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Lake, Pines & Babes
Page stats and the "Official Route" are from FR300. Follow Babe Haught Trail #143 to Knoll Lake, circle the lake, then return on #143 for a lasso loop.
Here is a loop around the lake or a short beginner backpack to some nice and fairly remote campsites at the southeast/east end of Knoll Lake. Which sits at 7300' elevation on the Mogollon Rim. Knoll Lake is a 77-acre electric motorboat-only fishing/canoeing/kayaking lake.
Our hike starts along FR300. For reference Babe Haught Trail below the rim is in the Tonto National Forest and numbered trail #42 down to the Tonto Fish Hatchery TH. Above the rim ( our hike ) is Coconino National Forest and is numbered #143.
Follow #143 approximately 1.4 mi, then turn left into the woods just before getting to the southern cove of the lake. The southwest corner of the lake has a wide peninsula that separates two coves. We cut through the woods over to the west cove instead of following the bank as it is too steep along the edge in areas.
Cutting through the woods may or may not be on use-trails. A GPS device with the Official Route is recommended. Upon arriving at the west cove, you then circle the lake near the shore. Once again, please note there is not a maintained trail. Use trails may be in areas. Nevertheless, you should be able to stay near the lake until you circle back to the southern cove. Then return on Babe Haught Trail #43 back to your vehicle.
2008 Description from Hatchery to Lake
Here is a great shorter day hike, beginner backpack, or just a shorter backpack trip to some nice and fairly remote campsites at the southeast/east end of 7300'elevation Mogollon Rim - Knoll Lake (a 77-acre electric motorboat only fishing/canoeing/kayaking lake).
This Babe Haught Trail#143 begins below the Mogollon Rim at the Tonto Fish Hatchery TH, so IF you follow my below directions to this alternate TH for the Babe Haught TR(on top of the Rim where it crosses Rim Road-FR300), you will cut-off ~2.7mls of the one-way trail distance and most all of this trails' elevation gain for a sweet pay-off at the southeast end of scenic/freshwater Knoll Lake at GPS coordinates: N34.41831 W111.08952; There is one nice but less private campsite at this arrival waypoint, or a short hike on "use trails" further around the east end of the lake will offer 2-3 nicer and more remote backpacking campsites(with fire rings) to chose from.
Also, the ~1.5mls of cairned/marked and easy to follow trail through the large ponderosa pines (with 80% trail shade) and paralleling and crossing seasonal "Clear Creek" to this southeast end of Knoll Lake is a very pleasant day hike or backpack.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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