Loop hike around Woods Canyon Lake on the Mogollon rim (Arizona).
Woods Canyon is a popular place for boaters and fishermen and it's easy to see why. For us hikers, there's a great trail that loops around this pretty place.
There are a number of parking areas that access the trail around the lake. We arbitrarily chose the Spillway day use parking area. Just as a heads up, it costs $7 to park here (as of July 2021). From the parking area, we decided to go counter clockwise. The first landmark is the earthen dam that creates Woods Canyon Lake. Once you reach the other side of the dam, you'll enjoy a long period of solitude as you walk along the flat trail through the pines. The trail can be tricky to find in spots, but as long as you can see the lake on your left, it would be tough to get lost. There are blue diamonds in the trees to help you stay on trail, but there are many trails made by animals and fishermen you can follow as well. At JCT_1_Crossing on the map, the crossing point will be a bit arbitrary, depending on lake water levels. Look for the blue diamond on the trees across the way to find one recommended route to keep your feet dry. At the JCT_2L point, you'll see a rock cairn. Stay left here and continue on the trail. Soon you'll reach the heavily trafficked South side of the lake and you'll lose your solitude for the remainder of the hike. Thankfully, you'll get through this section quickly and make it back to your waiting car.