Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Watson Lake Loop

This is Watson Lake, in Prescott, Arizona.  Beautiful and surreal.  I hiked the trail around the lake (and a detour into the Flume Canyon area).  It was fantastic.  I started at the lookout and went toward the dam.


The trail soon veers away from the lake into a rocky wonderland that looks like some strange Star Trek planet:

Fun trail sign:

Here's where you can detour into the Flume Canyon trail system.

It's worth it because:

These pictures were taken at the end of October, by the way.  It was a perfect time to go.  A little warm hiking in the middle of the day, but overall very pleasant temperatures.  And some autumn leaves!

Here the trail reminded me a little of the "rock towns" of the Czech Republic:

Secret Cove (worth the detour):  

Beautiful heron:

It was a great trail.  If you just take the loop with no detours, it's just under 5 miles.  I would class it as moderately difficult.  There are some places you need to really pay attention to the trailfinding.  Some of the trail sections are just white dots on rocks that you need to scramble up.  It's super fun.  Speaking of rocks--there are lots of them.  Not always so easy on the knees.  The total elevation gain isn't a lot, but there are a lot of tiny ups and downs that add up over the course of the trail.  If you include a lot of detours, like I did, expect more like 6-7 miles.

This just might be one of my favorite trails.  The only downside is the last bit is rather long and straight and not as interesting.  But there are lots of water birds to watch as you make the long slog.   

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