Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Revisiting a Favorite Town: Prescott, AZ

We last visited Prescott, AZ in April 2014, stayed for a week and fell in love with the town and the surrounding area. We just finished up another week long stay at the wonderfully situated Point of Rocks RV Park, and still find ourselves enchanted with the area.

The afternoon of our arrival we watched a storm roll in from the boulders behind our RV.

We love that Prescott has built over 70 miles of trails within the city limits and continues to build more, even updating their trail map annually. Beyond the town, there are many miles of forest service trails as well. We did a little hiking on the Thumb Butte trails one day, where acorn woodpeckers were the critter of the day.





We revisited the Little Granite Mountain Loop that we hiked three years ago. This is about an eight mile loop that goes through a lovely riparian forest, then several miles through terrain burned in 2013, with quite a lot of steep up and down sections...it's a good workout!

Skeletons of giant old alligator junipers and pinion pines dot the burnt landscape.

At our high point we had expansive long distance views, the snow capped San Francisco Peaks are just visible on the left.

A relatively easy hike is Salida Gulch Trail. This 4.2 mile loop took us up a chaparral covered hillside then down into a gulch with a seasonal stream that actually had water in it due to the extra wet winter the west has experienced. The petroglyphs below were a surprise find as none of the literature mentioned them.

Petroglyphs in Salida Gulch.

The Constellation Trails were a new find on this visit. This area only has about three miles of trails, but still packs in a lot of beauty in the fabulous Granite Dells, It is even possible to add on mileage by taking an unmarked social trail that connects to the Wilson Lake trails.

Imposing granite wall on the Constellation Trails.

We've never seen hedgehog cactus with bite marks before!

The reason we enjoy staying at Point of Rocks RV Park is the location...it backs right up to the Granite Dells and it is possible to hike all the way around Watson Lake from the RV park, about 5.5 miles round trip. We managed to book our favorite site (#66) which has incredible privacy and easy access to the boulders.

That's our RV backed up to the rocks.

Rosie liked staying here last time, but this time she was nervous all week.
Perhaps there were a lot of scary critter smells.

Hans shadow dancing on the rocks.



View of Watson Lake from the top of the boulders behind our site.

You can even see the San Francisco Peaks in the distance across the Granite Dells.

Of course one day we had to hike around Watson Lake!

Much of the trail crosses the granite boulders...follow the white dots!

Due to the wet winter the lake was completely full and flowing over the spillway.
This is the creek as it flows below the dam.

The spillway.

Hiking through the Granite Dells fantasy land!


Lots of creeks flowing this year as we went around the lake.

Neighboring Willow Lake cannot be circumvented when it is full (without going on city streets), so we contented ourselves with a short stroll along the flat southern end one morning. On our last visit I really enjoyed walking under the cormorant rookery located in a large, dense cottonwood grove on the west side of Willow Lake.This year, the only access to the rookery would be by boat!

Full to the brim Willow Lake.

Willow Lake reflections.

Mural in downtown Prescott.

Prescott remains a favorite stop for us. The miles of trails plus great shopping (Trader Joe's, Costco, and now Sprouts too!) means we'll be back next year for a longer stay.

We've since moved on to Kingman, AZ for a few days...more posts to come!


28 comments:

  1. awesome place, I never get to that side of I-17 as I would like to...

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  2. Have only driven thru Prescott on the way to/from Jerome/Sedona. You offer so many reasons to stop for a few days! Great post, Thanks Lisa!

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  3. We love Prescott too. Only problem is the Point of Rocks RV Park will not let us stay there with 3 pups and there isn't another good place to stay that we have found. Beautiful hikes Lisa and Hans...

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    1. That is a shame they don't take 3 pups!Have you checked out the Yavapai County Fairgrounds RV park?

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  4. That rocky lakeshore kind of reminds me of Sylvan lake in the Black Hills of SD. You guys visit the best places!

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  5. I always love Prescott, it's such a diverse place to stay.

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  6. I was thinking the same thing as Mark. So Prescott is still on the list?

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  7. It's been a few years since we've been to Prescott. We should really visit again. So many of you out there on the road seem to love it.

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  8. Beautiful pics. I love seeing so much water in the lakes. The reflections are so pretty, but the shadow dancers are the best :-)))

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    1. This spring in AZ has been gorgeous due to the wet winter!

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  9. Sounds like Prescott may be a place you might settle one of these days! We're looking forward to spending some time there and will put your excellent hiking suggestions to good use. Very cool discovery on the petroglyphs. LOL at your "critter of the day." We have zillions of Acorn Woodpeckers in Ashland, and they are such busy, comical birds!

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  10. Great trails. Really love the shadow of Hans and the view of Lake Watson is fantastic. Sounds like this visit with much more water was very different from your last. That's the great thing about revisiting places you've enjoyed previously, they are always different.

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    1. Different years, different seasons, it's all good!!!

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  11. We really enjoyed our stay there, as well, and have it on the list for maybe settling one day. We need to get back and spend a good month to really try the area out. We like that there was such a great trail selection in the area. Nothing beats the Granite Dells, though. Love the photo with the full lake. It must have been Willow Lake that we couldn't get around because it was so full. Thanks for lots of new trail ideas:)

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    1. Yep, it's on our list too. We'll do a month next year...

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  12. We enjoyed our stay in Prescott and the same rv park. Our site (53) nosed into the rocks too and Lewis had a ball clambering up them! Thanks for letting us revisit them with you. Sorry little Rosie didn't enjoy herself this time!

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    1. Yes, it's not a bad place to stay if you have a good site.

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  13. What an amazing place! It's definitely on our 'go to' list.

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  14. Cant wait for our time there and follow the trails you trekked. Our month stay there should give us enough food for thought for a possible brick house.

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