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Dam Trail - Watson Lake, AZ

no permit
144 16 0
Guide 16 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott NE
3.8 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,083 feet
Elevation Gain 42 feet
Accumulated Gain 109 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.16
Interest Perennial Creek
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
9  2017-11-25
Flume Trail - Watson Lake
4  2016-05-28 joebartels
31  2016-04-16
Constellation Willow Watson Lake Loop
19  2016-04-16
Constellation Willow-Watson Loop
20  2015-10-07
Watson & Willow
15  2015-08-01
Watson Lake Loop
8  2013-05-11 SunDevil3
17  2011-09-17
Northshore Trail - Watson Lake
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar
Sun  6:17am - 6:28pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
From the Trailhead off East Granite Dells road, this trail takes you to the Watson Lake Dam. Also access to Over-The Hill and Peavine trails.

Use this Trailhead also to access the Flume Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

  • Watson Dam - 1
    guide related
    Watson Dam - 1

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Constellation Willow-Watson Loop
Joe through a dart at the Constellation Trail system and said, come up with something. I didn't know anything about this "Little Gem" so I started downloading stuff. There are 11 trails in the Constellation Trail system, totaling less than 5 miles. So that wasn't going to make the drive to Prescott worth it. I'd looped Watson lake before and enjoyed the heck out of it. I'd always wanted to loop Willow Lake also, so it was on.

The Constellation Trail System is a wonderful group of of short trails through a boulder wonderland. Officially it's a self-enclosed system. But as we found on the way back, there is a trail that connects this with the Willow Dells system and Willow Lake. The Ron James Approach Trail does not show to connect on the maps, but it does. There is no signage and it's not obvious though.

All but the east side of Willow Lake looked like just a means to connect the loop, but then we stumbled on the Cottonwood Spur. Some of the biggest Cottonwood stands I've seen. `

Willow Lake Video :next: ... YbKg
Back on the Jan Alfano Trail and then we jumped over to Watson Lake, to do the loop there.

Watson Lake Video :next: ... CTBU

The highlight on this loop is the Lakeshore Trail and the Over The Hill Trail, taking you to the Granite Creek Dam.

Granite Creek Dam, Watson Lake Video :next: ... nVp0
A little road walk got us back over to the Willow Dells Trails.

Once again the hiking was great, except for 1/2 hour bug storm we ran through.

I really enjoyed looping these two Granite infested lakes, and the weather was perfect!

A great time out with the Squad.

On the day....A Gopher snake, Squirrels, Cottontail rabbits, Cormorants, all sorts of Ducks, Bluejays, Blue Herons, A hawk diving out of the sky right in front of us snagging a bird.
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
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Constellation Willow Watson Lake Loop
The more I hike around Prescott, the more I like it. Joe tossed out a starting point (the Constellation trails) for this hike and Bruce filled out the rest. The result is a gem. A beautiful granite landscape dominates a big chunk of the hike while giant cottonwoods add variety and splendor along the way. The weather, while a bit windy at times, was perfect otherwise. We did have to improvise to connect the dots, but it worked out well. Lots of large swarming gnats chased us around the east side of Willow Lake on the return, but that was a minor inconvenience for a few minutes on an otherwise great hike.

Bruce and Joe, thanks for inviting me along. As always, I had a tremendous time!
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
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Culture can only be bookended with adventure, and Watson Lake fit the bill.

9L wanted to get as many links in the shortest hike possible, so he went to HAZmasterB for research -- and Bruce's hiking history directed us to this gem of link heaven :y:
(Richard, I expect to see you up here in the next two weeks ;) )

There was some kind of car show in the Watson Lake Park, so we had to fight traffic to get in, but once there it was quite a peaceful hike. Only saw a couple of people on the circumference until the Peavine Trail. Below the dam is the most "strenuous" part of the hike and nobody goes there. It was stupid humid out and we were all soaked and ready for a swim. Too bad I wouldn't touch this water in a HAZmat suit!

Clouds made for some nice lighting though. South end of the lake is rather boring, Claire got to ogle some firefighters in action so that was good I guess. :roll:

We had a quick snack before continuing our adventure trifecta.
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Best of Watson Lake - September 2011

Prescott represents a "black hole" for me - never really hiked in the area. I've been intrigued by some stunning photos from Watson Lake filed away in the memory bank ( , , , ) and had this destination on the "TO DO" list for some time. A check on the Watson Lake weather forecast for this Saturday (Hi 78degF, sunny skies), and Lynn, dogs, and I were off to Prescott.

First stop; Watson Dam Trail/Flume Trail Loop. Curious what was generating the loud chirping sound - frogs?

Second stop; Watson Lake Park. Paid the $2 entrance fee and explored parts of the Circle Trail, Lower Granite Creek Trail (aka Discovery Trail) and lots of rock hopping through the granite dells.

Photos to follow...
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
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I found out about this hike from a Prescott trails map I bought yesterday at Manzanita Outdoor in Prescott, and was excited to discover new trails in Granite Dells. Off I went today for a quick lunch break hike on the Watson Dam and Flume trails, not knowing what to expect. Interesting weathered granite formations, a lush riparian area, and a waterfall of sorts shooting out of Watson Dam made for better-than-expected scenery and a very satisfying little hike. I'll be back to hike this one again, for sure.
Dam Trail - Watson Lake
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Went out to spend the day around Watson Lake hiking and kayaking. Started out at the TH for the Watson Dam trail and looking for a route around the Lake clockwise. I'm amazed at how few HAZ'ers have been up to this area.

Climbing in and out of the rocks led to some gorgeous views. There is a real sweet riparian area abutting the base of the Watson Lake dam. It was a very peaceful hike with very few hikers for a Saturday. There are many areas to explore around the rocky outcroppings on the lake.

The hike was quite enjoyable on all but the road hike to get back to the car.

Here a collection of short videos taken from around the lake.

My clockwise route around the Lake took me on:
Watson Dam Trail,
Flume Trail,
Over the Hill Trail,
Lakeshore Trail,
Peavine Trail,
Lower Granite Creek Discovery Trail,
Watson Lake Trail (Circle Trail),
Route 89a (.5 mile)
East Granite Dells Trail (.2 mile)

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Prescott, North on 89a, 1/2 mile past the round-about. Right on East Granite Dells road. .2 mile to TH on the right.
page created by The_Eagle on Oct 10 2010 8:04 pm
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