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Lake Pleasant Day Hike
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
March 31, 2018
by Jim Buyens
  GPS Map 
  Elevation 
group
Joe, Katarina, Deirdre, Ramona, Suzan, Jim, and Peter revel in the panoramic view from Yavapai Point.
[photo by Jim]

As the end of the winter hiking season gets closer and closer finding another great hike to lead gets tougher and tougher, especially one close to home. But then, while considering my options, it hit me: Lake Pleasant! Any time you can hike along a lakeshore in Arizona just has to be great, doesn’t it?

Because I scheduled the hike on short notice, and because temperatures in Phoenix were forecast at 91°, we didn’t have a large group. It was a friendly group, though, and we all enjoyed the hike and each other’s company.

bridge
The Pipeline Cove bridge adds variety to the hike. [photo by Joe]

Much of the hike was through desert landscape but just being close to the lake seemed to increase the density and variety of plant life.

bloom
We didn’t see many wildflowers but this cactus, at least, was blooming. [photo by Joe]

Reaching the Yavapai Point vista required scaling the day’s highest climb. Vistas are like that. The trail is well-maintained, though, and generally not too steep. And once you reach the summit, the awesome view is more than ample reward.

Joe
Joe takes in the lake view. [photo by Joe]

Given rising temperatures, we took two shortcuts. One was a connector trail from the Pipeline Canyon trail to the Yavapai, and the second was turning around shortly before the end of the Cottonwood trail. We therefore ended up back at the starting trailhead before noon and encountered no temperatures higher than 82°.

lake
Lake Pleasant is 11.5 square miles and here’s most of it. [photo by Joe]

After the hike five of the group immediately left for home with the second half of their day all their own. It turned out Joe and I were both suckers for waterfront restaurants, though, and so we stopped at the Scorpion Bay Marina and had lunch at the floating restaurant. If you get a chance you should try it!

Hike Statistics
Total Distance:7.88miles
Starting Time:8:26AM
Moving Time:3:02hrs:min
Stopped Time:0:21hrs:min
Duration:3:23hrs:min
Finishing Time:11:50AM
Avg. Speed Moving:2.6mph
Avg. Speed Overall:2.3mph
Starting Elevation:1,901ft
Minimum Elevation:1,680ft
Maximum Elevation:2,160ft
Total Ascent:1,010ft
Calories:773
Starting Temperature:68°
Finishing Temperature:82°
Jim
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated April 2, 2018