After a teeth shaking ride from I-17 past Cleator and up to Crown King head over to Horsethief Basin Lake. There is much visual evidence of the fire that went through there a couple of years ago but will find no damage at the lake. There is a trail around the lake and several options off from it. If you are lucky you will have it all to yourself and be able to relax and listen to all that nature has to offer. You will find yourself in the company of cat tails, pines and cottonwood trees. This is a birders paradise so stay awhile and watch our fine feathered friends play. If you are going for pictures all you have to do sit still for a little time and the birds and deer all come out to play. Please make sure and practice the ethics of Leave No Trace. You can fish in the lake. I saw plenty of small bass fry. Not so sure that I would swim there as if is full of hydrilla.
From this lake you can connect to plenty of local named trails. The recreation also has several developed campgrounds close to the lake. Drive slowly to and from the lake as I had several close calls with other trucks and ATV's. After you are done return to Crown King for beverage and food at the Saloon. Make sure you visit the general store for some fudge so make sure that you save room.
Forest Prescott National Forest Pass
Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.
To hike I-17 to the Horsethief Basin Recreation sign and follow to Cleator and Crown King. Six miles from Crown King on FR 52.
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