Goldwater Lake Park
|Description: An easy scenic drive through the mountains just outside Prescott leads to this clear, clean lake surrounded by tall Ponderosa pine forest. Use occurs year-round with peak visitation during the summer.|
Wildlife to Watch: There is a chance to see mule deer and other woodland wildlife, such as Abert’s squirrels, but the main draw here is birding: the lake attracts great blue heron, American coot, double-crested cormorant, and many ducks such as common merganser, ring-necked duck, and mallard. Look for bald eagle, osprey, and various species of woodpeckers including northern flicker, hairy, and acorn.
Other species that may be observed throughout the year are Steller’s jay, mountain chickadee, white-breasted and pygmy nuthatches, brown creeper, dark-eyed junco, and during good pine cone crop years, red crossbill. Spring and summer months also bring many migratory species to breed among the pines. These include broad-tailed hummingbird, western wood-pewee, plumbeous vireo, violet-green swallow, hermit thrush, yellow-rumped, Grace’s and olive warblers, western tanager, and chipping sparrow.
Many smaller species of wildlife can also be encountered in the area, such as mantled ground squirrel, rock squirrel, cliff chipmunk, Gilbert’s skink, Madrean alligator lizard, greater short-horned lizard, gophersnake, ring-necked snake, Sonoran mountain kingsnake, and Arizona black and black-tailed rattlesnakes.
Other Activities: A trail surrounding the lake begins in the parking lot. The trail exits the park into the Prescott National Forest after about a mile. From there, hikers can either retrace the trail back to the parking lot or access many miles of trails throughout the National Forest.
Ownership: City of Prescott
Closest Town: Prescott
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: