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Constellation Willow Watson Lake Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-04-16
16 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Constellation Willow Watson Lake Loop, AZ 
Constellation Willow Watson Lake Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2016
joebartels
Hiking15.91 Miles 1,644 AEG
Hiking15.91 Miles   7 Hrs   40 Mns   2.58 mph
1,644 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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rayhuston
The_Eagle
Last summer I spent several hours tracing up the constellation trails. Driving by the area intrigued me so I looked it up online. Prescott is dialed in on being a trail friendly community and it shows in all the details.

On a whim I remembered and mentioned it to Bruce. He made it sing adding in Willow and Watson lakes. Prescott hadn't been an area that intrigued me much other than Granite & Groom. It's been growing on me a little over the years.

Yesterday I pulled a leg muscle. This seemed easy enough that I could hobble it out with a trekking pole.

The Constellation Trails are well marked with "you are here" maps at major junctions. The area was popular on this chilly April morning and on our return with more families. If you're an avid hiker with family/friends that get bored/whiny after a mile or two they might enjoy a little loop through this disneyland of granite.

Bruce sold the Willow leg as the boring part of the hike. We all enjoyed it more than expected. Temps and a little jaunt through huge cottonwoods on the peninsula did the trick.

Like all of the loop I'd never been to the famed Watson Lake. Seems like everyone gets a great photo here and now I know why. Aravaipa Running had an event going on. Ray and I held back a tad as Bruce hiked by the onlookers and through the finish line backwards. They cheered finishers coming in and didn't yell at him so we proceeded. A minute or two later I was standing at the postcard shot of the lake. Not a cloud in the sky when we started but they raced in just as we arrived. After marveling the scene I noticed the perfect snow capped San Francisco Peaks back yonder. Wow... forwards, backwards and upside-down Mom!

We lunched overlooking Granite Creek just before the dam. Squads were out enjoying the weekend lake vibes. After lunch Bruce escorted us over to the dam. Water shoots out from high above. It would be really nice on a hot day. Continuing on is a cottonwood paradise high above the creek. This would be another great area to take non hiking friends for an hour of piddling around as parking is near.

To make the loop work we needed to cross private property. Got lucky as a man was taking out trash to the garbage. Ray asked the REI shirted gentleman and our dream loop came true.

This hike put Prescott on the map for me.
Culture
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
some indian paintbrush, nothing else rings a bell
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- joe
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joebartels'
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