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Meadow Trail #505, AZ

Guide 25 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.4 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,560 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 160 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.23
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author avatar Guides 84
Routes 694
Photos 17,184
Trips 1,681 map ( 12,701 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
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Preferred May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:36am - 7:24pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2006 Rim38.4 mi*

Sidewalk Sale!
by chumley

Why the Sitgreaves National Forest named this the Meadow Trail is anybody's guess. There's only one spot that might pretend to be a meadow, and even that is a real stretch. I prefer to call it the Sidewalk Trail because that is essentially what this is. Forest signs indicate its length to be 1.8 miles, but my maps and my GPS couldn't come up with a step over 1.5, and I hiked it out-and-back and measured both ways.

So, here's what this trail is good for: It is a nicely paved trail (yes, bring your wheelchair, strollers, tricycles, rollerblades, etc.) that leads from the Woods Canyon Lake boat ramp/store area to the Woods Canyon Vista point adjacent to the Rim Road (FR300). The trail parallels the Woods Canyon Lake road (FR105), which all summer long will keep you no more than 50 feet away from trucks, motorhomes, and diesel-exhaust-spewing boat trailers. Peace and serenity are not what you'll find on this trail during the summer months! However, if you are enjoying a camping weekend with your family at the lake, this trail is ideal for your young ones or those who don't have a great deal of hiking experience. It keeps you off the road, and except for the very short hill up from the lakeshore is a virtually flat hike through a lovely Ponderosa Pine Forest.

The reward is the view from the Woods Canyon Vista at the end of the trail. I think it might make a nice evening/night hike with headlamps. Since it's a paved trail, it's straightforward to follow, and the footing won't be a problem even in the dark.

There are plenty of trails in the area, and the Meadow Trail ends at the Woods Canyon Vista, where you can continue hiking on the Rim Vista Trail. A proper loop can be accomplished by connecting Meadow, Rim Vista, and a portion of the General Crook Trail, which intersects the Meadow Trail about halfway between the Lake and the Vista. A long loop using the General Crook Trail would take you to the parking area at the Rim Road and Hwy 260 and add about 6 miles, though there's a 3-mile loop that cuts to the Military Sinkhole Vista/Trail that is another option for would-be loop hikes.

My description focuses on summer hiking because the Rim Road is closed in winter due to snow, so access to the trailhead requires hiking, skiing, or snowmobiling. Though access in the winter when the road is closed makes this area much more peaceful!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-03-08 chumley

    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Payson, travel east on Hwy 260 for approximately 30 miles to the intersection of Rim Road (Forest Road 300). Travel FR300 for about 3 miles to FR105. This is the Woods Canyon Vista, which is one end of the trail. However, Woods Canyon Lake and a variety of campgrounds are about 1.5 miles away on FR105. That's where the official Meadow Trail #505 is.
    page created by chumley on Mar 08 2009 2:12 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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