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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.

Ranch-Seven Mile-Lynx Loop, AZ

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97 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
Rated
3
3 of 5 by 3
 
2
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 8.28 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,601 feet
Elevation Gain 1,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,605 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.31
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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20  2018-06-01 RowdyandMe
10  2016-05-29 mazatzal
28  2016-03-24 RowdyandMe
12  2015-08-02
Prescott lakes tour
The_Eagle
16  2014-06-14
Goldwater - Lynx Lakes Loop
The_Eagle
11  2009-10-30 MEWhiteman
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 40
Routes 91
Photos 790
Trips 351 map ( 2,703 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:17am - 6:27pm
Official Route
 
2 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Three Trail Combo
by MEWhiteman

Likely In-Season!
Overview
This hike is a loop created by combining parts of the Ranch Trail (#62), the Seven Mile Gulch Trail (#9854) and the Homestead Trail (#305). It is located very near Lynx Lake and is easy to reach from Prescott on paved roads. There are nice views along the first two legs as you climb and decend the hill. At a little over 8 miles and 1,600 feet of accumulated elevation gain (AEG) it provides a decent workout too.

Hike
There are at least 3 places you can begin this hike. We chose to use the trailhead for the Ranch Trail (#62) as there is a good deal of parking and a bathroom. Trail #62 begins at the north end of the parking area at a gate with a fiberglass trail sign (N34 32.484 W112 23.954). I refer you to the description of this trail already provided by Abe on HikeArizona. While it was close to civilization to begin with, I just kept looking to the left and put it out of my mind. At 3.3 miles and 1,000 feet of AEG you come to the junction with the Seven Mile Gulch Trail (#9854) at N34 30.657 W112 25.305. Turn left here and follow the gravel road. This trail has also been described on this site by Abe. It is open to all sorts of users, but we didn't come across anyone else on the Wednesday we hiked it. The views are great but you need to watch your footing also due to the small gravel in some of the downhill sections. We took a break at Seven Mile Tank at N34 30.656 W112 24.412. There was a handy log to use as a seat and it was shady, but the tank was dry. After 2.3 miles on Trail #9854 you reach its trailhead at Walker Road at N34 31.293 W112 23.589. This is an alternate place for beginning the hike.

From here it is a short road walk to connect with the Homestead Trail (#305) near the entrance to Lynx Lake. From the trailhead of #9854 turn right onto Walker Road. Walk about .2 miles to the entrance to Lynx Lake marked by a large sign and turn left onto the entry road. Walk about .1 miles to the #305 Trail on the left at N34 31.279 W112 23.360. It is marked by steel & concrete posts to keep out vehicles and has a fiberglass trail sign. Turn left onto Trail #305. This is a single track and probably gets busy on weekends, but it does bring you back to your car at the Ranch Trail trailhead. Shortly you'll come upon a fork. To the left a trail heads to a gate and Walker Road. To the right keeps you on #305 and is where you want to go. The trail will come out to a road that's part of the Lynx Lake complex. Walk up the road to the parking area and Trail #305 makes a sharp left; follow it. This parking area is a third place where you can begin the hike. At N34 31.869 W112 23.366 you'll come to the junction with Trail #301 which goes to the Lynx Lake Ruins. Visit them if you'd like. There's descriptive information back at the parking area. To get back to your car stay on #305. Eventually you'll cross Walker Road and will enter the Ranch Trail trailhead parking from the south. The Homestead Trail section is about 2.3 miles.

While not as isolated as many of the hikes in Prescott, we found it an enjoyable hike. Too bad the Lynx Lake Cafe had switched to winter hours before we did this hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2009-10-30 MEWhiteman
    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
    Ranch-Seven Mile-Lynx Loop
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Had not done this loop - Ranch is okay and the upper part is nice but Seven Mile is a torn up, steep ATV track and not particularly enjoyable. Homestead back to the trailhead was fine.

    We only saw one person on Ranch, nobody on Seven Mile and a couple of mtn bikes on Homestead.

    Temps were nice and there was a strong breeze so kept cool the whole time. It was a bit hazy due to the wind but we still had views of Humphries, Kendrick, Sitgreaves and Bill Williams and Hyde further to the west.
    Ranch-Seven Mile-Lynx Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The was my first time out here and it really was fun. Rowdy and I never saw anyone until we reached the lake. The views were great all throughout the hike but Rowdy enjoyed the lake the most.
    I did see some birds that I never seen before and I was told that there was a Bald Eagle further up the lake nesting but I wasn't that lucky to get a shot of that.
    I will have to come back again and check out so more trails and the cooler weather was very nice.
    Ranch-Seven Mile-Lynx Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Prescott lakes tour
    A last minute plan B hike.
    I decided to recycle and tweak a previous hike to his area.

    Temps were pretty good as the shade and breezes were nice. A nice 67 to start, to a high in the upper 80's.

    I only crossed paths with a handful of people all day on the trails.

    Seven Mile Gulch Trail #9854, is exposed and the steepest climb of the day. Best to do early. It's also a mixed use trail, so you could run into motorcycles. The Watershed #299 is also mixed use.

    The Ranch Trail #62 and Smith Ravine Trail #297 still are my favorites. Plenty of shade, decent trail tread and nice views.

    The Goldwater #396 trail is nice also, but can get busy, but not on this day.

    Homestead #305 is a roller coaster through the conifers.

    There are plenty of shorter and longer loop opportunities in the area utilizing the many trails out there.

    I still need to try the restaurant on the North end of Lynx Lake.
    Open Thurs - Sunday for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
    lynxlakerestaurantp ... html

    Anybody ever try it?
    Ranch-Seven Mile-Lynx Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldwater - Lynx Lakes Loop
    First time in this area and starting from the Sevenmile Gulch TH. I'd never been to Lynx Lake or the Goldwater Lakes either, so I put together this loop that hit both of them. All of the trails I was on today seem to get a lot of action from Mountain Bikers. I'd suggest this as a CW Loop if on a MTB. Although on this perfect weather Saturday, other than around the lakes, I didn't see another soul.

    Seven Mile Gulch #9854 starts flat in the woods for the first .5 mile and the starts climbing through sun exposed scrub for a bit. Once in the pines It gets better.

    I missed the turn to the Ranch Trail #62 at mile 2.3, thinking the turn was to another trail going down the northside. No problem, I actually cut some mileage off, going off trail for 200' to meet up with it again. Back on the Ranch Trail headed westish towards Goldwater Lakes, I was amazed at how nice this trail was. In the pines, great views, gentle grade, a recently built or renovated track, and was about as smooth a trail as I've been on for awhile.

    Crossing the Senator Highway, I was now on the Goldwater Lakes Trail #396. I had planned to do a loop to the north around Upper and Lower Goldwater Lakes and come back on #396 to the south. There were a handful families fishing or hiking around the lake. Nobody seemed to be catching anything. When I got to the north side of the dam on Upper Goldwater, there were signs saying No Trespassing, City of Prescott. I decided to try the trail that goes around the south side of the lake that goes to the Dam. Once again, there was a trail that used to go through there, but has since been fenced off with No Trespassing. So I hopped out to the #396 again and went to get a view of the Lower Goldwater Lake. Back to Upper GW Lake, I filtered some water and started the rest of my loop back.

    Now on the Watershed Trail #299 it was a climb back up on an ORV trail. A bit steep and loose until once again into the pines around Deer Lick Spring (Dry) .6 mile away. Once up top, this trail follows a ridgeline affording some pretty sweet views. The Watershed trail is 3.25 miles long and ends at Spruce Mountain Rd.

    It's 1.25m on this dirt road until you get to the Smith Ravine Trail #297. Keep an eye out, as from the road, the signs are hard to see. The hikers/bikers gate was the give away.
    This was the surprise of the day for me. Almost completely in the pines for the entire 3 miles down to Walker Road, but still great views. This was another trail in great shape.

    Next the Homestead #305 to make my way over to Lynx Lake. This is a roller coaster trail once again in the tall pines.

    I opted to go around the lesser traveled east side on Lynx Lake on the Lynx Lake Recreation Loop Trail #311. This is a very pretty lake and not anywhere as busy as I expected it to be.

    I passed the Store / Restaurant on the north side of the lake, thinking I'll need to stop in and check it out in the future. Back on the 305 and a short trip back to my truck.

    I really enjoyed this loop!

    Permit $$
    FS

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Ranch/Homestead Trailhead
    Heading toward Prescott on 69 turn left (south) on Walker Road (the traffic light just west of Costco). Drive 1/2 mile to the Ranch Trail trailhead on the right.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 101 mi - about 1 hour 54 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 206 mi - about 3 hours 31 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 89.9 mi - about 1 hours 43 mins
    page created by MEWhiteman on Oct 29 2009 10:24 pm
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