was a series of paths circling the beautiful Watson Lake, a lake we kayaked the previous day.  Signs on the trail said the hike is 4.79 miles. On-line I read 5.05.  My smart phone ap said it was just under six mile, but that was door to door from our nearby campsite. But it was one of the best hikes we’ve ever taken, with lots of different terrain. 

When we got off the flat Peavine Trail and onto Lakeshore Trail, a sign said something like “Difficult technical hiking.” We weren't sure what that meant. Hiking with ropes and a body harness, maybe?  If so, we'd turn back. But we've hiked terrain marked "difficult" at Utah's Capitol Reef that didn't seem too bad, so we forged ahead. 

Then at the junction for a trail called "Over the Hill," the sign actually said “This trail is even more difficult than the previous one.” Oh well. We have good hiking boots, are in fairly decent shape, and were loving it so far. Plus the trail was extremely well marked with a sign and map at each junction, and white painted dots marked the route. At one point we came to a stream, looked for the dots, and saw them on the other side of the water. Jim got through with just one wet foot, then threw an extra log of the stream and I got across with two dry feet.

A very fun, very beautiful hike.
Near where we started our hike: Watson Lake and the rippled rocks that look like pull-part bread 
After we left a rocky trail and walked by a marina, the path took us through a green area with lots of Cottonwood trees. 
After the Cottonwoods, we walked on the Peavine Trail, once the site of the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad.  The part we were on was completely flat and full of walkers and bikers. 
Jim after we left the flat Peavine Trail and got on Lakeshore Trail. Here we entered the stone sculptures of the Granite Dells, which is what these rocks are called.
More cool rocks, more beautiful lake, as seen from the east side of Watson Lake.
A lot of the trail stepped us from one big rock to another, just like in this photo.
Jim balancing on a trail that was trickier than it looks.
We had lunch of fruit and granola bars at about the four-mile mark.
We took the "steep" instead of the "steeper" but "steeper" did not look all that bad.
Other than birds, lizards, and a deer skeleton, this was the only wildlife we saw.
View near the end of the trail.

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