Woods Canyon Lake

Payson, Arizona

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Overview

Woods Canyon Lake Group Area is located in north central Arizona near the town of Heber. The camp is adjacent to popular Woods Canyon Lake and situated in thick pine forests, providing a great getaway for large groups of up to 100 people. It offers plenty of activities for anglers, boaters, hikers, families and photographers.

Recreation

Woods Canyon Lake is one of seven lakes in the Rim Lakes Recreation Area, and one of the most visited. Trout fishing (both lake and stream) is a favorite pastime. Woods Canyon Lake only allows electric boat motors. Two other lakes are within a short drive.

The Rim Lakes Vista Trail, less than a mile from the campground, and others in the area lead to spectacular views of the Mogollon Rim. An easy hiking trail meanders around the lake, and the paved roads in the recreation area make for great afternoon bike rides.

Families might also enjoy attending educational programs given by Forest Service rangers on the weekends.

Facilities

The group camping area is primitive but convenient to the lake. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. The facility can comfortably accommodate 70 people, though the maximum is 100.

Natural Features

Woods Canyon Lake is surrounded by a dense forest of pine, fir, oak and aspen, and sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Hikers who venture onto nearby trails are afforded expansive views of the land beneath the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim, pronounced by locals as "muggy-own," is a 200-mile long cliff in northern Arizona that ranges between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation and serves as the geographical dividing line between the cool high country above and the hot, dry desert below.

Summer temperatures can be very pleasant because of the elevation. However, the rainy season often brings afternoon thunderstorms from late June through August. Visitors should come prepared for rain and cool nighttime temperatures.

Wildlife viewing includes birds, squirrels, deer and elk. Deer, skunks and bears are common campground visitors.

Nearby Attractions

The nearest full service community is Payson, Arizona, 35 miles west on Highway 260.

Visitors can explore endless vistas and take part in many outdoor activities in the surrounding Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, which encompasses 2 million acres of magnificent mountain country in east-central Arizona and New Mexico.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike Woods Canyon Lake Loop Trail

    This hike is a ~4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that circles Woods Canyon Lake, on the beautiful Mogollon Rim.  Peaceful and easy, this trail is suitable for all skill levels, and is great for families looking to spend a bit of time in nature...

    3.7 miles 154 ft gain

  • Fish Woods Canyon Lake

    You can rent a charming metal fishing boat at the Woods Canyon Lake Marina, or bring your own (if you’re bringing your own boat, make sure you bring a PFD too, as it’s Arizona law).  Note that gas motors are NOT permitted on boats (only trolling m...

  • Kayak Woods Canyon Lake

    Is there any better way to spend a Saturday, then paddling on a glassy, peaceful lake?  You can rent kayaks at the Woods Canyon Lake Marina, or bring your own (if you’re bringing your own kayak, make sure you bring a PFD too, as it’s Arizona law)....