Wildlife Viewing Areas
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Goldwater Lake Park
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.
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Lynx Lake Recreation Area
Description: This recreation area combines a scenic lake, a riparian area along Lynx Creek, and a variety of habitat types in a relatively small area, all of which combine to create excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. Areas include the Lynx Creek Gold Pan area, the Lynx Creek Ruin Trail, and the North Shore Scenic Vista overlook. The Highlands Center for Natural History offers outdoor science education.

Wildlife to Watch: From the North Shore Vista Point, visitors have a wonderful view of the lake including bald eagle roosts and a nest site. The lake attracts mule deer, javelina, great blue heron, osprey, great-horned owl, belted kingfishers, and double-crested cormorant. The ponderosa pine, scrub oak, and pinyon-juniper woodlands surrounding the lake hold a wide variety of resident and breeding bird species. These include black-chinned and broad-tailed hummingbirds, acorn and hairy woodpeckers, plumbeous and Hutton’s vireos, Steller’s and western scrub-jays, bridled and juniper titmouse, mountain chickadee, white-breasted and pygmy nuthatches, bushtit, Bewick’s wren, western bluebird, black-throated gray and Grace’s warblers, hepatic and western tanagers, black-headed grosbeak, and spotted towhee. Many reptiles also inhabit the area including plateau lizard, greater short-horned lizard, Sonoran whipsnake, gophersnake, and Arizona black rattlesnake.

Special Tips: 

Other Activities: The main trail is a 2.3 mile loop around Lynx Lake. The west portion of the trail is open year-round and provides universal accessibility. This location is the best place for viewing bald eagles and waterfowl. Trail 443 is a 3/4 mile loop and also provides universal accessibility. Other more rugged trails away from the lake provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Lynx Creek Ruin Trail has interpretive signs and a short walk to an observation platform at a prehistoric ruin.

Ownership: U.S.D.A. Forest Service 
Size: 200 acres 
Closest Town: Prescott

RestroomsParkingTent CampingHikingPicnic tablesBoat LaunchLarge BoatsSmall BoatsTrailer CampingDrinking Water

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Short-horned Lizard - photo by USFWS
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Driving Directions:
From Prescott, go east on State Hwy. 69 for 4 miles to Walker Road. Turn south (right) and proceed for 3 miles to the Lynx Lake Recreation Area. There are 4 entrances; 2 for day use areas and 2 for campgrounds.

Map Link

Lynx Lake Recreation Area : Wildlife Viewing Area