Sometimes you can’t go far from civilization but still want to get out and explore. If that sounds familiar, Lynx Lake might be perfect for you.
Excellent hiking, fishing, and camping are all waiting for you only minutes from Prescott, Arizona.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Lynx Lake (and Its History)
Lynx Lake is a reservoir five miles east of Prescott, AZ, in the Prescott National Forest. Specifically, it’s a human-made lake created in 1952 with the building of a dam in Lynx Creek.
Located in the Bradshaw Mountains, the lake is at an elevation of 5530 feet, and the average depth is 40 feet.
It’s widely known for boating, fishing, hiking, camping, sailing, and kayaking.
Lynx Lake is stocked with rainbow trout several times throughout the year, and anglers can also catch other species such as largemouth bass, crappie, and sunfish. Boating is permitted on the lake, with electric motors only. There is a boat ramp and a dock for anglers.
The Best Way to Get to Lynx Lake
You can easily access the lake from Prescott by heading east on AZ-69. Then, make a right onto Walker Drive. After that, continue south for 2.5 miles and arrive at the recreation area.
Coming from Phoenix, initially head north on AZ-17 and exit onto AZ-6. Next, continue on AZ-6 for 32 miles. Finally, make a left onto Walker drive and continue 2.5 miles until you reach the recreation area.
You can also use your GPS to find Lynx Lake Recreation Area no matter where you’re coming from.
Can you swim in Lynx Lake?
Swimming is allowed and dogs are welcome as long as they are on a six-foot leash.
It’s important to note that there is no designated swimming area or lifeguard on duty. The lake is primarily used for fishing and boating, so swimmers should exercise caution and be aware of boating activity in the area.
Additionally, the water temperature can be chilly year-round, as the lake is fed by mountain streams. Swimming may be more comfortable during the warmer months, but visitors should always use caution and swim at their own risk. It’s also a good idea to check for any posted warnings or advisories before swimming, as conditions can change due to weather or other factors.
Know Before You Go: In the past, swimming was prohibited in the lake, and it could be again depending on the water’s conditions. Check for current swimming and other restrictions before you head out.
Popular Hikes Near Lynx Lake
Water sports aren’t all that this human-made lake offers visitors. Here are some hiking suggestions to experience incredible views.
Lynx Lake Loop Trail
The Lynx Lake Loop Trail is a 2.4-mile loop trail that’s rated easy and suitable for all skill levels. As a result, it’s a perfect beginning hike with incredible views of the lake and excellent bird watching.
The trail is best from March through September, but it’s open year-round unless there’s inclement weather. Plus, you can bring leashed dogs on the trail.
Ranch Trail #62
Ranch Trail #62 is a 3.2-mile one-way trail (6.4 miles round trip) rated as difficult. It begins in a grove of trees, including Pinyon Pine and low-growing Oak, then steadily climbs until it meets up with Boy Scout Trail #126.
Along with fabulous views of Lynx Lake, hikers often see mule deer and wild turkeys along the way until its end at Seven Mile Gulch Trail #9854. There’s also mountain biking and horse riding on the trail for avid outdoors people.
The Best Campsites Near Lynx Lake
Your time at the lake doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. So, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for staying nearby.
Address: Lynx Campground, Walker Rd, Prescott, AZ 86303
About the Campground: Lynx Campground is less than 1/4 mile from Lynx Lake. Its 35 non-electric sites come with a picnic table and fire ring. Campers are welcome to use the four vault toilets and two flush toilets, as well as the six dumpsters and seven water faucets.
There are no RV hook-ups or dump stations in the campground. But, campers may enjoy fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Price: $18/night (single) or $36/night (double)
Address: Hilltop Campground, Walker Rd, Prescott, AZ 86303
About the Campground: Hilltop Campground has 34 non-electric sites with picnic tables and fire rings. In addition, campers can choose from pull-through, back-in, and parallel driveways. There are five vault toilets, five dumpsters, and six water faucets.
There are no RV hook-ups or dump stations in the campground. Campers might enjoy camping among the many trees as well as hiking and fishing.
Price: $18/night (single) or $36/night (double)
Escape to Lynx Lake
Lynx Lake makes for a tremendous day-use area, but you’ll need more time to experience all it has to offer.
Certainly, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy with options to camp, fish, hike, and even pan for gold at this incredible body of water.
Lynx Lake is on our list of the best lakes in Arizona. Read the list here, or watch the video below.
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