Located in north-central Arizona, about an hour and a half from Phoenix, Prescott is at the crossroad of the central highlands and the Ponderosa pine groves that flourish in higher elevations. Five lakes dot the community, which is a popular recreation spot bordered by the Prescott National Forest.
1. Watson Lake
The sky-blue colour of this lake invites stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers to meander around granite rocks emerging from the water.
2. Lynx Lake
During high season, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats can be rented at the lake, which also features a café serving German cuisine. Part of the hiking trail around Lynx is paved, allowing for wheelchair accessibility.
3. Granite Basin Lake
Wedged against the purple-grey slopes of Granite Mountain, this reservoir is a popular fishing site, with largemouth bass and catfish. Only non-motorized boats are permitted on the lake.
4. Goldwater Lake
A hiking trail rings this lake, which is set amongst Ponderosa pines on the boundary of Prescott National Forest. The lake is small but popular, with picnic and recreational facilities.
5. Willow Lake
With trees coming out of the water near its shore, and a number of granite dells—eroded boulders—this lake is just a few minutes from downtown Prescott. Boating is allowed on the lake, as is fishing, and Willow is favoured by local hikers and bird watchers.