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Woods - Willow Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-04-13
30 by photographer avatarLJW
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Woods - Willow Loop, AZ 
Woods - Willow Loop, AZ
 
Hiking30.54 Miles 3,363 AEG
Hiking30.54 Miles   12 Hrs   22 Mns   2.81 mph
3,363 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Last year in April I looped Bear Canyon and Woods Canyon Lakes the day 300 opened, so I tried again this year a little earlier in the month and got to enjoy the having the Rim to myself until Willow Springs Lake. I tried this idea out in the summer last year but found the foliage along the creek, humidity and related slipperiness, and the many many mosquitoes too much to manage. This time of year conditions are pretty much perfect.

Sparing the well-reported, Woods Canyon was my favorite of the two. It starts grassy, flat, and open, and stays that way for a long while. Big pools of water, the water slow moving and glassy. Really dense forest of tall and diverse trees. The middle six or seven miles in the canyons between the lakes isn't so grassy and nice; that stretch is a long rock hop.

The rock hopping is harder in Willow Springs Canyon where deadfall is thrown into the mix. WSC cuts through a similar forest. The water moves a little quicker and doesn't pool as wide. WSC gets easier more suddenly than Woods. All the sudden it's off the rocks and onto a grassy trail. In the lower few miles passed a few sites with old irrigation tubing.

Climbed up to Willow Springs Lake around the dam and headed over to the Bike Loop. A trail winds around south of the lake often times right next to the 260. although the footbridges it crosses were on my map, the trail itself was not. Stopped a couple times at the lake to admire the peaceful scenery. The rest of the trip along the rimtop to Rim Vista was spent among some huge ponderosas.

Rim Vista at about sunset is the way to go. Saw the only people outside of Willow Springs Lake on Sinkhole. Heading in for a backpack. Saw lots of birds, some deer, an elk, and a small snake on the day. Repeating would probably start on top of the rim or shuttle.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Willow Springs Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Woods Canyon Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Woods Canyon Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
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