Watson Lake
Watson Lake
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,019 reviews
Excellent
747
Very good
230
Average
30
Poor
9
Terrible
3

Hillary H
Sedona, AZ66 contributions
This is the largest of the 3 nearby lakes (within 15 mins) of us. Much bigger than Lynx Lake, there is also Goldwater and Willow (Willow is quite close to Watson.) I love this lake cause it just stunningly beautiful. It's pretty big (it you paddled all around from the edges it would take you like 3 hours) and so there is a lot of different areas to check out and explore. NO swimming is allowed, but the boating is what I want anyway. We take our Kayaks out here all the time and it's so nice and peaceful. There can be a lot of other folks on the lake and you would hardly know they were there. For those in your party not into water, there is a nice hiking trail that gives some just amazing views. All sorts of bird life (including a couple of bald eagles) are around. The north boat ramp is a prettier place to get in, but the south is a bit easier entry. Be aware that the wind pick up many afternoons and this time of year (late June) we get monsoon rains. Both can make the return to shore a bit tricky. I would strongly suggest early mornings in the summertime.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WanderingWithUsTwo
Phoenix, AZ737 contributions
Prescott is a small town a little less than two hours from Phoenix. Since it is at higher elevation it is usually much colder and even gets snow during winter. It is mainly known for the university, Embry Riddle, which is located here. It’s a great small town with a historic downtown district great for walking through. This particular lake is located just north of Prescott and is right off of the local highway. During summer months they offer camping and have year around access for all other activities. If you just plan on visiting for the day they require $3 all day parking that you pay as you enter. Since it is a city park all discounted rates for national holidays that parks service offers do no apply here. There are several marked trails that take you around the lake but there’s also many areas to explore on your own off the path. We will be making a trip back during the summer months to experience camping here as well!

- @wanderingwithustwo
Written June 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rankbronc
Norco, CA86 contributions
Couples
We visited the Watson Lake Park to see what it has to offer. The park fee is a self service kiosk $3 and at the top of the road from the entrenched is parking providing views of the lake. The lake at the Dam end is surrounded by pretty rock formations. The is an i testing trail through the rocks which has you follow the white dots painted on the rocks to keep you safely on course. There is also a frisbee disc course nested along the rocks over looking the lake that we will have to try next time.
Over all a very nice park to visit while in Prescott!
Written March 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jack P
Surprise, AZ23 contributions
Hooked up with kayak rentals from Maryah at Born to be Wild Adventures for a late morning cruise on the lake. She'll make sure there's kayaks there and you just leave them and go when you're done. The longer you paddle the better the value for the daily rates. If it weren't for the 90 degree temps it would have been a lot more enjoyable. It's a beautiful lake but was filled with green algae (this was mid September) especially at the launch ramp where it seems to concentrate, maybe due to the direction of the winds. High summer temps and lack of rainfall may have contributed. Others on the lake enjoyed and soaked up the sun, but it was too much for us. Would suggest going out on a day where the temps are no higher than 85. Wednesdays are also preferred for the free parking. Any other day you'll have to pay that fee also.
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FlymanOutdoors
5 contributions
Family
We got some information about how beautiful Watson lake was, so I took my family with two small children to the main attraction “the water”, to find out afterwards about how polluted it was. There is a charge for visiting, only three dollars, but if it is as polluted as stated it should be closed! It’s truly a beautiful place, but access to the water should not be allowed, neither should there be a charge. Shame on the authorities for misleading people into visiting such a foul cesspool.
Written April 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HaveBagsPackedAlways
Minneapolis, MN40 contributions
The scenery around this lake is completely different than any other place we have been, and we come from an area of 1,000s of lakes. The rock formations are so unusual it had an other worldly feeling about it. Hiking around requires some good footwear, but is worth the effort. (watch the kids!!) There were quite a few people there, but we enjoyed the views and people were considerate and friendly as we were all trying to capture the views in our cameras. Small fee to park, but no park entrance fee.
Written March 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hot-Tati
Gilbert, AZ780 contributions
i Love it here. well worth the long drive from Phoenix. We arrived later in the afternoon. Lots of parking considering the covid restrictions on several areas. This is an amazing site to experience. We did a portion of the hike, our goal is to come up and do the entire loop next time. The textures and variety of scenery is awe inspiring. We came for a photogrpahy shoot that ended up cancelling due to the weather, BUT we got a great hike in and some great images of the landscape. Highly recommended stop even if just for a picnic. $12.oo for a day pass. No camping overnight currently Can bring own boat. Lots of great photo ops
Written March 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valerie9992
Pasadena, CA28 contributions
Flat but difficult terrain with all the rocks, so hiking boots are helpful. We got caught in a rain storm, but it was warm, so it made it more interesting. People were kayaking on this lake that you cannot swim in...so I would take my kayak next time.
Written September 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BuenViaje68
Tempe, AZ343 contributions
This little lake is a gem. It is such a nice recreation area. They don’t allow motorized boats, just kayaks and paddle-boards. There are all sorts of slots canyons to float into and explore. There are also tons of hiking trails around the lake to hike or even mountain bike. We did a loop hike around the lake. We made a few diversions and ended up hiking around 7 miles. If you simply do the loop it’s about 4.8 miles. You will be hiking over granite rocks where it’s hard to see the trail, so they have painted whit dots along the way to help keep you on the trails and from getting lost. This was a great way to speak half a day, you could make an entire day of hanging out at Watson Lake.
Written October 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert S
58 contributions
Watson Lake is open year round for hiking, canoeing, other boating, fishing, kayaking and having picnics. Very crowded on summer weekends. Cost is $6 per vehicle per day except Wednesdays, which are free. Best of all, it's within the Prescott city limits. Swimming in the summer is okay if the water is fairly high, but the temp is relatively cold and there are no sandy beaches.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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