Best Loop Hikes Arizona
by Bruce Grubbs (The Mountaineers Books)
© Bruce Grubbs/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
IMPORTANT: the trailhead is shortly after mile marker 282. You'll see a sign for Woods Canyon Lake. Turn left into this area. The trails forming this loop were easy to navigate and it is such beautiful country. It was a pleasure to get away from the Phoenix heat and enjoy the cool pines of the forest. Definitely a very easy loop; started w/ the Rim Lakes Tr and ended on the General Crook. The Crook trail was not as scenic, however, and I think doing this loop counterclockwise would be advantageous. Not just to save the best scenery for last, but also because towards the end of the hike, it would be nice to enjoy the cooler shaded areas of the Rim Lakes Tr (the Crook is pretty exposed). With all the stops for pictures, the hike was completed in 2 hrs 30 min. There are so many hikes in this area we all can't wait to go back!
This trail can be taken in much shorter sections (e.g. 2.3 miles round trip) from several parking areas along the rim side of FR300. Although much of this portion of the trail is close to the rode and therefore doesn't provide too many chances for wildlife viewing, it also offers the most spectacular views from the edge of the rim. Parts of the trail in this area are also paved and handicap accessible.
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