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Butcher Jones Trail #463
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mini location map2019-12-27
10 by photographer avatarroaminghiker
photographer avatar
 
Butcher Jones Trail #463Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2019
roaminghiker
Hiking5.19 Miles 718 AEG
Hiking5.19 Miles   2 Hrs   56 Mns   1.92 mph
718 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
For my hike on Butcher Jones, the forecast for the day called for rain, all day. Skip the hike? What a waste, just grab some rain gear and carry on, I told myself. So I did.

Worked out good.

The rain cleared the haze and heightened the contrast. Thus, the cliffs cut crisper, the vegetation became greener, and the lake water turned a steely gray.

And despite the rain, the hike proved quiet, pleasant, and scenic, with just a touch of elevation change, and long enough to offer a variety of views. And few crowds and cool temperatures. Now these last two undoubtedly resulted from the rainy day and the winter season.

As for the trail itself, Butcher Jones 463 runs just 5 miles and change out and back, with an accumulated elevation gain of 700 feet – a nice basically relaxing 2-3 hour trek. The trail begins along the eastern edge of a western extension of Saguaro Lake. A wide beach sits at the start of the trail, well worth a jaunt across to catch the views pre- or post-hike. And at the time, a piece of driftwood sat mid-shore line, adding to the scene.

The trail itself quickly heads into a desert forest before returning to the shore, revealing expansive views across the water to mountains and cliffs on the opposite side. The vegetation features a good number cactus variations, including Saguaro, all of which, on that day, seemed out-of-place given the mid-40’s temperature, constant overcast and persistent rain.
The trail then turns into an inlet, at one point dipping done to almost lake level. The terrain becomes squishy underneath, marsh-like, and the trees have grown into a jumbled, thick, dense mat.

One then climbs up a hill, the vegetation thinning, but still ample, including in the underbrush grasses and leafy shrubs. As you climb, expansive views emerge in multiple directions. I stopped, listening to the rain drops snap on the lake surface and watching the tumbling mist roll past the cliffs and peaks on the opposite shore.

After the hill, the trail leaves the western leg of the lake and turns landward. After meandering across a peninsula of sorts, the trail runs down to a different section of the lake, or maybe at this point the lake really is the Salt River. More and different views emerge. The trail appears to have several different short legs here to the shoreline; I only took one, soaking in the views and quickly taking a few photos. Then, with no further extensions of the trail available, to the best I could research, or see, I turned around. I trekked back reasonably dry, as the rain gear did what rain gear does, and keep water away.

My plan that day had me also hit Usery Park down the road, but while rain gear protected me, I haven’t mastered keeping rain out of my camera gear. So no Wind Cave trail that day.
Flora
Flora
Yellow Paloverde
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