Watson Lake and Flume Trail

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Prescott, Arizona

Watson Lake and Flume Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Prescott, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, fishing, and canoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 367 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

paddle sports

running

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

no shade

Note: The Watson Lake Campground is only available during summer months. Parking lot by the Humane Society, fee for parking (self serve). Be careful about putting a large bill into the self serve and expecting change.

hiking
no shade
rocky
16 minutes ago

hiking
3 hours ago

Fun scramble up and down rocks along the lake edge for the first couple miles. Love the green area behind the dam. The last portion, which is a couple miles on the Peavine trail leaves a bit to be desired.

hiking
4 hours ago

Very beautiful for the first two miles. I recommend doing the more strenuous part first and end with the flat part around the lake. Make sure you follow the white dots. It’s easy to get off the trail!

hiking
6 hours ago

Diverse trail: water, grasses, rocks, elevation, estuary. A must if you are camping in the area.

This trail is a nice loop, beautiful on the Rocky half of Watson lake. Interesting rock formations, lake and small pools of water and grasses. Sunny so bring water. Overly populous with many kayakers and families. Half of the hike is not remarkable along a flat road and trash dump.

rocky
scramble
23 hours ago

We really enjoyed this trail along Watson Lake in April. It provides some varied terrain and outstanding views of the lake at many points. There are some narrow portions, as well as some ups and downs on hills and rocks. There is also a fairly steep portion about halfway to the waterfall that is a workout coming back up. But the little creek and waterfall area was very charming and refreshing, so we would definitely recommend it, too. You'll definitely need plenty of water if you hike this in any weather over 80 degrees. There isn't much shade either, so a hat and sunscreen are a must. This is definitely a trail we would hike again though, and we don't always feel that way. So definitely go check this one out and enjoy!

hiking
1 day ago

A tough moderate trail. Absolutely need to take plenty of water as we ran out. Agreed with the white dot comments. We downloaded the trail on our phone from All Trails and if had not would have taken the wrong white dot trail several times and did a couple of times but by looking at my phone could tell we were going the wrong direction and promptly made an adjustment.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

Beautiful trail. A little of everything. Bring hiking boots. A lot of rock climbing and going down as well. Easy to get lost. Hiked about a half a mile pass a turn and had to return. Very beautiful.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Did the 4.7 mile loop around the lake earlier today (Wife and girls 7 and 10). Started off clockwise from the parking lot with highest overlook. Definately a good decision as the first 3 miles was very rocky and a lot of climbing up and down big boulders but also several flat sandy paths. Not a scary or dangerous hike at all but be cautious at all times and wear proper footwear (no flip flops). Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Took just over 2 1/2 hours but we also took it easy and enjoyed the nice views where possible. Final 1.7 miles (or so) was totally flat and straight out.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

Great busy trail! Not recommended for bikes . Be prepared to work those legs ! 5 miles total !

hiking
6 days ago

Absolutely amazing. One of my favorite trails.

Surprising more challenging then I planned. Very easy to get misplaced with all the white dots. Beautiful views.

This trail has bunch of white dots you are supposed to follow. The problem is there are many trails crossing between. I’m not sure why they not used different colors for each trail. Very easy to go the wrong direction. We did it with two kids 7&8 years old plus puppy. They were tired at the end, but it was an adventure climbing the rocks. Make sure to bring hats, water and plenty of sunscreen. Most of it is not shaded.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

“Follow the white dots”... that’s what the signs say. Well, we followed them and somehow ended up on THREE different trails until finally resuming the Flume trail — adding another 1.5 miles. Not a waste as it is absolutely beautiful! My suggestion, download the offline map and check it EVERY time you get to a checkpoint. Overall, beautiful hike! You get just about everything: lake view, rock climbing, hiking through trees, over little bridges, swamps, etc. It’s almost like you could bring two different types of shoes for this, one set for all the trail walking and another for the rock climbing. Bring enough water!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

This was a wicked trail! Make sure to wear the proper shoes as you will be climbing up and down big rocks. It was a great workout nonetheless.

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

Only lost one star because it’s easy to get lost amongst all the side trails that also have white dots. It’s 7 miles if you start at the 89 parking lot and finish at the humane society parking lot. Lots of rock climbing but definitely a fun adventure! I would list it has more difficult than “moderate”. Great views!

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

Beautiful area, but many side trails. Easy to get lost. Glad to have downloaded map and white painted circles on rocks helpful. There is quite a bit of climbing on rocks/bolders. We hiked 7 miles. We parked close to humane society as suggested in this app. This added to mileage.

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

One of my most favorite places in all of Arizona. Did the hike back to the waterfall again today and I’m amazed everytime how beautiful it is!

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful hike!!

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike. There is a short distance through a frisbee golf course that is a little drag but overall absolutely beautiful hike with the boulders and water.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

This is a great trail with a wide variety of trail options. We did them all! We totaled 5.4 miles in the Dells, through the Woods and over some bridges around the lake to see the dam waterfall! The oasis near the waterfall coming from the Dells was like a scene out of Jurassic Park without the Dinosaurs!

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