Arizona: Bear Canyon Woods Lake Access

When it gets hot in Phoenix, Arizona everyone looks for quick getaways to escape the heat. Last week (April 2012) when temperatures approached 100 my girlfriend and I grabbed our prepack bag (always ready to go) and headed north in search of some relieve. We drove north on highway 87 to Payson which is only about 1.5 hours outside Phoenix but it’s a completely different world; desert and cactus landscape makes way to mountains and trees!

East out of Payson on 260 we started looking for a place to stay for the weekend and came across the Christopher Creek Cabins. A quick call and we were booked! Luckily they had one accessible cabin which means it has a ramp. It was your typical one bedroom cabin with a queen size bunk bed, a living area with fireplace, a fully stocked kitchen and a small bathroom with shower. The bathroom was small and it took some maneuvering but I was able to access the toilet and shower (used a plastic lawn chair from outside). The area outside is dirt/rock and relatively easy to cross with some wheelie action.

Next door to the cabins are a small grocery store and restaurant/bar with friendly locals who where very enthusiastic about sharing information on the area and pointing out the hotspots. Both accessible. At their recommendation, we headed to Woods Canyon Lake for some hiking and exploring. The lake lake is small but secluded in the mountains with mainly local traffic. I had to use my One-Off to go off the beaten path which was absolutely amazing.

After a few hours there we asked again where to go and were directed to Bear Canyon Lake. This lake is only accessible by old mountain fire roads and hiking. We drove around for about an hour and came to an area that looked like it had been used recently so we unloaded and started exploring…to our surprise we found the lake completely secluded with us a two fisherman. We hung out in silence for a few hours and headed out.

It was an great weekend full of surprising beauty, friendly people and accessible locations.

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