Flume Canyon, Over the Hill and Watson Dam offer a choose-your-own-adventure experience year round
By Amanda Lane, Owner, The Hike Shack
The Granite Dells have so much to offer. Every time I travel out that way, I see something new. Even though the area is primarily rock, it changes a surprising amount, season to season.
One of my favorite adventures out that way—with something for just about everyone—is the Flume Canyon. The trails out there are rocky and best suited for hikers with sturdy shoes. By following the white dots on the well-marked system, you can choose the length and distance of your hike through this incredible landscape.
At the trailhead, you’ll find a great map of the three miles or so of trail system, and most intersections also have a map to help keep you on track. There are several options for roaming around in and out of the rocks and along the creek that flows from the dam.
You really should go all the way to the Watson Dam, cross the creek, and go up and over the Over the Hill Trail just to take in the view. This trail does link up with the Peavine Trail and you can make a loop all the way around Watson Lake for an approximately seven-mile adventure.
There is not a bad season for these trails unless it’s mid-summer, because of the mosquitos, which can get quite thick in the evening hours.
This adventure is one your whole family will enjoy, so take a break and go for a hike! No matter how much time you have to spend, you will be pleased at what this area has to offer.
A couple of quick notes:
The summer storms did do some damage in 2021, but the bridge is in good shape and easy to cross if you choose to make your way over the hill.
I have seen the creeks in the Flume Trail area flood many times. Be mindful when a storm comes in; the water can rise quickly and seems to come from every direction. I have caught the spillway in action a few times during the winter and summer months after a storm. It is beautiful but can also be very dangerous if you are not at a safe distance or in the right location.
The Flume Trails start on Granite Dells Road off Highway 89, just north of Watson Lake. The parking area is very small and has room for only about eight cars. The trailhead does have a porta-potty but no water. These trails are very close to several homes so please stay on the trail and be respectful of this little community.
Stop by The Hike Shack at 104 N. Montezuma Street in Prescott or call 928.443.8565 or visit www.thehikeshack.com.