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Citizen Hiker

Written by Mare Czinar Category: Lifestyle Issue: June 2016
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Canine adventurers Izak (Australian Shepherd) and Fiona (Corgi mix) take a break on billion-year-old granite slabs at Prescott’s Watson Lake (above). Along with their mom Ashley Barinka of Gilbert, they had a blast trekking the area’s signature “white dot” slick rock routes and secret coves.

The Mile-High Trail System that weaves around the lake can be done as short out-and-back hikes or linked together for a nearly 5-mile loop. Map signs at every junction make it a cinch to find your way. Barinka and her four-legged companions also take to the water on stand-up paddle boards. Yup – the dogs, too.

– Mare Czinar

PHM0616CH 01 PHM0616CH 02
Mark Friedrich, Apache Junction, AZ | “Happy Rock Monster” on Watson Lake Jasper Roam, Phoenix, AZ | Watson Lake



Watson Lake Loop

LENGTH: 4.79 miles

RATING: moderate

ELEVATION: 5,075’ – 5,237’

FEE: $3 daily parking fee


South Access: Peavine-Watson Woods trailhead (1626 Sundog Ranch Road, Prescott)

From Phoenix, travel north on Interstate 17 to Cordes Junction exit 262 for State Route 69, head west and continue 32 miles to Prescott. Just outside of downtown, turn right (north) on Prescott Lakes Parkway (located across from the Prescott Gateway Mall), continue 1.7 miles to Sundog Ranch Road, turn right and go 0.2 mile to Peavine Trail/Watson Woods Riparian Preserve parking area.

North Access: From State Route 69, connect with State Route 89 and go north to Granite Dells Road, turn right (east) and continue to the parking area on the right.


City of Prescott:

NEXT MONTH:Flagstaff

From Arizona’s highest peaks to fern-cluttered canyons, Flagstaff offers sweet summer trekking. Show us your stuff.


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