Watson Lake and the Granite Dells

Explore a jumble of boulders surrounding a cool lake just four miles northeast of Prescott.

In the high-elevation city of Prescott, four seasons create diverse outdoor adventures. Visitors come to Watson Lake to see the wonderland of rocks that surround the water, formations called Granite Dells that seem to defy gravity. A large covered ramada at the parking area overlooks this impressive natural area, and granite slabs along the shoreline create perfect picnic spots. Visitors come here for hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing in this gateway to Prescott National Forest. Others enjoy an unusual outdoor activity, an 18-hole disc golf course along the scenic shoreline.

On the Water

This is where locals go to put in kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards to exercise in a spectacular setting. Others explore the scenic lake to find the perfect fishing holes for rainbow trout, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Area outfitters rent canoes and kayaks for visitors to set off on the lake and wind through coves and islands created by the boulders popping above the surface. This surprising riparian habitat sees a steady stream of waterfowl gliding across the water and wading along the shorelines dunking their heads in for a bite.

Mile-High Adventures

Granite Mountain Guides leads rock-climbing excursions in the Dells. Visitors receive safety instruction before strapping in and climbing the incredible rock face of Pavillion Wall. Visitors also come here to hike the otherworldly landscape. Watson Lake Loop is a nearly 5-mile clamber over the boulders on a full circle around the lake. Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail is a rails-to-trails project with a section that skirts the east shore of the lake popular with mountain bikers.

Visit Prescott

The historic city of Prescott honors its pioneer spirit by maintaining the character of turn-of-the-20th-century buildings on Whiskey Row that roared with activity during the gold rush. Downtown’s awesome granite courthouse anchors the city square today just as it did when Prescott was the state’s biggest city and center of government. This local point of pride provides a historic backdrop to downtown restaurants, shops and bars that welcome visitors to enjoy a city with deep roots and Wild West pride.

For more information

Watson Lake
3101 Watson Lake Rd.
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 777-1122

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