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Butcher Jones Trail

MODERATE 841 reviews
#1 of 125 trails in

Butcher Jones Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily 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

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

walking

bird watching

running

beach

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

fee

$12 Tonto National Forest daily pass required. The trail has great views of Saguaro Lake.

hiking
3 days ago

I hiked this trail like 25 years ago before the crowds turned this into a trash dump! The lake itself has good views from a distance. First time I visited this place was 35 years ago and it was stunning and way less crowded! It was cool coming back to visit again.

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

We visited on a weekend in October 2019. I would not particularly recommend this area or hike unless you want to party on the small beach with the rest of the world. It’s very loud from motor sports and lake-goers blasting their music, even in the off-season. Also, there was an overwhelming smell of feces at the entire beach and parking lot. The water itself was green and murky. Together with the stench and noise, there was no appeal to swim or play here. There also was nothing particularly appealing about the hike - it was a typical hike around a lake with some decent desert/lake views, but there really are not any swimming areas off the main beach and the view pretty much stays the same for the entire hike. I think moderate is a good rating, because it’s not super challenging but there are some spots which get slightly technical due to rocks. Overall a fairly disappointing hike. There are much better ones in the area, and it would be worth it to drive twice as far to something better.

fishing
no shade
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Starting near the beach, the first half-mile or so of the trail keeps you fairly close to the water, but unfortunately, there is so much trash floating around, I wouldn't go anywhere near it. After that, the trail gets higher up the hillside making the water inaccessible for the rest of the hike, though it still follows the shoreline. About two and a half miles in, the trail cuts back through the desert to the opposite shoreline. I had to turn back after the first mile and a half, since it was well over 100° and I had already gone through half my water (brought 100 oz). I didn't see any wildlife other than small birds and lizards, but those making the last leg away from the shoreline may have better luck, especially in cooler months. The biggest downside of this trail is the huge amount of trash everywhere. It's sad that people treat nature that way.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails to enjoy the view of the lake an a chance to see wild horses

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

The biggest downside to this trail is the litter, but the trail itself is very beautiful and has a lot of nice views. People need to stop using this trail as a trash can.

hiking
3 months ago

Great for hiking with your dog. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for them to cool off in the water

hiking
3 months ago

Super easy hike beautiful views!

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Great hike. There was no one on the trial although the lake was really busy. Had my first encounter with a rattlesnake...

hiking
4 months ago

For sure recommend this hike!! Beautiful lake views for probably 90% of it.

hiking
bugs
over grown
4 months ago

First half mile is littered with trash and not much for views. But the trail opens up to stunning lake views. Some cactus close on the trail so beware!

walking
rocky
4 months ago

4 months ago

Great hike. Some easier stretches and some more challenging sections. It was fairly busy for the first half. It was closer to 5.5 miles from start to finish. Gorgeous views of the lake and four peaks! Definitely need a Tonto Pass to park.

hiking
4 months ago

if you continue right past the wind cave the trail wraps up and around to a rarely trekked Ridgeline trail that's well worth it

4 months ago

A nice stroll with a lot of traffic in the afternoon. There were people of all ages (2-99) lol so more of an easy ish trail. Grait view of the lake with a cool breeze that made this a great first hike in months. We only did the main trail not the side ones And didn't hang out at the water so I'm not sure about those parts.

4 months ago

Great moderate hike with views. Cardinals 2 times in a row.

walking
4 months ago

More of a walk that I hike. It has some great views and you can enjoy the breeze coming off of the water. There are a few shady spots for most of this is in the sun. I have done this in sport sandals. At night there are lots of spiders. It says you need the Tonto pass but I have never used a pass when going to this area and been ticketed.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Loved being by the water and being able to swim after a hike!!!

4 months ago

Great hike! Good distance, beautiful views of Saguaro Lake and Salt River. Don't forget to purchase an $8 recreation pass before you get to the park.

4 months ago

This is a beautiful hike with a lot of different views on the lake. Spotted one snake. At the end point of the trail, you have 2 options to check out. I will do this one again!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. There were a lot of people. The dog wasn’t into it this afternoon so we cut it short. We will definitely go back. The Tonto Pass is necessary. We bought at Bashas on Ellsworth but there were plenty of places near the trailhead to purchase.

great place to run. . and cool off in the river. needs to be longer. otherwise great outing.

bird watching
bugs
5 months ago

We started the trail a little too early and so hit swarms of nats very early in the trail, which trickled off. Easy trail with some great views and lots of bird seeing <3 There is a great deal of postage requiring permit/pass be displayed or will be ticketed / no cash box and must be purchased in advance! Closest purchase sites were 18 min drive from trailhead.

bird watching
bugs
5 months ago

We started the trail a little too early and so hit swarms of nats very early in the trail, which trickled off. Easy trail with some great views and lots of bird seeing <3 There is a great deal of postage requiring permit/pass be displayed or will be ticketed / no cash box and must be purchased in advance! Closest purchase sites were 18 min drive from trailhead.

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