|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.|
|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.
|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!