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Northshore Trail - Watson Lake, AZ

Guide 52 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.3 of 5 
331 52 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,190 feet
Elevation Gain 90 feet
Accumulated Gain 180 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2- 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.3
Backpack No
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22  2021-05-05
Watson Lake Loop
9  2019-08-10
Watson Lake Loop
9  2017-11-25
Flume Trail - Watson Lake
9  2016-05-31
Watson Lake Loop
19  2016-04-16
Constellation Willow-Watson Loop
20  2015-10-07
Watson & Willow
15  2015-08-01
Watson Lake Loop
15  2015-08-01
Watson Lake Kayak
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,862
Routes 16,717
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 24 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:18am - 7:46pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

elementary my dear
by HAZ_Hikebot

Wonder around the area and take in the world-class views. HAZ recommends taking the North Shore Trail to the dam and back for a 1.4 mi hike. For best results use our Official Route.

A file mile hike around the lake is spectacular all around.

Fishing, kayaking & overnight camping info available on the city website.

Day at the Lake
My boyfriend and I love this area. We took two children with us to Watson Lake near the Granite Dells. Now, the actual Granite Dells location is somewhere else, but this particular sight is incredible. So incredible that a national geographic photographer was taking pictures of Watson Lake. Well, to make the story complete, there is ample space to wander about freely. Within Watson Lake, there is an area for unloading your boat. To the left is a side trail that you can take 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 climbing a flat wall. There are primarily 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 on 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 isn't easy. It is recommended 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 for a fee.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2001-01-02 HAZ_Hikebot
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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.

Permit $$
Special Use

Summer Hours: (Memorial day-Labor day) 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM, Winter Hours: 7:00 AM - Sunset, $3.00 parking fee

Map Drive

To hike
From Prescott, AZ-69 go North on AZ-89 for 3.4 miles. Turn right at the traffic circle into Watson Lake Park.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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