Sunday, September 26, 2021

Hiking the Dells at Watson Lake, AZ…


One of the most intriguing trails we were interested in undertaking was the Watson Lake and Flume Trail. One challenge was that it is a a 4 to 5 mile moderate loop trail near Prescott. The biggest challenge was that we were still experiencing occasional monsoonal showers. Therefore we decided we would just hike part of the trail with an eye on the weather.


We pulled into the Overlook Parking Lot and were expecting to pay a parking fee but this park had no fee associated with it. We started down the hill from the overlook and in a short distance we were at a little county park.


While we aren’t normally happy to see a concession stand during our hike we were this time because we had forgotten most of water for the hike. We happily bought some additional water to allow us to hike further than we would have been able to with our limited water supply.


The trail then continued along a relatively flat section alongside the lake. Lake Watson is s large and scenic so the lake views along this stretch of trail were spectacular. It was also a treat to see lots of late season wildflowers in bloom as we made our way down the trail.


Continuing on the trail while enjoying gorgeous views of the lake the vegetation got thicker and the trail rockier. Soon we were on mostly solid granite and the trail was marked by faint white dots painted on the rock. It was a bit of a challenge locating the dots but we were glad they were there as we sometimes found we had wandered off the path.


Soon we were doing a lot of climbing around the rocks and up some steep parts which were somewhat overgrown with vegetation. It was a very hot day and we were taking water breaks a lot as there were many parts of the trail without shade. Yet we found this was where the really scenic part of the trail begins.


We were now in rolling granite dells. What is a a dell? Simply put a dell is a geographic name for a small secluded hollow. The dells are super cool and somewhat otherworldly. We found ourselves many times in small hidden coves with reflections of sky, water and stone. Fabulous!


We noticed rains had begun just south of us so we headed back and when we got back to the car we had hiked about 2.5 miles but man, oh, man what a beautiful place this was…

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…


  1. A very rewarding rock scramble! Simply stunning rock/lake relationship.

  2. That place is geologically fascinating, I wonder what on earth went on there to make those rocks! Lovely photos.

    1. From the web... The rocks formed 1.4 billion years ago at a depth of 2-3 km, before they were uncovered by weathering. By a process known as spheroidal weathering, common in granitic terrains, the rocks assumed rounded shapes and other unusual rock formations that characterize the Granite Dells.