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Yavapai Lookout Trail (Lake Pleasant)

Lake Pleasant as seen from the Yavapai Lookout trail
Lake Pleasant as seen from the Yavapai Lookout trail
Lake Pleasant as seen from the Yavapai Lookout trail
Lake Pleasant as seen from the Yavapai Lookout trail


How to Get There
This hike is located near Phoenix, AZ.

To get to the Trailhead: From the Phoenix area, take I-17 North to the Carefree highway exit (HWY-74). Turn West (left) and go about 11.5 miles. Turn into the park by Castle Hot springs road. Continue driving on Castle Hot Springs road past the Lake Pleasant Access road to Castle Creek Drive. Turn right onto Castle Creek Drive, then drive to Cottonwood lane. Turn right again and drive to the end of the road for the trailhead and parking. There is a restroom here. Note this is a fee area ($7 as of April 2022).
Phoenix Area and Central Arizona

Hike details

3.00 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
The hike described is 3.0 miles to the lookout and back.
1.00 [Hours]
This hike took us just over an hour
Elevation Change
400 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
About 400 ft of elevation change
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back
Special Features
  • Water
  • Wild Flowers


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • October
  • November
  • December
Season Details
Best hiked during cooler weather after some rain to see the wildflowers.
Date Hike completed
April 30, 2022


Solitude Details
Surprisingly good. On a sunny spring day we only saw five other hikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
The out and back described here is an Easy hike.


Be Aware of
$7 fee to enter the park area

Hike the Yavapai Lookout trail near Lake Pleasant, Arizona.

From the signed trailhead for the Pipeline Canyon trail, hike into the desert surrounding Lake Pleasant. This trail is well worn and easy to follow and the trail junctions are all signed. Shortly after starting, you'll pass the signed junction with the Cottonwood trail. Stay left here and stay on the Pipeline Canyon trail. After 0.15 miles you'll reach the signed junction with the Yavapai Lookout trail. Turn left here. The trail begins to climb and you'll get good views of Lake Pleasant as well as the nearby Pipeline Canyon trail. After 0.6 miles, you'll reach a signed junction for a connector trail that goes to the Pipeline Canyon trail. Stay left here. From this point it is 0.9 miles to the lookout and impressive views of Lake Pleasant.


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