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Goldwater Lakeshore Trail, AZ

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Guide 20 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.3 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,000 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Accumulated Gain 60 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.7
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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1  2019-07-25 jtaylor
4  2017-12-17 arizona_water
12  2016-08-28
Goldwater Lake Trail #396
12  2015-08-02
Prescott lakes tour
16  2014-06-14
Goldwater - Lynx Lakes Loop
8  2011-11-11 CenAZwalker
4  2009-05-02 azdesertfather
3  2006-10-01 MirandaW
Page 1,  2
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,259 map ( 21,438 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Nov → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:17am - 6:28pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Summer memories
by joebartels

Pick up the trail down by the lake and left of the picnic areas.  On this beautiful June day it was 96 degrees when I passed through Prescott but you wouldn't know it here.  Families picnicking and fly fisherman casting along the shore made for a peaceful setting.

The trail is very level and right next to the shore around the lake.  A dam on the northwest end keeps this trail from being a loop.  It's out to the dam and back.  Why it's forbidden to cross the dam  is unknown to me.  I figure the height posses a risk and it's to accessible to young children.   Anyhow it doesn't really matter because this is one trail worth backtracking.

Though level for the most part, there is a steep section.  Be careful around the southwest bank.  The west bank also has a steep pitch that wants to slide you right into the lake.  Swimming is not allowed at the lake so avoid falling in.  =)

Not many canoes or boats filled the lake on this day.  I'm sure weekends bring more activity.  Fishing seemed to be the popular choice on this lake.  Continue on around to the dam.  Make the right decision not to cross, turn around and head back.

Several families with small children were hiking the trail.  On the return trip I encountered a pack of at least twenty girls, maybe girl scouts.  They filled the south bank eating lunch while watching two guys fly fishing across the narrow fork.  About a hundred yards away I heard them saying goodbye to the guys.  One yelled out "Have a nice summer!".  Too bad the trail was almost over.  It sure would be nice to spend summer on this cool refreshing lake.

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2000-06-14 joebartels
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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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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angela and i had something on the calendar for this weekend a month ago
kinda hard to plan during monsoon season
ended up deciding on a day hike and tibber came up with this mellow hike through the woods
wade and mary jo signed on and we hit the road and then the trail sunday morning
easy grade from white spar campground up to a ridge and then down to senator highway
on the way back, dropped down to goldwater lake for a snack and the views
entertainment was provided by a snake trying to catch some small fish
back on the trail in mid 70 temps with occasional cloud cover but nothing remotely threatening
nice to hike in such pleasant conditions on good trail
lots of ponderosa and oak providing plenty of shade
saw the little memorial to the granite mountain hotshots on the way back
a couple of trail runners, a few hikers and quite a few mountain bikers
think i could even bike this trail
good hiking with wade and mary jo again
thanks for late lunch and for driving
nice day, good company and new trails
in fact, i'm always amazed by what the prescott area has to offer
we stopped by the charcoal kiln down walker road on the way out of town
interesting bit of history, and got me to double digits for the day ;)
Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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Got an offer from Tibber to accompany her and trekkin gecko for a hike in Prescott. Getting out of the heat sounded good. The trail was in great shape and goes through a nice mixed forest of oaks and pines with a surprise water feature in Bannon Creek along the way. The monsoons stayed away but a few clouds and frequent shady spots on the trail made conditions quite pleasant. There's enough vertical to keep you honest, but not enough to stifle good conversation. Stopped lakeside for a snack and a break at the upper reservoir. Saw a very rare and ferocious Chinese water snake pretty much decimate the fish population in Goldwater Lake.

Hit El Gato Azul in Prescott for some tasty tapas and took 5 minutes to hit the Charcoal Kiln on the way out of town.

Very nice day with some great people on a nice little trail.
Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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Prescott lakes tour
A last minute plan B hike.
I decided to recycle and tweak a previous hike to his area.

Temps were pretty good as the shade and breezes were nice. A nice 67 to start, to a high in the upper 80's.

I only crossed paths with a handful of people all day on the trails.

Seven Mile Gulch Trail #9854, is exposed and the steepest climb of the day. Best to do early. It's also a mixed use trail, so you could run into motorcycles. The Watershed #299 is also mixed use.

The Ranch Trail #62 and Smith Ravine Trail #297 still are my favorites. Plenty of shade, decent trail tread and nice views.

The Goldwater #396 trail is nice also, but can get busy, but not on this day.

Homestead #305 is a roller coaster through the conifers.

There are plenty of shorter and longer loop opportunities in the area utilizing the many trails out there.

I still need to try the restaurant on the North end of Lynx Lake.
Open Thurs - Sunday for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
lynxlakerestaurantp ... html

Anybody ever try it?
Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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Goldwater - Lynx Lakes Loop
First time in this area and starting from the Sevenmile Gulch TH. I'd never been to Lynx Lake or the Goldwater Lakes either, so I put together this loop that hit both of them. All of the trails I was on today seem to get a lot of action from Mountain Bikers. I'd suggest this as a CW Loop if on a MTB. Although on this perfect weather Saturday, other than around the lakes, I didn't see another soul.

Seven Mile Gulch #9854 starts flat in the woods for the first .5 mile and the starts climbing through sun exposed scrub for a bit. Once in the pines It gets better.

I missed the turn to the Ranch Trail #62 at mile 2.3, thinking the turn was to another trail going down the northside. No problem, I actually cut some mileage off, going off trail for 200' to meet up with it again. Back on the Ranch Trail headed westish towards Goldwater Lakes, I was amazed at how nice this trail was. In the pines, great views, gentle grade, a recently built or renovated track, and was about as smooth a trail as I've been on for awhile.

Crossing the Senator Highway, I was now on the Goldwater Lakes Trail #396. I had planned to do a loop to the north around Upper and Lower Goldwater Lakes and come back on #396 to the south. There were a handful families fishing or hiking around the lake. Nobody seemed to be catching anything. When I got to the north side of the dam on Upper Goldwater, there were signs saying No Trespassing, City of Prescott. I decided to try the trail that goes around the south side of the lake that goes to the Dam. Once again, there was a trail that used to go through there, but has since been fenced off with No Trespassing. So I hopped out to the #396 again and went to get a view of the Lower Goldwater Lake. Back to Upper GW Lake, I filtered some water and started the rest of my loop back.

Now on the Watershed Trail #299 it was a climb back up on an ORV trail. A bit steep and loose until once again into the pines around Deer Lick Spring (Dry) .6 mile away. Once up top, this trail follows a ridgeline affording some pretty sweet views. The Watershed trail is 3.25 miles long and ends at Spruce Mountain Rd.

It's 1.25m on this dirt road until you get to the Smith Ravine Trail #297. Keep an eye out, as from the road, the signs are hard to see. The hikers/bikers gate was the give away.
This was the surprise of the day for me. Almost completely in the pines for the entire 3 miles down to Walker Road, but still great views. This was another trail in great shape.

Next the Homestead #305 to make my way over to Lynx Lake. This is a roller coaster trail once again in the tall pines.

I opted to go around the lesser traveled east side on Lynx Lake on the Lynx Lake Recreation Loop Trail #311. This is a very pretty lake and not anywhere as busy as I expected it to be.

I passed the Store / Restaurant on the north side of the lake, thinking I'll need to stop in and check it out in the future. Back on the 305 and a short trip back to my truck.

I really enjoyed this loop!
Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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Took a break from my retreat at Prescott Pines to hike down to the lake (thus making the distance a little bit further).

Difficulty: :sweat: :sweat: :sweat: (of 5)

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
Go to Prescott on SR 69 from I-17. Going into town the road turns into Gurley Street and SR 69 branches off to the right. You want to stay on Gurley and follow to Mt. Vernon and hang a left to go up the hill. Mt. Vernon turns into Old Senator Highway after the neighborhood. From the Gurley/Vernon intersection go 3.3 miles to the Goldwater Lake turnoff. Hang a right and follow this beautiful road to the parking area.
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