My boyfriend and I love this area. We took 2 children with us to Watson Lake near the Granite Dells. Now, the actual Granite Dells location is somewhere else, but this particular sight is absolutely incredible. So incredible in fact that a national geographic photographer was taking pictures of Watson Lake. Well, to make the story complete, there is ample space to wonder about freely. Within Watson Lake there is an area for unloading your boat. To the left is a side trail that you can take all the way around the lake to the Dam. There is a pass through the dam that takes you to the other side of the lake and beyond. However, my boyfriend and I only climbed about a mile and a half with the kids I babysat. It's easy enough for a 4 year old to handle if you stay on the trail.
The scenery is excellent and breathtaking. There are places where we have seen people actually climbing a flat wall. There are mostly boulders the size of a Suburban and some so big that they could fit about three elephants into them. The cliff faces are pretty spectacular. It's recommended that you come in and out in the same day. We went in for an hour and a half. Taking anyway that seemed fun. Then found the trail back which took us thirty minutes.
The lake itself can be used for canoeing and kayaking. There is no wake so the water stays absolutely still. There are plenty of places for the family to go in the park. Including the playground and the smaller Granite areas to the right of the boat port. The hike can be moderate to difficult. If you stay on the trail, it is easy. If you stray and explore, it's difficult. It is recommended as well that you take a compass because you could easily get lost in the vast area. This is one of my favorite places so far in Arizona besides the Canyon. For these Southern Eyes it's truly a spectacular area to visit. There is overnight camping which is ten to twelve dollars. I am not really sure.
To hike Nine miles north of Prescott on Highway 89 according to Doin' Arizona with your Pooch. Four miles north of downtown Prescott on Highway 89 according to the Feds. So...Currently under review!
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.