What a hot summer we have had. I am quite ready for fall! Thankfully, my folks took me up north this past weekend to cool off. This time we went to Dogtown Lake up near Williams. Although this seems too far for a day trip, it was about the same distance as going to Flagstaff, coming in at 2 ½ hours each way.
We chose to go I-17 to exit 262 for the AZ-69/N Cordes Lake Road route and then merging onto AZ-89AS. We eventually connected to I-40 E to take exit 161 for Route 66/Williams/Grand Canyon. Once in Williams, turn right on 4th Street, left on Forest Service Road 140, and that becomes Dogtown Road. You will see signs for the campground, lake, and day use area. The easiest thing to do is plug in Dogtown Lake Campground, which is 6.5 miles southeast of Williams.
NOTE: You can go directly up I-17 to I-40 but expect delays with road construction. The route through Prescott is much prettier, and we saw a herd of cows who wanted us to “Mooove along.”
We have camped here before when we had the trailer, but today we found a picnic table right by the lake. The day use area has human restrooms and quite a few picnic spots along the shore. People were fishing, but they weren’t catching anything. Apparently, the lake is stocked with trout and bass as well as catfish and crawdads. Remember, you need an Arizona fishing license. And should you want to camp, you need to make reservations. Day use is first come, first serve.
Dad remembered his fishing gear, but he didn’t bother once we got the reports on no fish being caught. Instead, we enjoyed a nice picnic in the shade. Temperatures were 30 degrees cooler than in the Valley with a slight breeze. Ah. Felt good! I do much better in cooler conditions, and I was eager to take a hike.
I got everyone up early again, so Mom stayed behind for the first hike. Dad took me around to the boat ramp. You can launch canoes and kayaks here. This area got hit by Hurricane Hiliary, so everything was damp and extremely green. The wildflowers were incredible! What a drastic change from down south where everything is crispy dry and dying.
A dirt path follows the lake. We didn’t go around the entire thing but instead did sections. The first round, Dad and I went about a mile. We came back, and two little girls came over. They just had to worship and adore me. I sat and let them. The little one kept talking to me. Mom didn’t have the heart to tell her I can’t hear any more, but no worries. I felt her sweet words and kindness and smiled at her. Their Mom and Dad were trying to catch crawdads but to no avail. Just a bad fishing day all around. Perhaps all the rain pushed everything deeper.
Dad took a turn at napping while Mom took me the other direction. By the way, Dogtown Lake gets its name from all the prairie dog towns that once covered the area. It sits at 7,050 feet high, thus the mild temperatures. This direction had more lava rock, which was harder on my paws. We went another mile maybe, and Mom let me go in and swim. See, I am a great swimmer—I just don’t like swimming pools!
I still wanted to hike more, so we went into the forest around the lake. The ground is much softer under the pine trees. All in all, I went close to three miles and felt great. We relaxed a bit more and then decided we should pack it up. Just outside of the campground, we saw a herd of sheep. Talk about fluffy!
The rest of our drive went smoothly. Dad always gases up in Cordes Lake because it is over a $1.00 a gallon cheaper. Heading down the hill hardly uses gas, so the truck stays full. I rested on the drive, and I was ready to ZOOM when I got home. I acted like a puppy, and that makes Mom laugh. I attacked Mowgli and gave him a proper brotherly beat down. Ha! He would have his revenge later when I was snoozing by biting my ankles. All in love.
An awesome day, and fitting as it was National Dog Day, and we spent it at Dogtown Lake. Stay cool dear readers!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!