Fort McDowell, Arizona

Hike Butcher Jones Trail Around Saguaro Lake

4 Miles Total - 300 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Grant Thomas

Butcher Jones Trail passes through the Sonoran Desert as it wraps around Saguaro Lake. If you're looking to explore a desert oasis this is the perfect place to do it!

Butcher Jones Recreational Area truly has a little bit of everything. However, the highlight of the area is the Butcher Jones Trail, a 4 mile out and back trail that is suitable for all skill levels. With minimal elevation gain and beautiful views, it can't be beat!

The trailhead is located right next to a large beach and picnic area. The beach is the perfect place for children to play and swim. However, you shouldn't stay at the beach, the best is yet to come! The narrow trail slowly winds its way along the edge of the lake, taking you in and out of many small coves. These coves are popular places for fishing. You will see many boats out and about as well as people trying their hand at fishing from the shore.

As you continue on your way you will see a number of different cacti. The saguaro cacti will grab your attention immediately, as they stretch for as far as the eye can see!

The trail comes to an end at Burro Cove, another popular area to fish. Take a break here, enjoy the views, snap some photos, and drink some water.

On the way back keep on eye peeled for the wildlife that inhabits the area. Rattlesnake season in Arizona usually starts around April and can continue as late as October. Keep your eyes peeled for the snakes to keep yourself safe! If you happen to see one, don't panic. As long as you don't harass them you should be just fine. Other animals in the area include raptors that circle overhead and wild horses that roam the trails! The horses are a common attraction as they can frequently be seen frolicking around with each other.

Overall, Butcher Jones Trail is a fantastic hike as there is something for everyone to enjoy. Just make sure you bring lots of sunscreen and water!

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Tags

Chillin
Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fun Hike

The hike was short and fun! You get great views of the lake and the mountains surrounding the area. Couple places to stop on the way to fish and at the trails end

Nice Casual Hike

Great hike for anyone with great views. Helicopter tours frequently fly overhead and every once in a while a fighter jet or some other cool plane makes an appearance. Look out for wild horses and other wildlife.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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