Carr Lake Trailhead

With temperatures still hitting triple-digits, and a laughable attempt at a monsoon season, it was time to head up to the high country for some elevation, fresh air, and cooler weather.


waiting to load up and head out

Destination: Carr Lake Trailhead near Woods Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim, about half an hour east of Payson. Elevation: 6700′. Temperature: Blissful. (I don’t know what the temps were exactly, but I think probably in the high-70s.)


Rim Lakes Recreation Area. Woods Canyon Lake is one of the most popular camping spots in AZ, and there are a ton of camping spots, trailheads, and trails up here — most of which I didn’t know about until this weekend.

It’s only about a 2-1/2 hour drive from the barn, and really, not too bad of a drive. Your rig needs to be able to handle hills, since there are a few climbs that will make a vehicle work, but the route is a State Route highway versus major interstate, so it is most commonly used by passenger vehicles and a handful of semis, compared to the non-stop trucker stream of I-10 and I-17.


Unlikely boot color combo (burgundy/green) actually works. Kind of. If you like bright colors. And “unique” combinations.

We had a group of 6 all riding together, and this was one of the best group rides I’ve been on. Lots of switching out of who-was-where in the line-up, so Mimi got to spend a good amount of time leading, and only had to suffer being in the middle or back for small amounts of time.

She was definitely in Endurance Pony mode, and despite being the smallest one there, out-walked everyone.

The trails were lovely — a lot of smooth single-track interspersed with sections that were rockier or more technical (short clamber through a creekbed, for example). Previous trips to the Rim area have netted some really great trail-riding trails, but not great for any kind of endurance conditioning since most are too technical to allow for much by way of moving out. This area, though, showed a lot of promise for return trips of the conditioning variety, and apparently we just barely scratched the surface of available trails.


EZ On Up Ranch “Club Grey” (with small, medium, and large representatives)

Mimi was so happy to be out on trail again. Even her snarky mare faces were fairly minimal, and she actually liked 2/5 other horses (her EZ On Up Ranch herdmates), tolerated 2 of the other horses, and only actively disliked 1 of them. Not bad in the world of Mare-ville.

It will definitely be worth a return trip up here…easy enough of a drive for a day trip, fun and pretty trails, and a great break from the hot summer weather.


Move over, Disney. This is *my* Happiest Place On Earth.

3 thoughts on “Carr Lake Trailhead

  1. That looks like fun!! I’m sure Mimi was really excited to get back out on the trails. Mitch spent last year looking at the four sides of a corral, so for us to be back on the trails, it’s been really great to get our heads back in the game.

    (Hey, can I be kinda lame and ask if you can follow my blog via subscription? I apologize for the shameless plug, but I’d love to know that people are well … paying even a smidgen of attention to me. It took me forever to figure out how to do it, since /=/ It was so much easier when everyone had Blogspot, but WordPress is so much more flexible and fantastic…)

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