register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Northshore Trail - Watson Lake, AZ

Guide 51 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.3 of 5 
331 51 1
clicktap icons for details
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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
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
38  2015-07-25
Prescott Lakes Tour
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,860
Routes 16,225
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 24 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:51am - 6:31pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

elementary my dear
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
Wonder around the area and take in the world class views. HAZ recommends the 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 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 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
  • Storm Trails Map
    area related
    Storm Trails Map
  • Watson Lake
    guide related
    Watson Lake
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.
help comment issue

end of page marker