Prescott Lakes

Though known for its cowboy past, its Whiskey Row, and loads of colleges, Prescott is not always mentioned as a lake destination. Don’t be fooled though. Prescott has many lakes within 15 minutes of its downtown area for fishing, kayaking, hiking, and relaxation. The main three are Watson Lake, Goldwater Lake, and Lynx Lake. All of these lakes prohibit swimming but make up for it in recreational activities. Some include amenities such as campgrounds, kayak rental stores, horseshoe pits, extensive hiking trails, and grills for those family get-togethers. For more information, check out our individual articles to find out which lake is perfect for your next summer adventure!

Watson Lake

Watson Lake

Located just 4 miles from Prescott, this beautiful lake is an oasis when you are looking to escape the desert heat. This bright blue lake is surrounded by granite boulders and hiking trails. Though swimming is prohibited, there are many other fun activities to do at Watson Lake including fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, and camping. The campgrounds include restrooms with showers, picnic areas, and parking. The campground is only available during the summer months.

Watson Lake Details & Location »


Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake

Located just 15 minutes Southeast of Prescott, this lake is prime for boating, fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, sailing, and canoeing. Though swimming is prohibited, there are boat rentals if you do not have one of your own at the Lynx Lake Store. They are open from late Spring to early Fall and always closed on Mondays. If you have your own boat be sure to note that only 10 horsepower or fewer engines are allowed at Lynx lake. If you are looking for a stroll, check out the Lakeshore Trail. This is a 2-mile-long trail that leads all the way around the lake. It is mostly wheelchair and stroller accessible but be cautious of a few steeper sections.

Lynx Lake Details & Location »


Goldwater Lake

Goldwater Lake

Goldwater Lake is located only 4 miles from Prescott. Though a smaller sized lake at 15 acres, there are many ways to enjoy it! There are picnic areas, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and boating. Only electronic motors are allowed on the lake and there is no swimming. There is however a boat ramp for public use. If you don’t have your own kayaks or canoes, you can rent them during lake hours from Prescott Outdoors. Although Goldwater Lake is open all year long, the hours are specific to the time of year.

DIrections to Goldwater Lake »


Granite Basin Lake

Nestled among pines and boulders of Prescott's iconic Granite Mountain, Granite Basin Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational opportunities year-round including hiking, backpacking, horse riding, non-motorized boating, rock climbing, fishing, camping, and picnicking.

DIrections to Goldwater Lake »


Willlow Lake

Willow Lake's water level fluctuates throughout the year depending on the amount of rainfall each season. For that reason, this is the best lake to visit if you’re interested in riding your bike or taking a short hike. It's located on Willow Creek Road and Heritage Park Road within miles of downtown Prescott. Other activities include kayaking, paddling, and SUP or any boat recreation without gasoline motors. Other fun things to do are bird watching, trail running and playing with your pup as it is a dog-friendly area.

DIrections to Willow Lake »



Out Of Africa Wildlife Park

Come see Tiger Splash show at 1:15 every day. Watch Bengal tigers in natural play as they "hunt" their caretakers. Open Daily 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Just 40 minutes from Sedona.

Prescott Ebike Rentals & Tours

Lakeside Tours by Watson Lake on The Peavine and Iron King Trail! If you are looking for something fun to do in Prescott, you have come to the right place. Let our E-bikes take you on an adventure!

Some of Our Reviews:

Lakeside Tours by Watson Lake on The Peavine and Iron King Trail! If you are looking for something fun to do in Prescott, you have come to the right place. Let our E-bikes take you on an adventure!

Some of Our Reviews:
  • The highlight of our trip
  • Bikes are in great condition
  • Great way to experience ebikes
  • Loved the entire experience

Granite Mountain Guides

Granite Mountain Guides was established on the foundations of providing exceptional instruction to climbers that are just learning the craft. From there it expanded into how we can best serve the local community even more by promoting wonderful areas for all to experience on our guided tri
Granite Mountain Guides was established on the foundations of providing exceptional instruction to climbers that are just learning the craft. From there it expanded into how we can best serve the local community even more by promoting wonderful areas for all to experience on our guided trips. All of our Instructors are well-qualified American Mountain Guides Association certified in their specific terrain. Granite Mountain Guides can fulfill your needs and help you achieve your goals.

Kayak Tour on the Verde River

Immerse yourself in Arizona’s beautiful scenery—and enjoy a new way to explore—on this family-friendly kayaking tour along the Verde River. Pick between several departure times, grab your safety gear, and set off in a shuttle to the river with just a small group for company. This beginn

Immerse yourself in Arizona’s beautiful scenery—and enjoy a new way to explore—on this family-friendly kayaking tour along the Verde River. Pick between several departure times, grab your safety gear, and set off in a shuttle to the river with just a small group for company. This beginner-friendly tour includes a relaxing paddle down a 3.1-mile (5-kilometer) stretch of this river, and the chance to take on gentle mini rapids.

  • Admire the lush scenery along the Verde River from the water’s edge
  • This small-group tour guarantees hands-on guidance and training
  • Safety gear, inflatable or hard kayaks, and shuttle transit included
  • Get out in nature and enjoy a fun and lively way to explore.

  • PRIVATE Guided River kayaking on the Verde River Cottonwood, AZ (Private Group)

    Explore Arizona’s Verde River with a dedicated guide on this private kayak tour. Depart from a designated pickup point in a UTV and enjoy an off-road adventure on the way to the launch point. Sit atop your kayak and enjoy a guided tour through the river, taking in the landscapes along t

    Explore Arizona’s Verde River with a dedicated guide on this private kayak tour. Depart from a designated pickup point in a UTV and enjoy an off-road adventure on the way to the launch point. Sit atop your kayak and enjoy a guided tour through the river, taking in the landscapes along the way. Enjoy stops at several water holes to swim and cool off before heading back.

  • Enjoy the views of the Verde River on a kayak
  • See more than you would if you explore on your own
  • All necessary kayaking equipment is provided
  • A private tour ensures a personalized experience

  • 2 Hours Water to Wine Kayak Trip from Cottonwood

    The perfect mix of outdoor adventure and relaxation, this tour combines a kayaking excursion with wine tasting in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Paddle down the Verde River in a kayak and stop at a vineyard for a sommelier-led tasting. Feel safe with a guide who can offer paddling and safety t

    The perfect mix of outdoor adventure and relaxation, this tour combines a kayaking excursion with wine tasting in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Paddle down the Verde River in a kayak and stop at a vineyard for a sommelier-led tasting. Feel safe with a guide who can offer paddling and safety tips, as well as sharing information on the river’s flora and fauna.

  • Combine two fun activities—kayaking and wine-tasting—on this guided tour
  • Enjoy a leisurely paddle along the Verde River—suitable for all abilities
  • Taste wines from Arizona’s premier wine-growing region: the Verde Valley
  • Receive $20 credit to spend at the winery on tastings, snacks, or gifts

  • Private Off Road Adventure Tours in the Prescott National Forest

    Come see why thousands come to Prescott, and why we loved it so much we made it our permanent home. The beauty here is hard to describe in words, and pictures have a hard time doing it justice. On a guided tour you'll see the most scenic points and views of Prescott, and the beauty of the
    Come see why thousands come to Prescott, and why we loved it so much we made it our permanent home. The beauty here is hard to describe in words, and pictures have a hard time doing it justice. On a guided tour you'll see the most scenic points and views of Prescott, and the beauty of the surrounding area. Ride in the comfort of one of our Hummers as we take off-road trails and visit sites few have the opportunity to experience. from $110.00 Lowest Price Guarantee Check Availability

    Guided Horseback Tour only 30 mins from Sedona

    Go horseback riding in Arizona during this small-group tour in Cottonwood, approximately 30 minutes from Sedona. Meet your guide and set out on a tour through the Alcantara Vineyards. Cross the water where the Verde River and Oak Creek meet, and get up close to see ancient Apache ruins.

    Go horseback riding in Arizona during this small-group tour in Cottonwood, approximately 30 minutes from Sedona. Meet your guide and set out on a tour through the Alcantara Vineyards. Cross the water where the Verde River and Oak Creek meet, and get up close to see ancient Apache ruins. Admire panoramic mountain views during this scenic excursion. No prior experience is necessary.

  • Discover Arizona by horseback tour
  • Ride through scenic vineyards
  • See historic sites during the tour
  • All experience levels welcome

  • ATV Rentals in Sedona and Cottonwood

    Adventurous and independent travelers who don't want to be constrained by a guided tour will love this full-day ATV rental. Starting from Sedona or Cottonwood, you'll have your own ATV to use for six hours. You'll be given a map so you know where to go and the itinerary is up to you. Dr

    Adventurous and independent travelers who don't want to be constrained by a guided tour will love this full-day ATV rental. Starting from Sedona or Cottonwood, you'll have your own ATV to use for six hours. You'll be given a map so you know where to go and the itinerary is up to you. Drive to Sycamore Canyon and Sedona Red Rocks, or stop for a hike and a picnic.

  • Fuel, goggles, and helmets will be provided
  • Decide for yourself what you want to see and do
  • Get off the beaten path in the Verde Valley
  • An exciting way to enjoy Arizona's beautiful landscapes

  • 1.5 Hour Horseback Ride

    Wilderness observation and exploration. Explore beautiful Prescott by horseback. Many trails to choose from. Rides for Riders of All Levels - 1.5 hour rides Birthdays - Proposals- Special Occasions

    Full-Day Guided Kayak Fishing Down the N. Verde River from Cottonwood

    Fishing on Arizona's Verde River offers the opportunity to catch some really awesome fish, but if you don't know the best spots to go to, you may come back empty handed. This Verde River Kayak Fishing Full-Day Experience from Cottonwood takes you down river with a guide and in a kayak,

    Fishing on Arizona's Verde River offers the opportunity to catch some really awesome fish, but if you don't know the best spots to go to, you may come back empty handed. This Verde River Kayak Fishing Full-Day Experience from Cottonwood takes you down river with a guide and in a kayak, so you not only get to fish in great spots, but you also get closer to the fish, too.

  • Go on a fun, full-day fishing trip down Arizona's Verde River
  • A perfect activity for avoiding crowds—you'll fish from your own kayak
  • A guide takes you down the river to private river runs, too
  • A kayak and all necessary fishing gear are provided for you

  • MORE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE PRESCOTT ON THE WATER