Trash and beauty
History by Teva Joe
Dr Jones did surgery on his dining room table... the butcher was supposedly a friend of our favorite Dutchman. The recreation area opened in 1960. By late '62 after 150k visitors it closed two months for renovations due to being so busy. In '64, three Saguaros were axed down across a road in an attempt to cause an accident.
This is a lakeside hike on the east side of Saguaro Lake and is an excellent hike to take out of town guests who think Arizona is all desert. Dan and I were abaolutely stunned and disgusted at the trash and garbage we saw along the trail. We can not believe there are idiots who simply drag their trash along the trail with beer bottles and cans and have no respect at all for nature.
We started out at 5:30 AM from the trailhead clearly marked at the SW end of the parking lot at the end of the Butcher Jones road from the Bush highway. The first 1/3 mile is sidewalk and pavement as it goes to a large boat launch area and gate at Peregrine Point. From here on it is actual trail along the lake winding around its arms until you cross over the peninsula which is a short up and down jaunt. There are many great photo opportunities and excellent lake views. There is even a place where, through a canyon to the south, the Flatiron is framed from the Superstitions.
A nice variation that will add a mile or so and some climbing can be done when you come to the first u turn around a lake arm. The main trail goes to the right around the end of the arm but another faint trail goes to the left up a hill. You can climb to the top where you can look down on the parking lot and see the Four Peaks clearly.
Except for the horrible trash we saw, this is a wonderful trail that has trees, reeds, water, desert plants and beautiful flowering trees. Your friends from other states will not believe we are in the center of the Arizona desert (even though the lake is man made by Stewart Dam)
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.
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.