Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Willow Lake Day Hike
when Trip Report : May 14, 2016
  Trip Report : October 18, 2014
where Prescott
the hike     The Granite Dells is a geological feature north of Prescott, Arizona. The Dells consist of exposed bedrock and large boulders of granite that have eroded into an unusual lumpy, rippled appearance. Willow Lake is a small man-made reservoir in this formation; this, combined with numerous hiking & biking trails and rock climbing routes, makes it a popular outdoor recreation area in the region. Geologically speaking: the Precambrian Dells’ granite has been dated at 1.4 billion years old. Its plutonic rock was intruded at a depth of around one or two miles. These cover rocks have since been eroded away. Weathering along joints produced the rounded boulders and other unusual rock formations that characterize the Granite Dells. This process is called spheroidal weathering, and is common in granitic terrains.
    Hiking in Prescott’s Granite Dell is like getting lost in a stone age labyrinth. The network of paths on the north shore of Willow Lake coil through hulking quartz-studded granite buttes squeezing in and out on the paths in heaving accordion style. The rugged meandering loop trails move seamlessly from claustrophobically tight spaces to airy exposed promontories with unobstructed vista. On these rocks the trail follows spray-painted white dots that serve as directional beacons.
Required:
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
Recommended:
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 5.7 miles
time 4 hours
EC +-200' elevation change
elevations 5073' to 5225'
type In and out this time, up to end of rock formation and return by same way = more scenic experience and to avoid walking in muddy flat marsh and less scenic last 2 miles by highway.
starting at
Willow Lake Trailhead 34° 36.587' N,  112° 26.339' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Willow Lake Trail. Rock hopping. Follow white painted dots.
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost There is a $3.00 parking fee at the trailhead. Sharing gas expenses with the driver. The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
weather Prescott
meet 7:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride.
drive
•  From Phoenix go north on I-17 to Cordes Junction exit 262 for Prescott, AZ 69.
Drive 32 miles to Prescott. At Prescott Lakes Parkway, look for a large Cadillac auto dealership.
Turn right (north) on Prescott Lakes Parkway and continue north, crossing AZ 89, to Willow Lake Rd.
Turn left and go west on Willow Creek Rd.
Turn right and continue to Heritage Park Rd., across from Embry-Riddle U and heading toward the zoo.
Turn right and then make an immediate right onto Heritage Park Creek and follow the signs to the trailhead.

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