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The Best Hikes of Lake Pleasant Regional Park

175 Triplog Reviews in the Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Most recent of 30 deeper Triplog Reviews
5.4 mi • 408 ft aeg
Started hike about 7:30 in light wind and rain. Parked South trailhead on Northpark Rd. Did not realize the the water was up into the canyon by the bridge, so we had to back track and follow a game trail to the other side. No signs of the bridge that once was part of this trail. Cut over to the Yavapai point trail and hiked to the top for a great view of Lake Pleasant. Encountered several groups of hikers on the way down, but nobody coming from the south side like we did. Weather had cleared up before we reached the top, so the return hike was more enjoyable.
9 mi • 500 ft aeg
Hopped up to LP for a 2 mile hike and some birding with our buddy Frank. Ended up doing 9 miles :lol: I'm fine with that.
Still hacking away at the 100 miles challenge for Maricopa County Parks. Only 20mi to go.

Saw tons of wildlife. Burros, roadrunner, redtail Hawks, Woodhouse's Toads, leopard frogs, spotted dace fish, two coyote, 3 javelina and a freaking golden eagle perched on a saguaro skeleton near the parking lot! What a beautiful day
12.9 mi • 168 ft aeg
Posting this under Wild Burro Trail, because it was my intended objective, but actually started from the Breardsley TH. Got started around 6am. I was surprised at how chilly it was as I went through the vegetated River bottom at the beginning of the hike. I would guess 10 degrees cooler compared to anywhere else on the trail (this would include the TH which was only minutes away). I had done Beardsley once before, last year, as a hike with a planned trail description which I never got around to. I remember it being a nice, but "long" trail. Today I jogged it and found it much more entertaining. It is smooth for running (or biking) with just enough up and down to challenge me and then give me "recovery time". The trail is fairly isolated, not really seeing the lake until the very end. For the last half of the Beardsley there is a road that parallels the it, so there is the occasional sounds of cars speeding by. The Beardsley trail ends where the Wild Burro Trail starts. The Wil Burro has a little bit of a climb at the beginning and at the end, but the middle part is nice and flat follows the contours of the Lake Pleasant shoreline. Because of this, there is a lot more activity "around" the trail - boats motoring on the water, campers in their pup tents, fishermen dotting the shoreline and vehicles moving along the roads that are in constant view. Still, it was a different experience jogging next to a body of water. Saw the obligatory wild burros on the Wild Burro Trail (5 of them) and a lone, noisy one on the Beardsly. Passed one hiker and one runner on the Wild Burro, but otherwise had the trails to myself. It was nice to finally do some Lake Pleasant trails ....I'd been wanting to crack the nut for a long time.
10.5 mi • 1,028 ft aeg
Even though Lake Pleasant is less than 30 minutes from my home in Sunnyslope, I left early to avoid the beginning of rush hour. After dodging a few Phoenix :pk: drivers, I arrived at the Agua Fria Trailhead while it was still dark. I caught up on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/PrestonMcMurry ) while I ate breakfast and drank coffee.

The sun rose, but it still wasn’t sunny due to the overcast. I was bummed because I had hoped the clouds would result in a spectacular Arizona sunrise. It was overcast, windy and a chilly 55° when I started hiking at 7:20 a.m.

After crossing Old Lake Pleasant Rd., the sound of heavy Carefree Highway traffic began fading, being replaced by regular aircraft flybys, particularly a plane that looked similar to a Beechcraft Model 18, but with a single tail. It was overhead, off & on, for four hours. Does someone do air tours over Lake Pleasant like they do the Grand Canyon? 🛩

It soon become obvious there would be neither spectacular scenery, nor flowers, along Beardsley Trail. (Too soon after our only rain, so far, of Arizona’s winter monsoon.) If my hike video had been a slideshow, it would have been 15 seconds long. Thankfully, I was shooting plenty of video, while occasionally taking saguaro pictures, like I had at Skyline Regional Park.

The trail surface is not pristine like Turnbuckle Trail in Skyline Regional Park, but it is still mostly rock-free. Beardsley would be awesome for trail running, or as a fast mountain bike track. Still, my inner tard emerged as I managed to stub my toe a dozen times, stumbling eight of those. 🤪

At Beardsley’s northern terminus on Desert Tortoise Rd., I contemplated turning around, but decided since it was only another 0.4 miles to the picnic tables at the Wild Burro Day Use Area, above Two Cows Cove, that I would continue.

At the Agua Fria Trailhead, I heard coyotes yip several times, but I wasn’t able to spot them. Or wild burros anywhere, despite plenty of burro scat scattered along Beardsley Trail. Lizards are the most common critter I see while hiking, and I don’t recall seeing any of them either. All I saw was one rabbit, and a few birds here & there. 😕

At Wild Burro Day Use Area, I spotted the only flower I saw all day, on an ocotillo. In five miles, and three hours, I had not quite finished a bottle of water. I rehydrated with a half bottle of gatorade and a McEwan’s Scottish Ale. At 8%, I could feel the alcohol’s effect. Good thing I had five return miles to sweat it out.

On the return I drank a second water. Despite my low fluid intake, I peed an oddly large number of times, six from the time I arrived until I left. Usually it is once or twice. Any idea why that would happen? 🤔

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

Wildflowers
Saw one blooming plant -- an ocotillo at the Wild Burro Day Use Area -- all day.
4.01 mi • 166 ft aeg
Drove down the street for sunsrise to see what I could find at this perennial desert watershed.


Although I did not come across any signs of private property or trespassing I now believe my route may be questionable...

Upon reaching the Agua Fria River I was instantly surprised by the large pools, a bounty of green vegetation and even a few little clear running cascades.
Certainly not too shabby considering its location.

I'm not much of a bird guy but the harmonic early morning symphony I was listening to sounded like nearly every single Route Scout bird call chirping all at once!

Fun little couple of hours splashing around in the water and taking a few photos before the workday since there was no time for a big adventure this past weekend.
3.9 mi • 552 ft aeg
Taking a few extra days off I was able to get a weekday hike in for once. So I headed out to Lake Pleasant to do the Pipeline Canyon Trail. Arriving about 6:20 am I had the small parking area to myself. Wispy clouds in the sky had made for a nice sunrise on the drive out and it was pleasantly cool as I started out at 6:30. The trail was shaded to begin with which made for a nice start. The views that were present were nice and soon I got to the bridge. Things warmed up a little as I left the shade going up from the cove. Just in time for a quick snack break a bench appeared along the trail. I took advantage of it and its view of the lake for a few minutes. The trail continued through 2 hills and after a while I found myself at the northern terminus of the trail. I rested for a few minutes then returned the same way. It was warm but not unbearably so, a breeze now and then helped and the clouds thickened a little on the way back. The trail is rockier in some places more than other. Saw a few birds and the occasional lizard plus a great blue heron while crossing the bridge which flew off before I could capture him on camera. Very few hikers out and two different sets asked me if I had seen any burros. I really wish that I had managed to do this hike a month ago, as I imagine it was beautiful at that time. Even so it was a very enjoyable morning spent.
5.12 mi • 602 ft aeg
Judy and I out looking for wildflowers and a burro would be a bonus. Main gate told us that the bridge on Pipeline Canyon Trial was not operational and suggested we start at the North end of the trail for a longer out and back hike. As we hiked Pipeline we came across Yavapai Point Trail so followed Pipeline to the bridge that is not operational because the ends are about 10 yards from the shore because the water line is up. On the return we hiked Yavapai and took it back to the parking lot. Moderate poppy's and brittle bush is just starting to open up. Next few weeks should be spectacular!

Wildflowers
Mexican poppy, brittle bush
10.4 mi • 1,319 ft aeg
Jim was back in town for a wedding and wanted to do a hike. I also had friends from Pgh in town for the Pens game Sat nite, but I was determined to get all the socializing in for one weekend. After getting home later and an early wake up, we started on the trail at 7am.

We took the Pipeline Canyon Trail straight to the Yavapai Pt. Trail and took that out and back and then took the shortcut connecting trail back to the Pipeline Canyon Trail and then to the Wild Burro Trail, down to where I left off last month from the Beardsley Trail. When we started, there was a warning sign that the Pipeline Canyon Trail was closed as the one cove where the water was higher and the bridge was out. Once we got to that point, we started to follow the contours of the land around the cove and encountered a faint trail that seemed to be made from others with same intent as us, to get around the water anyway. At one point in the corner of a ravine we even saw a cairn. The crossing of the big cove was a bit tricky, but nothing worse than anything we've encountered in the Sierra Anchas or elsewhere in the TontoNF.

the bushwhack slowed us down a bit so that when we didn't have enough time to finish the Cottonwood Trail, which I had wanted to do. 2 miles less than planned, but finishing at 11:30am seemed like a good idea since Jim had to catch a plane back to Silicon Valleyland, and I had several chores to finish at home.

weather was cool and cloudy, warmed up later with some sun breaking through. the views up north were nice, lots of infrastructure near the lake mixed with closer views.
0.85 mi • 115 ft aeg
At the time of writing, the bridge is currently out, ergo right now is a good time if you would like to just post up right by the water's edge. Take the short trip down from the south entrance and just enjoy the blissful surroundings with little-to-no other visitors. We spend about an hour at the water's edge listening to music (quietly) with our dog. Feel free to wave at the few people across the water that took the opposite entrance! :DANCE:
11.9 mi • 1,374 ft aeg
Since the Steeler game got moved to the night game, I decided to go out in the morning and get my first hike in for 2017. I noticed that there are more trails up by Lake Pleasant, so I went up that way. From the Beardsley CRP TH (or the Agua Fria TH, depending on what reference you're reading), I took the Beardsley Trail northward. Along the way up, I took a side trip out on the Frog Tanks and Roadrunner Trails. At the end of the Roadrunner Trail, there is another spur trail that takes you over and up to a butte/island jutting from the shoreline in towards the lake. There was also a small Hohokam ruin right along the Roadrunner trail with a few faded signs giving some rudimentary info.

After I got back on the Beardsley Trail, I headed north again until I got to the beginning of the Wild Burro Trail by the campground, and then headed back. On the way back I encountered quite a few mountain bikers, but no hikers. There was some rain on the way back, but nothing really bad, just some drizzle. The weather was cloudy, but very cool and pleasant. Very near the trailhead is a stream crossing that looks like it's from the lake. Lots of riparian style vegetation in that area, making for not the usual desert scenery.
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