Hiking the Peavine/ Watson Lake trail in Prescott, Arizona

The Peavine Trail is 11.9 miles in length. The trail offers fabulous views of Watson Lake and Granite Dells. About 1 mile into Peavine we veered off to the left to hop onto the Watson Lake Trail which skirts the lake itself. Les and I walked for 4 miles today and then turned back, so it was about an 8 mile hike this time.

We started our walk just south of Watson Lake at the large gravel parking lot by the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve. The beginning of the trail is crushed stone and packed dirt. It is about 5 feet wide and is fairly flat. This part of the Peavine was constructed on top of a 19th-century railroad track. It’s a local favorite for evening strolls and family bike rides.

At 5,300 feet above sea level, Prescott and her surrounding area enjoys cool breezes gently tempering the heat of this high mountain desert. Where there is water, wildflowers and wildlife offer ample interest along Prescott’s many hiking trails. Watson Lake is Prescott’s largest lake and is surrounded by bright green cottonwood trees granting shade from Arizona’s almost relentless sun. Late winter and spring are our favorite times to hike these trails.

Colorful poppies and and blue bachelor’s buttons were dotted all along the trail.
Off to one side of the trail, you will see the grounds where firefighters train. I don’t know- there is just something interesting to me about burned out buildings.

Early on our trip, we passed several hikers, joggers and bike riders. It seems that the majority of day hikers stay up on the flat Peavine. As soon as we veered off onto the Watson lake trail, we left most of our fellow trail users behind. We suddenly entered a very peaceful world of granite boulders punctuated by lush green foliage, trees, lovely water views and expansive vistas.

Cool little bridge to cross over to the Watson Lake trail.
Entering a world of granite castles and rock scrambling opportunities. Watch out for snakes!

Secret Cove is a reported tourist favorite and I have to say that it did provide a phenomenal photo op. There were two kayakers who seemed to be poised and waiting just for our cameras.

Secret Cove framing a lovely view of far off Granite Mountain, another one of our favorite hiking areas.
Les exploring an abandoned tunnel that was once part of the old railway system.
You can see Thumb Butte way off in the distance. It is also a popular biking, hiking and rock climbing destination.

Les and I enjoyed a beautiful trek on a beautiful day. I hope that you will have an opportunity get on over here to Watson Lake and the Dells. You won’t be disappointed.

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