Butcher Jones Trail

MODERATE 287 reviews
#3 of 107 trails in

Butcher Jones Trail is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mesa, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
541 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

sea kayaking

walking

lake

views

wildlife

The Day Pass for Tonto National Forest is $8 and needs to be purchased ahead of time. One location that has the passes for sale is the Chevron gas station at the intersection of 87 and McDowell Street.

hiking
1 day ago

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3 days ago

Really beautiful trail and nice to walk around the water in Arizona. Not very difficult, brought my kids along.

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4 days ago

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4 days ago

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8 days ago

Great views and a pretty easy trail, I find it can get crowded very fast if to many people are going and coming in opposed directions.

hiking
8 days ago

My favorite hike! It offers the cactus view with some water too. I would say this is moderately trafficked though.. not lightly.

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9 days ago

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10 days ago

11 days ago

Pretty easy hike with beautiful views to 4 peaks and even Flatiron

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful views and great hike

hiking
15 days ago

This trail is such a treat and not too far of a drive if you live in the East Valley.

Butcher Jones gracefully wraps around the edge of a small popular lake. There were a fair amount of people on the trail, however it was far from crowded. The people we passed were friendly, and there were plenty of dogs along the way as well.

This whole trail is beautiful and provides many great photo ops, if that's your thing.

Make sure to get a pass for the day for Tonto National Park. They are sold in various stores (walgreens, Frys etc) around the area.

hiking
17 days ago

Permit passes available at the marina, which is a short drive past the trailhead turn in on bush highway (next left if coming from Scottsdale/fountain hills).

I would rate this trail as easy in, but moderate out. There is several small miniature paths you can take along the path that either lead down to the water, or to a cliff like area for photo opportunities. we clocked in about 6.4 miles round trip on our fit bit. we took the trail all the way down to butcher Jones cove. there is very little sun protection on the trail, so wear a hat and sunscreen. There is also narrow areas on trail with cacti very close, and trees with thorns making it easy to knick yourself if not careful.

While the trail is gracious with opportunities for photos of the view, I would say the view is one of the weaker areas of this trail. It's mostly just large expanses of the lake full of motor boats and jet skis.

The trail starts out on a path that is slightly elevated above the lake and runs along side it for maybe the first quarter mile or so, before curving around the mountain.

At the end of the curve, you enter into a thick area of trees which offers tons of shade and opportunities to knick yourself on the many thorns connected to the low hanging branches. Be prepared to do a lot of ducking if you're decently tall. luckily this portion of the trail is very short.

After emerging from the "thorn weald", you basically follow a narrow path up and a small mountain. This is where some of the difficulty begins. At the top is there is one of the few decent views on the trail, so definitely and take pictures!

After following the trail up, you decline down on the opposite side. after around a mile or so you arrive a sort or cross. One of the paths leads to sort of a tiny island that would be great for fishing. I think a lot of people use this as a stopping point for reasons I will explain below.

if you continue down the path, you are greeted with a remarkably unimpressive view and ugly desert land scape. The rest of the trail is mostly brown rocks, dirt, cacti, and Palo Verde trees. if that's your jam, you will love this.

At the end of trail, there was a decent rock sitting area overlooking the other side of the lake. While this area had far fewer boats, it was a little crowded in the water (Only saw two other people on trail past my previously mentioned stopping point).

overall I would say the trail is incredibly average and manageable for beginners. if you're looking for great views outside the city I would look elsewhere, but this was a decent outing overall. I would not hike the trail again, but would come back for either fishing, or enjoying the lake with family.

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17 days ago

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21 days ago

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22 days ago

Day pass is $12 and available at Saguaro Lake entrance; nice hike with great views