Spring in Greater Prescott is the best anywhere, and it’s also the gateway to summer and even more outdoor frolicking as months of sunshine, piney warmth and cooled-down evenings unroll ahead of us.
It’s time to start parking our RVs and pitching our tents at Lynx or Watson Lakes, White Spar or any of the other magnetic campgrounds we have to choose from here.
Most campgrounds in and around Prescott that shut down for the winter reopen in April, making this a great time to check out the major campgrounds being put back into service for the balmy months. These four have onsite restrooms, with dry camping only, since none have RV hookups. q
Watson Lake Park
Campground opens first weekend of April through first weekend in October
This small but very convenient campground has 19 sites that can be reserved and another 15 set aside on a first-come, first-serve basis. They’re near the park’s main entrance off state Route 89 and a short hike from the water. This City-run campsite offers dry camping and is open Thursday through Monday nights. Visitors praise its spectacular Granite Dells scenery, spacious sites, convenience to boat ramps and fishing and restroom facilities.
Lynx Lake Recreation Area
Campgrounds scheduled to be open April 1-Oct. 31
Fee: $18-$36/night, plus $5 for each extra vehicle (for both Lynx and Hilltop campgrounds)
This wooded lake on Prescott’s southeast edge is just south of the Highlands Center for Natural History and home to a network of forest trails, day-use areas for picnicking and wildlife viewing, a group campground, along with the two for use by individual tents and RVs.
The Hilltop campground has 38 single spaces and can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, while the Lynx has 35 single spaces and four double spaces, and can accommodate RVs 22 feet long up to 35 feet long.
Campers enjoy the area’s remote air while it sits just 2 ½ miles south of Costco, though the weekend crowds are too much for some.
Note: The 2022 opening of these campgrounds may be delayed by repairs to the recreation area’s potable water system
Granite Basin Recreation Area
Campground open April 1-Oct. 31
Fee: $18-$36, plus $5 for each extra vehicle
The Yavapai Campground here has 21 campsites with picnic tables, grills and fire pits and a maximum vehicle length of 40 feet. It’s convenient for day users at Granite Basin Lake and those venturing into the Granite Mountain Wilderness, and because it’s nestled within pinyon pines and junipers rather than ponderosas, it’s a bit warmer for those sun worshippers who’ve reeeeally been anticipating winter’s end!
Groom Creek Recreation Area
Campground open April 1-Oct. 1
Fee: $10, plus $5 for each extra vehicle
Lower Wolf Creek campground in this recreation area has 20 campsites, and RVs up to 40 feet long can park there. More isolated and cheaper than the other National Forest Service campgrounds, it’s first-come, first-serve only, with exact change required for those paying with cash onsite.
Campers enjoy the setting on Wolf Creek underneath ponderosas and live oaks, and some features remain from its original construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.