Watson Lake

Watson Lake

Yesterday we started on the Watson Lake Trail intending to hike the newly completed Watson Lake Loop Trail.  In the exploratory trail complex near the boat launch, however, I got confused by a trail marker when we crossed the road.  The trail we followed led to an RV park which we walked through and found a gate that led to a dirt road.  We followed it for a time enjoying views of granite boulders until we discovered “Private land – No trespassing” signs.  So, we retraced our steps.  When we returned to the road, we headed toward the boat landing.  There the  signs for the Northshore Trail were clearly marked.  We hiked about half of this trail through boulders with great views of Watson Lake.  The lake itself was very low.  We also had seen signs posted at the boat launch that there is no swimming (because of the poor quality of the water).  On our return to our car we walked a different exploratory trail where we encountered a three foot snake, the first I’ve seen on a hike in Arizona.  In addition to the great scenic views, we spotted the following wildflowers: the pale violet colored sacred thorn-apple, the white daisy-like spreading fleabane, the purple oblong false pennyroyal, the yellow common sunflower, the yellow slender goldenweed, the reddish-orange wholeleaf Indian paintbrush, toadflax penstemon, field bindweed, wingpod purslane, littleleaf globe mallow, and beard tongue.  Now that we are better informed, we can try the Watson Lake Loop Trail on another day.