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Goldwater Lake Trail #396, AZ

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Guide 33 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.5 of 5 by 15
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,626 feet
Elevation Gain 547 feet
Accumulated Gain 962 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.71
Interest Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
15  2018-08-25
Prescott Lakes Loop
7  2018-08-25
Prescott Lakes Tour
10  2017-10-28
Prescott Circle Trail - Act 2
13  2017-10-28
Prescott Circle Trail - Act 2
15  2017-10-28
Prescott Circle Trail - Act 2
12  2016-08-28 trekkin_gecko
36  2016-08-28 tibber
34  2016-08-15 RowdyandMe
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  7:01am - 5:27pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
10 Linked
Nearby Area Water
Schoolhouse Gulch Trail #67
0.0 mi away
2.5 mi
564 ft
Ponderosa Trail #382
0.0 mi away
1.9 mi
552 ft
Bean Peaks Loop
Bean Peaks Loop
0.0 mi away
7.8 mi
1,405 ft
Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415
Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415
0.1 mi away
5.4 mi
1,100 ft
Twist & Shout Trail #372
0.2 mi away
0.6 mi
65 ft
Trail #371 - Prescott NF
0.2 mi away
0.2 mi
55 ft
White Spar Trail #9707V
0.4 mi away
2.3 mi
736 ft
Apple Blossom Trail #373
0.5 mi away
1.3 mi
235 ft
Trail #81 - Prescott NF
0.6 mi away
1.5 mi
135 ft
Hidden Valley Trail #374
0.8 mi away
0.5 mi
139 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
the roundabout way
by PrestonSands & Tom Sands

Overview: This trail should not be confused with the other Goldwater Lake Trail, which is within the City of Prescott's Goldwater Lake Park. This is a new section of the Prescott Circle Trail between White Spar Campground and the Senator Highway. The new Goldwater Lake Trail (#396) rambles through gentle pine covered hills, passing both Lower and Upper Goldwater Lakes along the way. This winding trail is well marked and easy to follow.

Hike: Beginning at the White Spar Campground trailhead along U.S. Highway 89, the Goldwater Lake Trail departs next to a locked vehicle barrier gate. Initially following a road up Schoolhouse Gulch, the trail quickly breaks to the left at a fiberglass sign post for trail #396, and climbs into low hills of mixed ponderosa and oak. Along the way, trails #372 and #374 break off to the left at 0.25 and 0.7 miles, respectively.

One mile in, there is a great view to the west of the Sierra Prieta and Thumb Butte from the top of hill 5935'. At this point, the Goldwater Lake Trail begins a descent through tall pines to the wooded floor of Bannon Creek, turning south to follow its course upstream. The Bannon Creek stretch crosses an old road (trail #61), before coming to a seasonal pool and small cascade, at 1.7 miles. This is a great place to take a break, or to just enjoy the cool water and pleasant surroundings.

Leaving Bannon Creek behind, the trail climbs the south bank to contour around pine covered hillsides, eventually passing near Lower Goldwater Lake, which is just barely visible through the trees.

At just over three miles, the trail reaches a low saddle, where it begins a lengthy u-turn descent to the broad basin where Upper Goldwater Lake lies. The Goldwater Lake Trail #396 approaches the lake from the south, but does not actually go to it. Instead, a short bypass trail travels to the lake shore, where it meets the shore line route of the Goldwater Lake Trail. The bypass trail rejoins the route of the Goldwater Lake Trail #396 within a quarter of a mile.

The Goldwater Lake Trail #396 continues east, leaving the lake area and crossing Bannon Creek once more, before ascending a bit through open forest and boulders to the east trailhead on the Senator Highway, at 4.5 miles. From the east trailhead, one can continue hiking by taking the Watershed Trail #299, located directly across the highway.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

PrestonSands & Tom Sands
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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.

Permit $$

Prescott Forest
Prescott National Forest Pass

Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
WEST TRAILHEAD ON HIGHWAY 89/WHITE SPAR ROAD: From the intersection of Gurley Street and Montezuma Street in downtown Prescott, head south on Montezuma Street for 2.9 miles (becomes White Spar Road /Highway 89) to White Spar Campground on the left. Turn left and park at the trailhead parking area, located at the entrance to the campground. The Goldwater Lake Trail begins at a locked gate here, and is marked by a trail #396 signpost.

EAST TRAILHEAD ON SENATOR HIGHWAY: From Gurley Street, turn south onto Mount Vernon Street (becomes Senator Highway), and follow it for 4.1 miles to the trailhead on the right (west) side of the road, directly opposite of the Watershed #299 Trailhead. A fiberglass signpost for trail #396 marks the east end of the Goldwater Lake Trail. A larger parking area is available at the Watershed Trailhead.
page created by PrestonSands on Feb 23 2010 10:28 pm
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