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Banning Creek Trail - Goldwater Lake, AZ

Guide 26 Triplogs  2 Topics
  3.4 of 5 
93 26 2
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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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8  2021-03-09
Goldwater Lakes Trail #396
23  2020-06-17 outdoor_lover
1  2019-07-25 jtaylor
4  2017-12-17 arizona_water
12  2016-08-28
Goldwater Lakes Trail #396
12  2015-08-02
Prescott lakes tour
16  2014-06-14
Goldwater - Lynx Lakes Loop
8  2011-11-11 CenAZwalker
Page 1,  2
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 245
Routes 837
Photos 12,272
Trips 4,939 map ( 25,209 miles )
Age 51 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  6:16am - 6:31pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2018 Stubbs Fire34.7 mi**

Summer memories
by joebartels

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View the [ map ] of the now official trails at the lake.

The following is the original 2000-06-14 guide to preserve HAZ history.

Goldwater Lakeshore Trail
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 poses a risk, and it's too accessible to young children.   Anyhow it doesn't 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 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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2000-06-14 joebartels
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  • Goldwater Park Trails Map
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    Goldwater Park Trails Map
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
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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