Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
757.00 ft (230.73 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.50 mi (8.85 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

There is a network of trails in the national forest surrounding Prescott, Arizona, that is very popular with locals. White Spar Campground lies just a few miles south of town and has a popular trailhead used by hikers, mountain bikers and off-road-vehicle users as well. The Goldwater Lake Trail is not open to motorized vehicles and makes a great day hike, especially for campers in White Spar who can walk to the trailhead.

Starting at the trailhead parking lot on the dirt road along Schoolhouse Gulch, the hike almost immediately turns left onto Goldwater Lake Trail. This trail climbs pretty steadily up a series of grades until it tops out on a ridge with nice views to the west and south. From this point, the trail drops down to the creek draining Lower Goldwater Lake and then up and around a shoulder to a slope above the lake itself. Goldwater Lake provides drinking water to the town of Prescott, and access is limited at the lower lake. Continuing on this trail to Upper Goldwater Lake provides access to a park with picnic areas and non-motorized boating.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Pleasant hike in the woods. Lake views.

Cons

Some bike traffic.

Trailhead Elevation

5,545.00 ft (1,690.12 m)

Highest point

5,980.00 ft (1,822.70 m)

Net Elevation Gain

435.00 ft (132.59 m)

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Potable water
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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