Lake & Granite Hiking

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by nmagann on May 31, 2012

Watson Lake is a few miles away from Prescott and worlds away from city life. Heading north on highway 89 past the traffic circle turn right on Granite Dells Road to the parking lot where Flume Trail to the dam about 1.5 miles begins. From the dam, a short Over The Hill Trail connects with the 2-mile Lakeshore Trail.

Flume trail is an easy to moderate hike with little rock navigating just under the dam. The path follows the crystal clear spring nearly the entire distance. The short dense fern on either side of the water seemed like a miniature forest of Norfolk Pines. Large boulders line the canyon sheltering the area. Reaching the dam, the reward of the mist was refreshing. Looking up at the dam though, a part of me felt like giggling. I saw a single hole from which the water came pouring out, not over the top or from the bottom, but a hole in the middle. Immediately my mind wondered to the poem about child plugging the hole in the dyke with his finger. However, were I to get really close, I'm sure it would have required more than that to stop the flow.

We had to retrace our steps a bit to a previous fork in the road so that we could connect to the Lakeshore Trail. Hiking up the trail, aptly named Over-the-Hill, we got a bit confused with a couple of well trodden false trails. Some led to lookout points while others appeared to be vain attempts at shortcuts. The Over-the-Hill trail is rather dusty and winds around some very large boulders. The egg-shaped boulders rising out of the clear waters offered a sweeping landscape that yearned to be kayaked. They are permitted, but unfortunately we didn't have any. The breeze was gentle behind these monoliths that inevitably sheltered quiet little coves behind them. All the fascination in lakes like Powell and San Antonio and others that people houseboat, was in a miniature version here offering the hiker and kayakers access to secret coves. Ah yes, Secret Cove one of the quiet places we stopped at to admire the views.

We house walked on the very short Tree House Trail that, much to my surprise, contained a tree house. So often I found names of cities, streets, trails to be a misnomer. The tree house must have been there before the trail was named. This in turn implies it has been around for a while. Lastly, this means somehow it has escaped being trashed, tagged or otherwise negatively impacted. This brought a smile to my face.

We continued to the point where the trail connected with the Peavine Trail which was primarily for mountain bikers. It was wide, flat and went all around the lake. This seemed like a good point to turn around, particularly knowing the sun would be setting soon.
Watson Lake
Granite Dells
Prescott, Arizona

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