Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page.

Wildflowers on Butcher Jones Trail

Written by Mare Czinar Category: Citizen Hiker (hiking blog) Issue: March 2017
Group Free
Pin It

Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page.

If you’re interested in learning the names of the myriad wildflowers that bloom along Arizona trails each spring,

Patrick Fuchs of Phoenix is your go-to guy. The Iowa-born, Arizona-raised hiker and avid photographer hits the trails almost daily in search of colorful plant and animal sightings to share in the Arizona Hiking Facebook group he helps administer. Armed with a copy of Plants of Arizona by Anne Epple, Fuchs researches each bloom then posts photos with plant names and where he found them in Phoenix-area preserves. “I love to see the poppy blooms in the spring,” he says. “They really paint the desert yellow and gold. I truly love the Butcher Jones Trail at Saguaro Lake. It’s just outside of Mesa and has water, wildlife, wildflowers and all sorts of views.”

A confessed foodie with a restaurant job he loves, Fuchs – who says he got hooked on wildflower hunting after a spring sighting of a colorful pincushion cactus – spends as much time as possible outdoors when not in the kitchen. “Hiking seems to bring together my passions into one neat package. Exercise, sunshine, wildlife, wildflowers and social experiences with others.”

— Mare Czinar

IF YOU GO: Butcher Jones Trail

LENGTH: 5 miles roundtrip
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 1529’ – 1600’
FEE: A Tonto Pass is required. $6 daily fee per vehicle.
GETTING THERE: From Mesa, go 27 miles north on SR87 (Beeline Highway) to exit 199, Bush Highway (FR204). Turn right and continue 2 miles to the signed turnoff for Butcher Jones Recreation Area. Follow the access road (FR116) 2 miles to the site. Trail begins at far east end of the beach.
INFO: Tonto National Forest (

Next month: From fir-fleeced mountain peaks to open grasslands where antelope play, a Prescott local shares Mile-High City hiking secrets.

Upload your photos to:
Photos that best depict trail character and experience will be added to our website slideshow.
Each month up to three photos will be selected to illustrate the Citizen Hiker article in our print and digital editions.



  • Lena Koop, Phoenix AZ: Flatiron Superstition Wilderness
  • Thomas St. Germain, Mesa, AZ: Christopher Creek
  • Patrick Fuchs, Phoenix, AZ: Dutchman's Trail, Superstition Wilderness
  • Scott Karraker, Peoria, AZ: Red Rock Crossing, Sedona
  • Pradyumna Kshatriya, Scottsdale, AZ: Piestewa Peak, Phoenix
  • Scott Wong, Glendale AZ: Lizard on Huckaby Trail, Sedona
  • Terri Ferro, Carefree, AZ: Eagles at Lower Salt River, Mesa
  • Kristin Jensen, Tempe, AZ: Jacob's Crosscut Trail, Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Lance Goehring, Glendale, AZ: Sandy's Canyon Trail, Flagstaff
  • Kristen DeVinny, Apache Junction, AZ: Broadway Cave, Superstition Mountains
  • Kellie Columbus, Chandler, AZ: Soap Creek Canyon, Colorado River
  • Dawn Nuccio, Phoenix, AZ: Rattlesnake on Dutchmans Trail, Superstition Wilderness
  • Michelle Wallingford, Gilbert, AZ: Piestewa Peak, Phoenix
  • Kimberly Heier, San Tan Vlley, AZ: Picket Post trailhead, Superior
  • Mary Zhu, Chandler,AZ: Horton Spring, Payson
  • Irene Bennett, Gilbert, AZ: Battleship Mountain, Superstition Wilderness
  • Jodi Brandon, Mesa, AZ: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Shannon Griffith, Cave Creek, AZ: Black Canyon Trail, Agua Fria River
  • Asia Christ, Surprise, AZ: Waddell Trail, White Tank Mountains
  • Gregory Krejcha, Peoria, AZ: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Laura Remus, Phoenix, AZ: Grandview Trail, Grand Canyon National park
  • Scott Wong, Glendale, AZ: Deem Hills, Phoenix
  • Robert Valentine, Phoenix, AZ: Battleship Mountain, Superstition Wilderness
  • Lisa Lanting, Goodyear, AZ: Verde River Greenway, Dead Horse Ranch State Park
  • Dick Burgess, Chandler, AZ: Jacob's Crosscut Trail, Tonto National Forest
  • Jeremy Johnson, Mesa AZ: Owl chicks with mom on Hawks Nest Trail, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve
  • Lauren Jerry, Chandler, AZ: Fossil Creek, Pine-Strawberry
  • Nicholas Mazur, Scottsdale, AZ: on Mitchell Mesa during the Monument Valley 50k Ultra Marathon
  • Chirag Patel, Phoenix, AZ: Siphon Draw, Superstition Wilderness
  • Jason Pohlman, Tempe, AZ: Chiricahua Wilderness
  • Gavin Smallcanyon, Phoenix, AZ: Camelback Mountain
  • Liz McCarty, Scottsdale, AZ: Desert Botanical Garden trails, Phoenix
  • Maria Avila, Phoenix, AZ: Sunset Peak, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale
  • Patrick Fuchs, Phoenix, AZ: Cardinal on the Black Canyon Trail
  • Michael Mackowski, Gilbert, AZ: Wilson Mountain, Sedona
  • Eric Morin, Glendale, AZ: Legends of Superior Trail
  • Rich Sakofsky, Chandler, AZ: Coffee Flat, Superstition Wilderness
  • Shauna Matthew,Mesa AZ: Hieroglyphics Trail, Superstition Mountains
  • Patrick Thornton, Houghton, MI: Superstition Ridgeline
  • Sabrina Benton, Glendale, AZ: Jewel of the Creek, Cave Creek
  • Patrick Fuchs, Phoenix, AZ: Side-blotched lizard, McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Stacy Colavito, Phoenix, AZ: Seven Falls, Tucson
  • Stephanie Frickle, Prescott, AZ: Flume Trail, Prescott
  • Chirag Patel, Phoenix, AZ: Soldier Pass Trail, Sedona
  • Luke Edens, Phoenix, AZ: Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale
  • Kerri Irwin, Gilbert, AZ: Lower Salt River Blue Point Recreation Site
  • Cricket Peterson, Phoenix, AZ: Black Mountain, Cave Creek
  • Randy Cockrell, Payson, AZ: Vineyard Trail, near Roosevelt Dam
  • Rob Ouimette, Mesa, AZ: Pass Mountain, Usery Mountain Regional Park
  • Annie Hull, Mesa, AZ: Picketpost Mountain summit, Superior
  • Brittany Quinn, Hereford, AZ: Cochise Stronghold, Dragoon Mountains
  • Gavin Smallcanyon, Phoenix, AZ: Sheen Trail, Kayenta
  • Patrick Thornton, Houghton, MI: Pass Mountain Trail, Usery Mountain Regional Park
  • Patrick Fuchs, Phoenix, AZ: Cactus Wren, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale
  • Kellie Columbus, Chandler, AZ: National Trail, South Mountain Park, Phoenix
  • Barry Robb, Scottsdale AZ: Butcher Jones Trail, Saguaro Lake
  • Mary Heern. Gilbert, AZ: Phon D Sutton Recreation Area, Mesa
  • Michelle Lloyd, Phoenix, AZ: Lookout Mountain, Phoenix
  • Maria Avilia, Phoenix, AZ: Watson Lake Trails, Prescott
  • Cindy Clark, Glendale, AZ: Massacre Falls, Superstition Mountains
  • Luke Edens, Phoenix, AZ: Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale
  • Higinio Nolacea, Mesa, AZ: Fossil Creek, Pine-Strawberry
  • James Deak, Mesa, AZ: Crescent Moon Picnic Area, Sedona
  • Jen Carrera, Gilbert, AZ: Romero Canyon, Tucson
  • Dave Roche, San Tan Valley, AZ: Barnhardt Canyon, near Payson
  • James Deak, Mesa, AZ: Oak Creek at Crescent Moon Picnic Site, Sedona
  • Phillip Kelly, Marana, AZ: Romero Canyon, Tucson
  • April Horned, Chandler, AZ: Hieroglyphic Canyon, Apache Junction
  • Spencer Fawley, Phoenix, AZ: Camelback Mountain, Phoenix
  • Dan Deublein, Phoenix, AZ: Parcheta Falls, White Mountains
  • Jonathan Archer, Chandler, AZ: Circlestone, Superstition Wilderness
  • Nicola Ciarelli, Gilbert, AZ: Tom's Thumb, Scottsdale
  • Jason Pohlman, Tempe, AZ: Havasupai
  • Susan Kirby, Tempe, AZ: Constellation Trails, Prescott
  • Michelle McDougall, Cave Creek, AZ: Bell Trail, near Sedona
  • Natalie McVey, Peoria, AZ: Parsons Trail, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness
  • Dave Ribbens, Phoenix, AZ: Camping on the Mogollon Rim.
  • Jaclyn Taylor, Phoenix, AZ, Kachina Trail, Flagstaff
  • Daniela Bulatovich, Mesa, AZ: See Canyon Trail, Payson
  • Matt Soeffner, Mesa, AZ: Secret Canyon, Sedona
  • Rebecca Uhl, Scottsdale, AZ: Cleanup on South Mountain (Phoenix) for Trash Free Earth
  • Heath Poulter, Queen Creek, AZ: Mazatzal Peak, near Payson
  • Gary Bullock, Phoenix, AZ: General Grievous surveys the territory on Dreamy Draw, Phoenix Mtns. Preserve
  • Eileen Root, Chandler, AZ: Water Wheel, Payson

Featured Trails

01 Oct

Sedona Dog Hikes

Hiking with dogs can add a goofy kind of joie de vivre to any trail – but selecting the right trail is key, lest wagging tails give way to painful paws. Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page.

Read more:
01 Nov

Skyline Regional Park

Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page.

Read more:
01 Aug

West Baldy Trail #94

Avid outdoorsman Heath Poulter of Queen Creek has a passion for hiking West Baldy Trail #94 near Greer. The streams, alpine meadows, aspen-fir forests and epic vistas never get old. Share your Arizona trail adventures on our new monthly hiking page.

Read more:
01 Sep

Tucson Sky Islands

Upon moving to Tucson from the Northeast three years ago, John and Lynn Pineiro immediately embraced the rugged trails of the Catalina Mountains. “We like anything with a good elevation gain and a great view,” lifelong trekker John says. “One of the best things about living here is that you can see the Catalina Mountains and its landmarks from town, so as you are going about your day you can look over and say ‘I was just up there.’” Share your Arizona trail adventures on our new monthly hiking page.

Read more:
01 Jul


When Elisabeth and Philip Haugan of Prescott decided to carry the American flag up to Flagstaff’s Humphreys Peak on July 4, 2015, it marked the beginning of an annual patriotic statement. “We plan to do it again this year and annually on the 4th of July,” Elisabeth says. Share your Arizona trail adventures on our new monthly hiking page.

Read more:
01 Dec

Vulture Peak

Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page.

Read more: