This post is being written after taking a late morning stroll through Watson Lake Park. Readers should know, this is a beautiful location that is sometimes beyond description. Stunning granite formations, a lovely small lake (a pond by east coast standards), hiking trails, boat launches, locals and visitors enjoying the day….. This park is one of those must see locations. In all honesty, I was surprised the location wasn’t a National Monument or Forest Service spot the first time I visited it.
Visiting Watson Lake Park
The park is a few miles north of downtown Prescott. Driving north out of town on Route 89 you’ll quickly come upon the park, and your first views of the Granite Dells. There’s a convenient pull off before the park, and on weekends it’s usually a pretty busy parking area! The view, for those who haven’t seen it before, is stunning. The lake laid out in front of you, the granite formations towering behind the lake. Breathtaking, even for locals who have seen it hundreds of times over.
The pull off isn’t the official parking area for the park. So don’t just pull in and hike down the hill. Go north a little further to the traffic circle and enter the main park there. Currently there’s a small fee for day parking, and it helps offset the costs of maintaining the park. Do your part, pitch in to keep this place running well!
Once you get yourself parked, there’s a lot to do (and a lot of parking available). There are 2 boat launches in the park with plenty of vehicle parking. There’s a large grassy area that you can lounge on all day if you’d like. Several covered picinic areas are found throughout the park. Several restrooms are available throughout the park as well. A limited amount of camping for tenters and RV’ers alike (only open for part of the year). And there are trails throughout the park for hiking, running, mountain biking, and even for playing a full 18 holes of disc golf!
Basically, there’s something for everyone here.
Where should I start?
Well, there’s the big question. A walk down to the shore perhaps? Maybe dropping off your canoe or kayak for a paddle among the rocks? During the summer you can even rent a canoe or kayak, so you don’t have to bring your own. You could also take a walk along the Prescott Circle Trail’s segment that passes through Watson Lake Park. Bottom line, there’s a lot to do.