Hike of the Week: Woods Canyon Lake

Mare CzinarAugust 16, 2023
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Woods Canyon Lake, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Forest Lakes

More a stroll than a hike, the trail that circles amenity-rich Woods Canyon Lake hugs the water’s edge passing through deep woods, swampy finger coves and rocky dells. Once away from the busy camp side of the lake, the sounds of civilization are absorbed in some of the most beautiful forests on the Mogollon Rim. It’s rumored that Big Foot resides among the ferns.

  • LENGTH: 3 mile loop
  • RATING: easy
  • ELEVATION: 7,500 feet
  • BEST SEASON: May – October
  • FACILITIES: camping, picnic sites, boat launch, water, store, vault toilets (fee area)


  • In Payson, go 30 miles east on State Route 260 to Forest Road 300 (Rim Road) and turn left at the Woods Canyon Lake just past milepost 282.
  • Follow FR 300 4 miles to the lake.
  • Park by the store and pick up the trail at either end of the parking lot.