In our last couple of blogs we were hiking around and kayaking on Watson Lake in the rocks of Granite Dells. Across Rte. 89, which runs right through Granite Dells, there is another similar man-made body of water called Willow Lake. You can’t hike all the way around the lake right now due to the high water level that covers the trail on the east end. So we drove around the lake to the northwest side to pick up a series of trails through the rocks.
Like nearby Watson Lake, the south side trail of Willow Lake is flat, while a series of trails on the north side go through the rocks of Granite Dells. We hiked on the trail that stayed near the shoreline so we could enjoy the great views of the lake.
After a couple of miles we dropped into a gorge just below Willow Dam, which creates the lake behind it.
After passing by the dam we began climbing up the rocks on the other side of the gorge.
As we climbed higher into the rocks, we could see that there are two parts to the Willow Dam.
The next day we drove just a couple of miles up Rte. 89 to visit the Granite Gardens Trail. This is a short hike, less than two miles, that weaves through some interesting areas of Granite Dells. The first interesting feature was a long set of stairs taking us up a rocky canyon.
Claret Cup Hedgehog Cacti must love the altitude here, as they grow in abundance.
Another interesting section of this hike goes through a narrow slot which required removal of our packs.
The trail then dips under some boulders in an area known as the Grotto.
The Granite Garden Trail is a great one if you want to do some interesting rock climbing without hiking for a long distance. In under two miles you get some great up and down hiking through very different rock formations…an adult playground.
On our last day in Prescott we headed to the historic downtown to check out the area around the courthouse. Prescott is the county seat of Yavapai County so it has a courthouse of significant size. As with many small towns, the court house is the center of the town with many shops and restaurants surrounding it.
Our visit was on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the streets around the courthouse were filled with Harleys.
We really enjoyed our stay in the Prescott area. The town is now on our lists of possible locations to settle down when the time comes and it warrants a return visit in the near future. But now it’s time to head on down the road to our next adventure. Next up is a stay in Cottonwood for some hiking in the Sedona area nearby.
More on that later . . .