Watson Lake

Watson Lake was formed in 1914, when the Chino Valley Irrigation District built the Granite Creek Dam. The trail from our campground leads directly to Watson Lake Park, providing access to all of the parks amazing amenities.

  • Information About Watson Lake

    Watson Lake is one of two reservoirs at the Granite Dells, outside of Prescott, Arizona, that was formed in the early 1900s when the Chino Valley Irrigation District built a dam on Granite Creek. The City of Prescott bought the reservoir and surrounding land in 1997 to preserve it as recreational land. Local rockclimbers use the granite cliffs above and adjacent to the lake for top-roping and lead climbing. The lake is also the home of TriCity Prep Rowing Crew, a local high school team and only rowing team in Northern Arizona. Surface area 70 acres (28 ha) Average depth 50 ft (15 m) Surface elevation 5,100 ft (1,600 m)

  • Park Hours

    Summer Hours: (Memorial day-Labor day) 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM Winter Hours: 7:00 AM – Sunset

  • Walk from Point of Rocks Campground

    Only 5-10 minutes “walk” to Watson Lake Park. 10-15 minute “walk” to the water’s edge

  • Driving from Point of Rocks

    Turn left out of Point of Rocks campground. Go 0.2 mile. Enter Watson Lake Park at the traffic circle (the park is on your left).

  • Hiking and Biking Trails

  • Prescott Circle Trail

    The Prescott Circle Trail is a network of our best non-motorized trails that combine to make a 54 mile loop around Prescott .

  • Northshore Trail

    Northshore Trail covers a rocky, moderately steep terrain.

  • Over the Hill Trail

    Over the Hill Trail covers rocky and slightly more moderate terrain.

  • Peavine Trail

    This Trail is a flat “railroad grade” trail that is great for riding your bike or an easy hike.

The hiking trails are filled with the amazing beauty of Watson Lake and the giant granite rock formations of the Granite Dells. Utilize the following link for more information; “Hiking, Biking & Parks Page“
Trail maps are available in the office, including a list of many popular hiking, biking trails and parks throughout Prescott. Utilize the following link for Trail Maps… “View Trail Map (pdf)”
  • Kayaking & Boating

  • Information

    Boats with gas powered and electric powered motors are permitted on Watson Lake, but there is a maximum 5 miles an hour “no wake” speed limit on the lake.

  • Weather Forecast

    Climate and Weather. See our Prescott Weather Chart for current weather and average high and low temperatures by month.

  • No swimming or wading allowed

  • Two boat Launches & Courtesy Dock

Available at Watson Lake Park.  For details go to Prescott Outdoors website or contact Prescott Outdoors at 928-925-1410. (Friday – Sunday)
Bring your Kayak and experience the stunning landscape.  Paddle around the majestic boulders.  Relax while watching the variety of birds that make up this wonderful habitat.
  • Fishing

  • Fish Cleaning Stations

Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, crayfish, and crappie.

Fishing Updates: Trout were stocked the week February 1st.   People were catching trout off the boat dock on Sunday which is the only report I have heard of successful trips for the last several weeks.  The warm temps have stimulated the fish and the fisherman to get out and try their luck. In addition to all of these fish being stocked, look for large holdover trout from previous stockings. Bring night crawlers if your other baits are not working. Watson Lake Stocking Schedule

The statewide stocking schedule link below includes all waters receiving catchable-sized trout from Arizona Game and Fish hatcheries. The dates listed on the trout stocking schedule represent the Monday of the week the stocking will occur. Stockings can take place any day throughout that stocking week. These schedules are tentative and subject to change due to weather or conditions at the sites. 

Watson Lake Stocking Schedule

Trout: 6
Bass: 6
Catfish: 10
Crappie: Unlimited
Sunfish, Carp and Bullheads: Unlimited
  • Ramadas & Picnic Tables

  • Kids Playground

  • Bocce Ball

  • 18-Hole Disc Golf Course

  • Bird Watching

This reservation ensures exclusive use and availability of a specific ramada. For details, go to “Ramada Rentals”.

This is a great area for throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball, playing frisbee, or flying a kite, or just running around. There are picnic tables next to the grassy area and also distributed throughout Watson Lake Park available for your use.

  • Restrooms (with running water & flush toilets)
  • Barbecue grills
  • Horseshoe pits

For young children, there is a nice playground area that they will enjoy.  Including a play fire engine dedicated to the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Don’t forget to bring your furry companions along because pets are allowed on the park’s 380 acres.