Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Woods Canyon Lake

Woods Canyon Lake Trail Hike
Apache Sitegraves National Forest
Forest Lakes, Arizona
Mileage - 3.4
Time - 1:05
AEG - 278ft

The wait is over!  I finally made the trip up to Woods Canyon Lake.  Well, actually Brittney and I left the valley on Saturday morning at 9:00am and by 11:30am we were at our campsite in the very popular Aspen Campground.  Once again, we drove North because Phoenix temperatures were near record high and by this time of year 110+degrees really starts to get old.  So we chose the Mogollon Rim for a couple reasons.  First, we wanted to camp.  Second, I've  wanted to check out the lake area for quite some time and see the view from the rim vista trail (below left - trail #622).  Lastly, I needed to finish my final long run before next weekend's race and this would would provide the perfect opportunity for that.  Even though it rained most of the time we were there, I will not complain for even a second when the daytime temps were literally 40 degrees cooler than at home!

The lake is crowded with people, but rightfully so given the proximity to the campgrounds and access to the highway.  It's still neat none-the-less.  Wildlife is abound as we spotted two Ospreys hovering the lake, and I saw over 20 elk on my morning run, including one massive bull!  We made a stop at the visitors center near the Highway 260 and Rim Road intersection and learned some interesting history about the area while enjoying the view from their observation deck.  A brief shower shortened our dinner at camp so we drove to the rim vista at twilight to take in in one last view of the mountains (pictured below). Now that I think about it, we really did a lot of fun stuff in the past 24 hours and have already discussed another trip in September.  I believe we may check out Canyon Point campground on our next visit.

Woods Canyon Lake Trail (left) and a beautiful morning run at 7,600ft on the General Crook Trail

Brittney and I catching the last bit of sunset over the rim

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