Can it get any hotter? Mom says it was 130 degrees at Death Valley the other day. Well, duh! Death by heat! No thanks. We’ve been struggling to find places that are cooler this summer, and we decided to give Prescott a try this past weekend. We got up when it was still dark – yawn! Dad said he wanted to get ahead of the traffic, which has been brutal on I-17 north lately due to fires, accidents, road closures, and extra people out and about.
Anyway, get on I-17 North and take exit 262 or AZ-69 toward Cordes Lakes. You’ll stay on that for 30 miles or so then look for the AZ-89A S in Prescott (also called Pioneer Parkway) until you turn left on to N. Williamson Valley Road. Going this way, you avoid Prescott Valley and all the lights. Continue on N. Williams Valley Road and turn right on Iron Springs Road and another right onto Granite Basin Road. You will see parking on your left, and you will need $5 cash for day use. Dogs are welcome.
If you want a little longer route (about ¾ mile around the lake), park near the Metate Trail (just up the road a little further and on your left). You will hike to an intersection and go away from Granite Mountain and towards the lake (right). It adds another ¾ of mile for a total of almost 2 miles. By the way, Granite Mountain is a great option, too, but it goes get hot and rocky. Check out my blog about that HERE.
Even though we were hiking by 9 am, it was already 90 degrees. Eeesh. I’m glad mom got me a cooling bandana as it does help to cool me off some. We were actually going to do the Willow Creek Lake hike today, but it would be too hot on my paws. We’ll save that for a winter day.
The trail is mostly sandy and has some shade, so this was a perfect choice. It wasn’t very busy at all, and we made our way to Granite Basin Lake in no time, which sits at the bottom of Granite Mountain. The views are breathtaking! The lake isn’t as big as Lynx, but it sure has lots of green grasses and leaves. It reminded me of bayou country a bit – except without the gators or mosquitoes!
The trail continues on around the lake, but it isn’t well marked. In some places, you have to guess where to go. Just stay close to the shoreline, and you’ll get there. You might have to scramble a few boulders, but overall, it is easy to moderate.
We chose to sit at a picnic table in the shade and listen to the sounds of nature. Soon enough, those sounds changed to kids swimming in the late and people fishing or kayaking. Me and some other dogs went in to cool off. Ah! It felt oh-so good. What the lake lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. It also isn’t as crazy packed at Lynx can get, so that makes it peaceful.
The temperatures continued to rise, so we headed back to the car. Like I said, all in all, it is under two miles but it was enjoyable. Heading down I-17, we saw the long lines of people trying to get north. Insane! Miles and miles of cars not moving. We were glad we were heading home.
Before I knew it, we were at home. Mom and dad were in the pool. I took a long nap to compensate for getting up so early. Life is good – just hot. When is fall coming?? I am so ready!
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, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness 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!