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Roadrunner Trail - Lake Pleasant, AZ

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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
3.8 of 5 by 5
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.85 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,818 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 115 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5-1 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.23
Interest Ruins & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2018-10-13
Rainy day at Lake Pleasent
14  2018-04-21
Lake Pleasant Wander
20  2018-03-03
Lake Pleasant & Frustum #19
6  2018-02-10
Lake Pleasant Wander
7  2017-07-20 RowdyandMe
15  2017-01-15
Beardsley Trail - Lake Pleasant
21  2017-01-14
I17 to Lake Pleasant - Maricopa Trail
13  2015-09-29 RowdyandMe
Page 1,  2
Author Al_HikesAZ
author avatar Guides 11
Routes 88
Photos 2,643
Trips 241 map ( 2,306 miles )
Age 87 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:33pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Easy hike by the Lake - fun with young kids
by Al_HikesAZ

Easy hike by Lake Pleasant - fun with young kids

The Roadrunner Trail starts just north of the Visitor Center. It is an easy trail and well-marked. From the Visitor Center TH it is about .6 miles to the Restroom facilities at the Jet Ski Rental Parking Lot. You will probably not hike this as a trail from end to end and back but more likely will take numerous stops and detours down to the Lake. It should be a fun hike with young kids (5 - 12 years old) or with out of town guests who aren't in hiking shape. The trail starts as an asphalt trail for a few yards until it gets to a picnic bench. There are numerous picnic benches and two large Picnic Ramadas with covered picnic tables along the trail route. There are numerous side trails down to the "beach" and the water. Take a picnic lunch, a ground cloth, a tarp or tent for shade, floaties or life preservers, maybe even fishing poles (and hooks and bait and license) and make a day at the lake out of this hike. If the water is low, you can leave the trail about .2 miles into the hike and cross a small peninsula and climb up a hill. At about .25 miles there is a side trail to a small Native American ruin.

The Visitor Center is typically open from 10am to 6pm and the Rangers and Volunteers can be amusing and informative. There is a short nature trail by the Visitor Center named the Desert Tortoise Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2011-07-02 Al_HikesAZ
  • 2018 PDF
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    2018 PDF

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Roadrunner Trail - Lake Pleasant
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After hiking the Walkin' Jim Trail we stopped by Lake Pleasant to enjoy the water and cool off. We walked through Scorpion Bay, picked up some drinks from the convenience store, and marveled at the fact that anyone can spend $700,000 on a boat.

We drove back to the visitor center and walked along the Roadrunner Trail, and walked down to the water. Really not much of a trail but rather a means to access the water. It felt like it was 90 degrees today, so the cold water felt amazing. I was surprised how clear and clean the water looked. Loved the way the deep blue water looked surrounded by desert. We sat in the water so long I got a sweet sunburn. :)

We left the lake feeling fulfilled but hungry, so we stopped by Wild Horse West on the way out and had some of the best burgers we've had in a long time. Swiss burger on rye with jalapenos...try it!
Roadrunner Trail - Lake Pleasant
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Scenic hike along the South Park Shore of Lake Pleasant.

From the main western trailhead the trail takes off just right of the restrooms. As of this writing signage was absent. A wooden pole and well defined trail let you know you're on path. The trail heads over to the visitors center. Along the way you pass several access spurs to rammadas and the campgrounds. I suspect few hike this end-to-end, rather just accessing the lake. Nevertheless I found it quite enjoyable in mid day heat in July no less. The views heading east to west on the return are borderline phenomenal for moments. The color of the water is unreal.

It's a pretty trashy place. Though about what I expected for a such a popular place. The lake seems busier than the Salt River or Verde lakes. On a hot Thursday in late July I didn't expect to see a Police Command post nor so many people. Yet I didn't cross paths with any on the trail.

I'm glad I got the opportunity to hike this little trail. I wouldn't recommend driving too far. If you live in the NW valley it's worthy if you are looking for an easy family hike. It may be a zoo on some weekends.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

$7 per vehicle,$85 annual or trade your first born for the life pass

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Phoenix head north on I-17 to the Carefree Highway (SR74)
Go west 10.8 miles to Castle Hot Springs Road
Head north 2.1 miles to the Lake Pleasant Access Road.
Pay and proceed through pay station.
Follow the signs to the Visitor Center.
Go .8 miles to South Park Road and turn right continue 1.8 miles onto Overlook Road slight left North Overlook Road stay left on North Overlook Road and the Visitor Center will be ahead and slightly left.
page created by Al_HikesAZ on Jul 02 2011 3:35 pm
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