Really cool trail. About 1/3 is a recently used (first third if going counter-clockwise) but not used very often forest road, then 1/3 is that same road, but more deteriorated, and 1/3 single biking/hiking trail. Only really rocky through about 1/3 or more, and never too difficult. Great view of Willow Springs at the northernmost tip at a small rock dam. You can cross to the other side of the lake here and circle it, but the trail veers left and stays only on the East coast. You could easily pack a snack or lunch, cross over and do some fishing, then just bike back to the trailhead without even doing the loop. The only people I saw were on that side fishing, and some fishers in a boat.
There are a couple spots along the East coast of the springs where it is difficult to tell which way to go. Just look really hard at each possible way, and you will finally see one of the brown bike trail diamond signs. Going counter-clockwise down at the Southeastern tip of the Springs, if you hit 260, you went too far. You can go left and ride on 260 for 100 yards or so and turn on to the first forest road on the left, and you will immediately see the bike trail signs again. Or, you can backtrack from 260 about 100 yards, then cross a big swath of tree cuttings to get to that same forest road. Go right and up near 260 you will see the trail signs. The big area where they cut down the trees is probably where the bike trail signs that I missed, used to be.
I did what is officially the Springs Trail #633. See link for specific info. This is an excellent under 4 mi easy trail, in the forest, beautiful during the right season. It is so near housing and roads, etc., but it feels like you have "gotten away".
Our hike through this mixed consider and deciduous forest this autumn day was delightful. Although the trail was rocky, it no steep ascents or decents. One problem was that the driving directions to the trailhead were, in fact, directions to a connecting trail (Billy Creek). This made the total length twelve and a half miles. My wife and I met a few mountain bikers and some other trail runners, hikers, and their dogs. We are looking forward to snow shoeing the trail later this winter.
Don't do the loop! The rim lakes vista trail is beautiful. But the general crook trail and the military sinkhole nature trail were very disappointing.
On the suggestion of a review I read (on another website) we took the loop counter clockwise starting with the general crook trail. This is more of a dirt road than a trail. It was hot and the was no shade to be has anywhere. The first thing I noticed was that the forest was really thin and ask the tree were marked. Not long later I noticed that trees...a lot of trees...had been cut down. We saw a bulldozer and a tree-cutter parked on the side of the trail. Soon after we came across two huge piles of dead, cut down trees.
I go on hikes to get in touch with nature, and this is not what I want to see.
1.8 miles later we took a left onto military sink hole nature trail. At first it wasn't much better. We were still seeing signs of deforestation but as we went on we came across trees that appeared to have fallen naturally. A couple were blocking the trail and we had to climb over them. As the trail descended into the "sinkhole" it started to feel more like a hike. The road (fr 300) came into view as we ascended out of the "hole" and then he came to the truly beautiful part of the hike.
We crossed fr 300 to the first of many vistas. Lovely mountain views that seemed to go on forever!!! There is a parking lot here and there were quite a few people hanging out, but this is the only place where we came across anyone. We stopped for a water break and to take pictures. The rest of the hike took twice as long as it should have because I was constantly stopping to take pictures. The views were amazing! There was a storm in the distance just over the rim. It made the temperature drop about 10 degrees and made the view even more amazing!
The last mile of the hike we were walking away from the rim and there wasn't much to see but we met a cute little horned lizard.
I'm really glad we got the unpleasant part of this loop over with first. If we were to do it again I would forget about the loop and do the rim lakes vista trail out-and-back.
to do this whole Blue Ridge Cave Trail AZ it supposed to be, is longer than 6.7 miles. Also, the trail hasn't moved in several places you can't follow the trail that you have to follow the horse path. This path is very miserable to walk on Due to the rocks, horse road apples, and uneven ground all over the place... without a break. There is nothing you can look at because of the constant need to look at the ground. There is not much to look at here. You will pass a little lake and a little cave, But other than that, it's just a trail through the forest.
We had a great time! We got caught in a storm as we were descending into the canyon so we took refuge under some rocks and maple trees. Once it lightened up we proceeded further in. The canyon was so quiet. Just the rustling of leaves and rain. I would definitely do it again.
Lisa W. on Woods Canyon Lake Trail
One of the most beautiful spots in AZ! Great for dogs