My Hometown · Travels

Hiking Watson Lake On a Snowy January Day

The last time that Les and I hiked around Watson Lake was in early summer. It was an oasis of water, granite boulders, varied flowers, foliage and beautiful views. If you are looking to escape the summer heat in our high desert, this is one cool place to be. Now, however, it is winter, but still a lovely day hike.

We were surprised that some of the lake was still frozen. It had only been a couple days ago that we had our little storm but, when the Arizona sun shows her face, she is ruthless if she can get the temperatures up a little. Our snows do not usually stick around more than a couple days.

After a few days of being COLD, so cold that our little bit of snow was not even melting, we decided to bundle up and get out of the house for a short hike. The day was bright and sunny, but 32 degrees when we started out. I know that many of you across the country are laughing at my description, but to me, anything below 35 is COLD.

As is normal Prescott attire, most of the other hikers were in regular jeans and tees or sweat shirts. LOL, Not me!

Les was making fun of me for wearing earmuffs too. I didn’t care. I had on loose jeans with sweats underneath, wooley socks, a long sleeved thermal tee, a 32 degree hoodie and a large winter parka. And I wasn’t sad either. It did not bother this girl one bit that I could look around and see others with just sweats. Whatever….they HAD to be cold!

We started out on the Peavine Trail which is a wide rocky trail and then veered off to the left to catch the Lakeshore Trail. On the Lakeshore, there is plenty of variety in the terrain. It is rated as a moderate hike, but you can suddenly find yourself traversing some slightly steep or narrow paths over granite boulders. We like to leave the path here and there to scramble over the boulders. This is especially so in warmer weather when we want a nice bit of shade in which to eat our lunch.

Lake view after scrambling up some of the granite boulders. I think that part of the reason that Les and I love these granite dells is that they remind us of Joshua Tree in California. It was where we used to go to camp and hike when we were still just dating.
OK, it’s getting warm. Time to start shedding some layers.
I’m eating and Les is way off in the left side of this picture sketching. Can you find him? LOL, this is as it usually is. Me eating- Les sketching or taking pictures.

Located just 4 miles from Prescott, this beautiful lake is not only surrounded by several hiking trails, it also offers many other fun activities including fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, and camping. The camp grounds includes restrooms with showers, picnic areas, and parking. The camp ground is only available during the summer months. There is a $3.00 parking fee for hiking and day use of the park. If you would like to camp, it’s $15.00 per night.

If you ever get to this area, check out Watson Lake. There are several other lovely lakes in our area. This seems to surprise a lot of people. What? Lakes in Arizona? Yes, and it snows too?

7 thoughts on “Hiking Watson Lake On a Snowy January Day

    1. Oh yeah, we are at a little over 5000 feet so we get a bit of snow. It usually sticks around for only a couple days though. Our coldest is usually in Feb where it gets down to 6 degrees in the mornings and warms up to the high teens or low 20s around noon. No matter how much we are freezing our booties off or dying in the heat, it only lasts about a month and then we are back to more moderte temps.

      And now that you mention it- I’m gonna go get a snack! Love me some olives, cheese and nuts.

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  1. I am such a wimp when it comes to cold weather. Some of us are just warm blooded creatures or should I say cold blooded, hmm, well, you understand what I mean. Anyway, point is, the cold is not something I like to stay in for long. I completely understand what you mean.. Beautiful photos and hike. I laughed when you wrote about people not knowing about lakes and snow here in our state. Most countries believe Arizona is just a big desert full of cacti. My husband has family in Italy that was shocked to see photos of snow here. I still don’t think they believe it.

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