We moved from Cottonwood area over to Prescott Forest this last week. We wanted to give the boys a chance to see a different part of Arizona, and get in a few hikes in this area. With help from the US Forest Service office in Prescott a couple of weeks ago, we had already scouted out a great campground about 7 miles south of the historic area of Downtown Prescott. Far enough from town that you are in the dense forest, but close enough to be near stores, library and good eats.
We had decided to head over here on a Tuesday, ahead of the upcoming Easter weekend as all the sites are first-come, first-camp. Lucky for us, because we managed to score a beautiful pull-thru site on a hill that overlooked the forest with a creek at the bottom. We quickly set up boundaries for the boys - not past the creek, and not out of whistle range. Off they went exploring while Bob and I got the rv set up. That first day we just hung in camp and I took a little hike by myself up..up..UP towards Goldwater Lake. Never made it all the way, but found a beautiful little swimming hole to stop and take a rest before the return downhill. When I got back Bob and Carson took off into the forest in search of firewood and then a quick trip uptown to get the making for s'mores that eve. Fireside giggles, and lots of choc marsh later, everyone turned in.
Next day we got up early, had breakfast and packed our camelbacks for a hike. One of my very favorite places to hike, so far, is a place called The Dells. A few lakes in northern area of Prescott that are surrounded by what Bob and I call "Flintstone Rocks" because they remind us of cartoons from our youth. I have wanted to take the grands' here since we hiked it for the first time three years ago. This year we were able to make it happen.
The trailhead is at the no wake- boat ramp, and leads you along the water's edge until you start to climb up the huge grippy granite boulders. About 2 miles in came the steepest part, the boys not having any trouble, jumping from one to the other. After a quick downhill we found ourselves at the bottom of the dam with a nice shady spot along the creek for a picnic. Bob and Cash climbed another mile or so up the "Over The Hill" part of the trail, while I relaxed at the creek and watched as Carson jumped from one water spot to another.
The hike out was hot, but after a cool drink, and the accidental dunk in the water for Carson at the end, it made for a great day. I watched as the boys threw the last of their bagel snacks to the ducks and geese and reminisced about the times I taken their Mom to do just the same. Having her toes bitten by a massive goose at the age of 4, she never let me forget it and I told the memory to the boys. I can't believe in just a few days we will put them on an airplance to head home. The time has gone by too quickly, but the memories will last a lifetime.
White Spar Campground - 14.00 per night, no hook-ups/dump but there is drinking water to fill containers and like many Forest Service campgrounds it is 1/2 off fee with an Interagency Pass. There are tons of really nice trails that lead right out of the campground.
The Dells - Take plenty of water! There is not much shade on the trails.
This is a "no-wake" lake. Kayak and canoe rental available in Mid-April. Wish we had ours with us.