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    • Don't get too excited. Las Vegas to Prescott, Arizona would not be placed in the ADVENTURE section of any library, but, I consider every time I pull out of my garage an adventure. The motivation for this particular trip was based on several outstanding trips to Flagstaff (Overland Expo, etc), Sedona (Sedona mountain bike festival), Cottonwood and Phoenix. BUT, on my last trip to Sedona I was going to pop over and check out Watson Lake but it never happened.

      Anyway, for any of you that have visited the Hoover Dam, you know that EVERYTHING was routed through Boulder City. Sometimes, if you were in a hurry, the speed traps were annoying but Boulder City is a cool little town. NOW, they just completed Interstate 11 so if you are heading to the Grand Canyon or anywhere in AZ, I11 completely bypasses Boulder City. I am sure this will translate to $millions of dollars saved to the trucking industry. I do feel sorry for Boulder City because I know they will probably take a big hit.

      The first week it opened (not long ago) I blazed right by this new Lake Mead overlook they made available. This time I stopped. There is limited parking as it is intended as a quick "take-a-photo-and-hit-the-road" type of venue.

    • Jumping back into the adventure wagon and an overnight thought was to finally take the time and venture out to the Hualapai’s aka “Pine Tree Peoples” commercial venture of the Grand Canyon West Skywalk. Heading southeast, halfway to Kingman you exit at Dolan Springs and head due north approximately 45 miles.  With a couple of school zones slowing the speed limit to 15mph the bulk of the trip can be driven at 55mph+.  I was not quite sure what to expect but as I pulled into the main parking lot, my retail-ripoff senses were being alerted with loud alarms. Easily 100’s of staff ushering in the 1000’s of daily visitors is not an easy task.  As a highly independent traveler, I prefer to find my own way but I was willing to pay the supposed $60 to venture out on the Skywalk.

    • As I am waiting in line to purchase my ticket, I see a fairly large sign on the wall alerting me that when on the Skywalk, cameras-cell-phones-or-anything are NOT ALLOWED! WTH? As I ponder this, I start to realize the unique nature of this construction mandates this. Can you imagine all the mishaps of dropped phones and cameras? So, I jump out of line and ask one of the employees if there is just a lookout point I can grab a couple of snaps? Sure, but that requires the $49.92 pass where you jump on a bus and there are three drop-offs included in the tour. Grrrrrrrrrr…. My retail ripoff alarm bells are sounding off loud and clear in my head but I also realize I have already committed almost three hours of driving just to visit this location.

    • With today’s economy and their remote location off of Highway 40, unemployment for the Hualapai nation reaches 80% and some sell jewelry and other native artifacts but they also lease land for mining and lumbering.

      In 2007, the Skywalk opened at a price tag of over $40million with controversy. When the overhang structure opened, it will be the most conspicuous commercial edifice in the Grand Canyon. As the tribe’s plans came to fruition, the Skywalk became the catalyst for a 9,000-acre development, known as Grand Canyon West, that opened up a long-inaccessible 100-mile stretch of countryside along the canyon’s South Rim.

    • I conceded to being just another bozo-on-the-bus, and our 2nd stop was at the Skywalk.  As my last step on the bus hit the red dirt and looking towards Eagle Point, I suspect not one person was disappointed with their commitment to this eco-tourism dicotomy. Reminding myself I was still on a timeline for Prescott, I jumped on the next bus and headed to Shuttle Stop #3 which offer the “Highpoint Hike” and Guano Point that houses the remnants of a historic tram that stretched 8,800 fee across the canyon to the Guano mine.

    • Back to the main parking lot three hours later, I can vouch that $50 was definitely worth my money and time and I have respect for how the Hualapai community is managing this particular asset and tourist attraction.  All of the staff were friendly and professional. I did not pay the additional $20 to walk the Skywalk and as it turns out with the approaching lightning, the Skywalk was closed. People were given 100% refunds for that portion of their tickets.

    • Prescott (“PRES-ket”) is about dead center geographically in Arizona. Considered to be the 1st and foremost settling of the anyone venturing west back in the mid-1800’s, it also was selected as capital of the Arizona Territory until 1867 when the capital was moved to Tucson. Ten years later, the Arizona State Capitol returned to Prescott.  Twelve years later in 1889 the State Capitol was relocated to Phoenix where it remains today.

    • Exiting Interstate 40 and heading south on Highway 89 and transiting the numerous roundabouts (good way to control speeders) as I approached the Prescott valley, it was close to 5pm as I headed south on the Prescott Lakes Pkwy to intersect with Highway 69 heading north.  Lo and behold…..As Google Maps guides me to my final right turn for the Lynx Lake Campground, the local Costco reminds me that now, my camping can turn into glamping!  As it turns out, the Lynx Campground is perfectly situated in probably the more affluent communities even though there is obvious boundary delineations from suburbia to US Forest Service protected land.  My hunch paid off and there was no one setup in A-3 so I was able to start putting my basecamp together.  Mike, the campground host did a quick drive by probably within 10 minutes of my arrival and we settled up for the extra night.

    • Based on a previous discussion here on CAKE, this was my first tryout of this "battery". Not all that impressive. After three days of only charging cellphone and camera batteries the CAT was about spent by the time I pulled up my camp.

    • My interest in Watson Lake was the catalyst for my Prescott adventure trip.  The Granite Dells are a unique outcropping of reddish moon/mars-scape features in the northern part of the Prescott valley. The Dells consist of exposed bedrock and large boulders of granite that have eroded into an unusual lumpy, rippled appearance.

    • As I put my kayak in the at the south parking lot boat launch, with close inspection the lake water looked gross.  Algae to be expected but in speaking with some other kayakers at Lynx Lake, Watson is known to be polluted.  Putting that information aside I ventured out.  There is a hiking trail that circles the entire lake that can be accessed for free from the northbound parking lot south of the roundabout.

    • The weather was perfect after another light rainfall the night before.  There was a Boy Scout group heading out and that made for a collection of at least 40 kayakers and paddleboarders in the water by 9am.  Sweet!  Lots of photo opportunities to capture kayakers immersed in this unique nature setting.  I found a cove to disembark and do some light hiking along the way.

    • There were no outdoors showers at the park so I high-tailed back to my campground and hosed myself off to ensure the contaminated water had no effect. It turns out that the E. coli contamination draining into Watson Lake from throughout its multi-creek watershed, the City of Prescott faces a state mandate to improve the water quality in both the lake and the watershed. Within a year, Prescott should have an answer to a longstanding question: What can be done about the polluted waters of Watson Lake?

    • Prescott was interesting enough but I got a sense much of the overwhelming yuppiness that has bloomed and dominated Sedona has migrated West to Prescott. Until they fix this lake I will probably not return and opt for either Flagstaff (fun, fun town) or Cottonwood as a basecamp for mtb'ng and hiking around Sedona. COMPLETE TRIP REPORT HERE

    • Great thread with a lot of interesting details. Great pics as well

      And Thank you for posting the Hualapai tour package poster - sticker shock is right, but understandable as well.

    • Excellent trip report, Robert! Thank you for sharing it with us.

      I’ve never been to Prescott AZ, but I did venture out to Grand Canyon’s South Rim which was spectacular. Now that I found out about the Skywalk, I’m tempted to go back to the North Rim to check it out as well 😉.

    • Great write-up and pics. 😁I haven't been to the south rim in ages and now I want to go again. There's supposed to be an iMAX theater on the south rim? A friend of ours, Keith Merril, shot the original film in it but I never got a chance to see it.

      We have a saying in our family, one word, that settles every debate about whether we should pay the extra fee: Spain. We were visiting and there was a $25 fee/person to enter a cathedral. Some members of my family thought that was a rip-off and thought we should pass. I said it cost umpteen dollars to get us to Spain, the $75 for the three of us was lost in the roundoff. We went in and have remembered it ever since as incredible and so worth it.