Watson Lake and Flume Trail

MODERATE 298 reviews

Watson Lake and Flume Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Prescott, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options 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

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

paddle sports

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

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. Have $2 ready.

hiking
10 days ago

It was about 5 miles for us.. but switched off to Peavine trail on the backside and skipped the last lakeshore trail

You do need good shoes and water.

White Dots very helpful but hard to see in places and easy to get off on an Ad Hoc trail if distracted. Some of the white dots are obscured and in other places a bit inconsistent ..i.e a bunch in one pace then spaced out a bit too far in other places. Map is good. GPS is good. Better in morning - cool ....er ... we did rock stuff first than flat trail out...

16 days ago

Good hike. Rocky but slick loose gravel. Nice photo ops.

20 days ago

Took us 3 hours for three, fit adults. Got off the trail a few times, a bit confusing how they all connect and harder than moderate for sure

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely not an easy hike! Very challenging, but so worth it! The views are awesome :)

hiking
1 month ago

We loved this trail. It was moderate. Some real pretty areas. The view of Watson lake was fabulous. We went on down and kayaked for a while. I am not sure if there is always rentals. We got lucky.

1 month ago

Incredible beauty around ever turn. I camped and hike the next morning.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Well marked. Definitely need good footwear. Awesome views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views at the bluffs, nice rocks to climb on. Beautiful waterfall below dam. Not hard, definitely moderate unless not in shape. Areas away from bluffs are flat and wide. My only complaint is that in some areas the white dots are hard to find, and used for multiple paths, so very difficult to find the way. Bring water - I saw so many people who were wishing they had brought more. I didn’t park by the humane society, but parked up at the Park - faster access to the really beautiful areas.

hiking
1 month ago

Need plenty of water, electrolytes, hat, toilet paper, grippy hiking shoes, and snacks. There aren't water stations to refill so pack up or restrooms. Moderate trail for those who aren't newbies and hard for those who need a little assistance. There will be spots where you'll need to climb on all fours from how steep it can get. I can't wait to go again!

1 month ago

Excellent trail with awesome scenery. If you are looking for a good workout this is the trail for you. Defitnley on the hard side with a lot of steep climbs. Will go back for sure.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Boulders were fun but not terribly difficult. A little tougher than what I expected. Scenic views. Follow the white dots for the more challenging hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful park and trail. Agree with Hard rating, mostly boulder climbing. Make sure you have good hiking shoes and bring water and snacks.

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular opportunities to hike and climb and explore in a breathtaking environment. These golden boulders invite to explore off track. Even saw a bobcat crossing my path at 10m distance. Lucky he/she was just as surprised as I was.

3 months ago

Not a hard trail. Took a little over 2 hours with several stops for pictures. Really pretty area right below the dam.

3 months ago

Fun hike with good diversity! I would call this a moderate hike, not hard, light scrambling but the trails were well marked and maintained. This is a double edge sword however because this along with the damn make it slightly less organic.

hiking
3 months ago

BRING BUG SPRAY!!!!

3 months ago

Great hike to see both the Dells and the lake! I would rate it as Medium not Hard. Trails were well marked and maintained.

3 months ago

Amazing, but long and sometimes confusing. Do not start this hike after 4pm or it will be dark when you finish. Bring plenty of water and be careful behind the dam, the trails get tricky to follow. I would have classified this hike as moderate. I (41 year old in good/great shape) completed the whole loop hike in 2 hours and 45 minutes with my 10 year old. We never stopped for breaks and I didn’t need a whole lot of water. Barely broke a sweat. I only got a bit worried when the tangent trails made the main trail hard to follow since all were marked with white dots. There were also multiple different signs that made following the trail a little tricky especially around the creek. This trail is not good for anyone with mobility or joint issues. There is no real turning back once you are a mile or so in. The gnats were pests near the water, but the views were AMAZING. Just breathtaking. Be careful at the end. We had to go through mud and find our way around the water to get back to our car otherwise we would have ended up on the highway. I’d do this hike annually about this time of year and begin between 10-2 in the future. Much of the trail takes you through valley of rock formations which got a bit dark by 6pm.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful place to hike, the trails are well marked and the little hidden coves are such a treat, I could have hung out for hours by the dam area. I will have to bring my daughter's here when they come to visit.

hiking
3 months ago

Started at humane society trail head. This took us 3 hours and 15 min to hike and take pictures and enjoy the view. I think we clocked around 6.5 to 7 miles. The white dots along the way show are perfect markers. Hiking shoes are good for the rocks. I would call this hike medium. You climb but it wasn’t too challenging for a 32 year old and 62 year old.

hiking
3 months ago

I was very pleasantly surprised by how remarkable and beautiful this trail system is. The combination of water views with rock views makes it unique in this area. The trails range from easy flat gravel pathway to rigorous hiking and rock climbing. You can set your own level of difficulty by taking different routes around the lake. This is also a novice climber's paradise with an infinite array of climbing spots. The views are breathtaking througout with an incredible degree of variety and diversity in different portions of the park. This is an overlooked gem of a trail system that is extremely enjoyable and memorable. Do not miss it if you are in the area.

4 months ago

I also agree that this hike is not hard!! It was wonderful and enjoyable for my family and my dogs! I suggest wear shoes with grip and follow the dots!

hiking
4 months ago

Have to disagree w other user reviews. This trail doesn’t justify the difficult rating. The ascents/descents are short and mild, and footing is good. I took every detour I could find and only logged 5 miles. The trail is generally obvious, and markers & signposts are abundant and clear. All that aside, it’s a fun trail. Very pleasant 2 hr morning walk. Great views of the lake, dam, and dells.

hiking
4 months ago

We parked by the humane society and did an entire circle. Total 7 miles. Was not easy - should be rated hard due to all of the rock climbing. Not an easy hike at all. A lot of difficult up and down rocks. Breath taking views - wonderful area just be prepared- lots of water to drink. Definitely rated incorrectly in All Trails.

hiking
4 months ago

This place is absolutely beautiful! It made the hike that much more enjoyable to look around and stop and see you are surrounded by such beauty!

hiking
5 months ago

Breathtaking views. Moderate workout but worth going.

hiking
5 months ago

I like this trail. Some ups and downs on the rocks, but nice views of Watson Lake.

5 months ago

I have to say that everyone in my Hiking club, Arizona Baby Boomers Hiking and Adventures , found this hike to be HARD! We parked near the Yavapai Humane Society - went in through the marsh area. Noticed how dry everything was. Went up and finally got to the point where we needed to climb the rocks - and we climbed and climbed for 6.5 miles - Arrived at the dam totally exhausted to find water flowing from dam, but still very dry in area. Then more climbing on rocks!! Our oldest hiker is in her 70’s and hiked this 2x a year - still tough even for our 50 year old hikers. ALL TRAILS incorrectly rates this trail. It is HARD - we all enjoyed the 7 miles - MUST HAVE GOOD ANKLE SUPPORT AND LOTS OF WATER. Rock formations - keep a look out for goddess sitting on ledge overlooking about 3/4 - excellent, challenging, and not for sissy’s !

5 months ago

This is a fun loop with some great technical sections. Amazing scenery in the dells area

hiking
5 months ago

Great views.

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