Skimming the surface: Goldwater Lake, Prescott, AZ

Ok, some adventures just don’t go as planned. This was one of those. I spent at least 35 minutes hike-a-biking trying to find the mountain bike trail. Granted someone with better technical skills than me (just about anyone) probably could have biked much of what I had hiked. At one point, my phone fell out my bike jersey without my knowing. (Luckily, when I retraced my steps I found it with the screen in tact—thank goodness.)  That’s how it started.

log bridge and bike goldwater

I’m sure Han’s No Way Rey and Missy Giove, the MTB legends I met on my Catalina mountain bike adventure would have popped over this little bridge no problem— not me.

When I finally jumped on the single track trail I’d originally intended, I had to keep jumping off the bike to navigate over rocks or roots.

Goldwater Lake Trail Sign My downfall When the trail opened up into a rough fire road, I thought, Ok, this should be doable for me now. Well, apparently not. After another 35 minutes of navigating loose gravel and pot holes, my tire slipped out from under me and I wiped out and landed hard


Sometimes knowing when to surrender is better than ruining your vacation or life with an injury, especially if you’re out there alone as I was. Sure I was tempted to get my bruised butt back on the bike and see where the bumpy fire road would take me, but I had a work conference call coming up and other places to explore on foot before nightfall anyway. Was glad that I didn’t have my Garmin to tell me how few miles I’d covered. After I wiped the dust off my backside, I pedaled away, grateful for the climb up the hill back to the car (at least a partial workout).

Fishing sign

I didn’t run into any hikers or other mountain bikers, but there were about half a dozen people fishing at the lake. (None of whom knew the surrounding trails.) From what I can tell, 15-acre Goldwater Lake is a good spot for a family outing with summer kayak and canoe rentals, picnic tables, a playground, a horse shoe pit and a volleyball court. You’ll have to ask someone else about the trails.

Long story short, that’s why I only skimmed the surface of what the Goldwater Lake trails offer. I’ll give it another shot if I return to the area (most likely by foot or with a mountain biker that knows the trails).

Getting there:  2900 S. Goldwater Lake Road, from Prescott,go south on Mount Vernon Street, which becomes Senator Highway.

Fee: $3 for Parking

Ever had an adventure that just didn’t go as planned? Share your experience.  

Stay tuned for my top picks of places to stay and eat and for more of my active escapades in and around Prescott.

Hiking: Thumb Butte 

Granite Basin

Mountain Biking: Prescott Valley to Prescott via the Iron King & Peavine Trails

Restaurants: Farm Provisions

Barley Hound Gastropub


Kicking up my heels in the historic district of Prescott, AZ and beyond

In case you were wondering what downtown historic Prescott, Arizona is like—it’s charming, clean, friendly and fun. Lots of historic buildings, galleries, shops, restaurants, hotels and old time saloons. I’m sure glad my road trip took me here. I had a blast exploring the area—hiking and mountain biking in the nearby Prescott National Forest by day and kicking up my heels on the saloon dance floors by night. As a solo woman traveler, I felt completely safe my entire trip. (Though it appears some don’t—lol. The concealed carry handbag in the picture below was featured in one of the store windows.)concealed carry handbag

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Nightlife – yes! Live Music – yes! Dancing – yes!

band w L prescott2
Ready for my night out on the town in the lobby of the historic Hotel St Michael, Prescott


Stay tuned for my top picks of places to stay and eat and for more of my active escapades in and around Prescott.

Hiking : Thumb Butte

Granite Basin

Mountain Biking: Prescott Valley to Prescott via the Iron King & Peavine Trails

Goldwater Lake

Restaurants: The Barley Hound Gastropub

Farm Provisions

Railay Rocks!

Spectacular scenery, iconic limestone crags of monolithic proportions rising out of the Andaman Sea – that’s Railay.


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When I arrived by longtail boat, I checked into my hotel and took a walkabout to stretch my legs after the taxi (half hour), ferry (2hr), bus (2 hr) minivan (half hour with1 hr delay) and longtail boat ride (20 minute) – phew!

Actually, it wasn’t bad at all. It’s extremely easy to get around in Thailand. My full day of travel was coordinated by 1 agency for $33. Travel agencies are almost as ubiquitous as 7-Eleven’s here. Tip: It can be worthwhile to check with different agencies if you are looking for a specific itinerary and time. Some offer more choices than others.

I’ve been touring up and down Thailand for 3 weeks and the only wild things I’ve seen so far are some unruly Americans and Australians, feral cats, bats and myna birds. Accessible only by water, this tiny peninsula is literally crawling with wild things. And I’m not just talking about the rock climbers who flock here from around the world. Here there are macaques running amok, water monitors skulking about, squirrels flying overhead, and apparently some dusky langors in hiding too. You just follow the boardwalk from the pier in East Railay and head for West Railay Beach. When you make that right, you are in what I call monkey alley.


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Tip: Pay close attention to your belongings (monkey’s steal) and keep an eye out for movement on the rocks. Monitor lizards blend in well, but you can detect them with a keen eye. They are a bit noisy going over brush, tree limbs or leaves so keep your ears open too.

Awesome, right? I know! And all within the first 20 minutes of my arrival. Next to a conspicuous “Danger” sign was a rope climb / hike to a vista point that beckoned to me. I’m a wee bit leery of heights and hence not the biggest fan of rock climbing though I’ve done it before. This looked a bit sketchy…To be continued…