The Lakeshore Trail #340 circles around Riggs Lake (a.k.a. Riggs Flat Lake), in southeastern Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. This loop hike next to a beautiful mountain lake makes for a brief and easy outing, and is easy enough for small children to hike. Because of its proximity to Riggs Lake and Riggs Flat Campground, this trail is popular with fishermen and campers.
Riggs Flat, where the lake is today, was once the home of the Riggs family. The Riggs' were early inhabitants of the Pinaleno Mountains, who built a log cabin and grew potatoes in this high mountain valley. Long after the Riggs family abandoned their mountain top farm for the Sulphur Springs Valley, the Arizona Game and Fish Department constructed a dam at the lower end of Riggs Flat, creating Riggs Lake in 1957.
Do not park your vehicle in a Riggs Flat Campground campsite, or you will be subject to the camping fee.
There are no signs identifying this trail, but it is easy to follow, as it sticks close to the shoreline of Riggs Lake.
From the end of the campground, where the road makes a 180 degree turn to the left, a concrete walkway heads off to the right, towards the wooded lakeshore. After passing a popular fishing spot, the walkway turns to dirt, and the Lakeshore Trail straightaways across Riggs Lake's earthen dam. The trail crosses a little wooden bridge over the spillway, before reentering the coniferous forest bordering the waterfront.
Rounding the north shore, the trail becomes a narrow footpath that ambles among tall ferns and marshy inlets. The fire scarred summit of Merrill Peak can be seen rising above the lake to the south.
Turning south, the trail crosses a marshy area, where a nameless creek supplies the lake's water. Alder thickets and giant leaved cowparsnip plants crowd the trail here.
The trail soon reaches the broad, grassy, south shore of Riggs Lake, near the campground, where many people enjoy fishing from. The boat ramp and parking lot soon come into view, where this short little hike comes to an end.
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.