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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Woods Canyon Lake Trail - Mogollon Rim, AZ

AZ > Payson > Heber
no permit
1 new
873 118 3
Guide 118 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Heber
3.7 of 5 by 36
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 3.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,500 feet
Elevation Gain -94 feet
Accumulated Gain 382 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.81
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15  2020-07-30 kingsnake
36  2020-06-02
Mogollon Rim Revisit
7  2020-05-28 Daytripper
6  2019-08-24
High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
17  2019-08-24
High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
20  2019-05-23 TheNaviG8R
15  2018-08-11
Highline - Woods - Crook - Rim - Sinkhole
10  2018-08-11
Highline - Woods - Crook - Rim - Sinkhole
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Author msequea
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 55 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Aug → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:40am - 7:19pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
If you could you Wood
by msequea

Likely In-Season!
Loop hike around the lake.

See this triplog for 2015 price to rent a kayak.

Made this hike with a first trimester pregnancy (my wife!) and our year and a half baby (27lbs.) in a TREK baby backpack. The week before opening (April 28) the campgrounds were open and we hiked the entire way around the lake. I'd say that the last two snows and rain last week did some damage to an otherwise fairly easy hike. Parts of the trail were washed away and made for some moderate bouldering/climbing. Not recommended for those with small children, who rarely hike or who don't have four hours or so. There are three or so places where you can find an outhouse along the way. No water or other supplies except at the dock store where you park.

The trail does go completely around the lake and included a few places where we had to cross snowdrift. If you stay near the water or on the clear parts of the trail you cannot get lost. As the trail follows the lake and it's feeder streams there are a couple places you have to go a bit of a ways up a stream in order to cross and walk back to the lake. Only saw two sets of people once we got beyond the first half mile. Very beautiful and scenic. About 5.5 miles round trip but seemed longer due to the ups and downs and scrambling. Highly recommended and enjoyable. With all the lose pine needles, etc. and rougher parts of the trail I'd recommend hiking boots although my wife did it in cross-trainer tennis shoes with only a bit of slippage.

Near the dam (to the right of the boat dock) there is a nice area with small waterfalls to sit (or sit under!) and enjoy the view as well as the cool mist. In the summer it may have more people or they may not be letting out water but it's worth a try and it's easy to miss if you just skirt the lake and don't follow the outlet till it drops into the meadow below!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2001-04-30 msequea
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Payson take State Highway 260 to Forest Road 300, drive 3 miles on Forest Road 300 to Woods Canyon Lake entrance road. Begin the hike by crossing the dam near Spillway Campground.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
    11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
    Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
    help comment issue

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