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Mogollon Rim Car Camping & Kayaking & Hiking Trip
June 26-30, 2022
by Lin Chao

Day 1, Sunday, June 26, 2022

It was hot (94° F) in the valley when we left home on June 26, 2022 at 8:30 AM. Traffic was good on AZ-87 and AZ-260. After more than 2 hours of driving, we arrived at the Mogollon Rim.

It was 64° F and rain was coming. Check-in time was 2 PM, but at noon when we arrived at our Campground, there were a number of our group already setting up tents and enjoying the cool weather.

Our first hike was from our campground to the Rim. The temperature was cool and most of us hiked 4 miles. Ron and Anna hiked 8 miles. Good job, Ron and Anna.

A storm is coming. [photo by Lin]
Our campsites at the Mogollon Rim Campground. [photo by Lin]
Our campsites. [photo by Lin]
John’s Jeep and Mimi’s vehicle and kayak. [photo by Lin]
Kim and Mimi are relaxing at their campsite. [photo by Lin]
Carl, Ann, and John are in very serious talk. [photo by Lin]
First hike to Rim. [photo by Lin]
June, Michelle, John S, Carl, Ann, John B, Mimi, Kim, Norma, Rudy, Chuck
Rudy’s stand one Leg. [photo by Lin]
Rudy and Chuck had a great talk. [photo by Lin]
Enjoy each other, Carl, Michelle, and Mimi. [photo by Lin]
Thumb up from Ann and John. [photo by Lin]
Everyone is enjoying the view at Rim. [photo by Lin]
It is cold, it is raining, and we are having fun with board game. [photo by Lin]

Day 2, Monday, June 27, 2022

Today we divided our group into group A and Group B. While Group A was kayaking at Woods Canyon Lake, Group B was hiking at Woods Canyon Lake. In the afternoon, Group A would be hiking and group B would be kayaking at lake.

Chuck was the leader of Group A: Chuck, John S, Mimi, Ann, John B, Norma, Anna, Ron, Kim.

Lin was the leader of group B: Lin, Carl, Lisa, June, Rudy, Michelle. We hiked counter-clockwise around the Woods Canyon Lake. It was beautiful. The cool air with blue sky and puffy clouds, we enjoyed every second around the lake. The total distance we hiked was 4 miles.

After the hike, Michelle, June and Lin were patiently waiting at shore for Mimi, Kim and Norma to return, because we were ready to kayak at lake while group A was going to hike around the Lake.

It was cold and wet last night for John S and Chuck; their tents get soaked. So after kayaking, they returned home. Lisa also returned back to Flagstaff because she did not bring enough blankets for the cold night. We had few more people to join us for this trip. They are Maggie, Alex, Rodney, Jackie, Terri, Nancy. BTW, Eileen went home after breakfast, too.

The weather was almost perfect. The forecast said there is a chance of rain in the afternoon. They were wrong. it was blue sky and very comfortable temperature. We had great day at Woods Canyon Lake.

Tonight, was potluck night, boy, did we have enough food. It was so yummy and so good and we had great AZTHC-style Buffet dinner. After dinner, Rudy set up the campfire, the party was beginning with Rudy’s guitar. What a prefect day today.

Here is the link to read Chuck’s kayaking trip report.

Group picture at Woods Canyon Lake. [photo by Lin]
Lisa, Carl, June, Rudy, Michelle.
View of the Woods Canyon Lake. [photo by Lin]
Michelle is having fun. [photo by Lin]
Calm water in the lake. [photo by Lin]
Campfire and Music: Joe, Norma, Kim, Mimi and Rudy. [photo by Lin]
Norma, Kim, Terri, Mimi, Nancy. [photo by Lin]
Rodney, Jackie, Joe, Norma, and Kim. [photo by Lin]
John B, Carl, Ann, Maggie, Alex, Ron. [photo by Lin]

Day 3, Tuesday, June 28, 2022

This morning we divided into two groups, doing two activities.

Mimi was leader of group A. They were kayaking at Willow Spring Lake: Mimi, Kim, Norma, Anna and Ron.

Rodney was leader of group B, hiking on the General Crook trail doing volunteer work. Here is the trip report from Rodney.

Mimi’s group are enjoying the calm water at Willow spring Lake. [photo by Norma]
Kim is enjoying her time at the lake. [photo by Norma]
Leader Mimi at the lake. [photo by Norma]
Leader Mimi at the lake. [photo by Norma]
Happy Kim. [photo by Norma]

In the afternoon, after volunteer work with Rodney, Michelle and Lin met Mimi’s group at Willow Spring Lake, and kayaked at the lake. And Mimi, Kim, Anna and Ron hiked around Willow Spring Lake. It was a great day at the lake. The weather was perfect.

Michelle and Lin are Relaxing and enjoying the moment. [photo by Norma]
Lay back and enjoy the cooler weather at the lake. [photo by Norma]
Happy Lin. [photo by Norma]
Beautiful afternoon at Willow Spring Lake. [photo by Lin]
Norma and Michelle are enjoyed that time. [photo by Lin]
Norma is leading us to the fun spot. [photo by Lin]

Day 4, Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Due to my prior planned event, I had to leave early from this camping trip. Co-leaders Rodney and Mimi were in charge of this camping trip in my absence. Thanks, Rodney and Mimi. You both did great job.

Rodney was leading a hike to Dane Spring. Here is his trip report.

Day 5, Thursday, June 30, 2022

Last day of the trip. I am sure everyone had great time, and hate to leave such a cool and beautiful Rim. Thanks for all the safe drivers, thanks for the yummy food; thanks for the belly laughing game at campsite; thanks to Rudy for entertaining us at the campsite at the campfire ring; thanks for everyone for helping to set up and cleaning up the potluck; thanks for the wonderful trip and almost perfect weather for the hot summer. Be safe, and looking forward to coming back here in 2023.

Supplemental Report
Woods Canyon Lake Kayaking
by Chuck Parsons
June 27, 2022

Eight Trailblazers gather at the Woods Canyon Lake launch ramp. [photo by Ann]
Ron, Anna, Mimi, John B., Chuck, Kim, John S., Norma. (Ann is behind the lens).

Under partly cloudy skies, with temperatures in the mid-70s, nine adventurous Arizona Trailblazers gather near the launch ramp on Woods Canyon Lake to begin prepping our kayaks for launch.

We pose for a quick group picture and then ease our kayaks into the calm lake waters just a few minutes after 8:00 AM. This looks to be a great day for kayaking one of the most scenic of the seven Rim Lakes on Arizona’s beautiful Mogollon Rim. The plan this morning is to start kayaking around the lake in a counter-clockwise direction, closely following the shoreline.

Ann and John B. are all smiles. [photo by Ann]
Anna and Ron are having a great time on the lake. [photo by Ann]
John S. and his Blue Barge. [photo by Ann]
Norma and her nifty shade canopy. [photo by Ann]

June is normally a very dry month for most of Arizona, with our annual monsoon season typically kicking off around mid-July. But this year the weather has decided not to stay with the statistical norms. We begin seeing desert rains a full month early this year, in mid-June rather than mid-July. Rain is always welcome here in Arizona, especially in the desert. But, at the same time, we’re not any too thrilled to have it rain on our camping trips. Thus the reason for scheduling our first summer car-camping trips in June, when we rarely ever experience rainfall.

As we continue paddling along the shoreline, we occasionally see people casting their fishing lines far out into the waters and have to move further out into the lake to give them plenty of room. Running over someone’s fishing line is never a good idea and will usually result in a loud volley of outcries and occasional profanities from the offended fisherman.

The scenery around Woods Canyon Lake just doesn’t get much better than this. [photo by Ann]
A few anglers are preparing to test their luck in the far right of this picture. [photo by Ann]
Kim is zipping right along in her kayak. [photo by Ann]
Chuck is field testing his new kayak paddle. [photo by Ann]

Woods Canyon Lake, like all of the Rim Lakes, is surrounded by a dense forest cover of tall Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, oak, and aspen advancing right down to the shoreline. This lake is the most accessible, most developed, and the most popular of the seven Rim Lakes that make up the Rim Lakes Recreation Area within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

In less than 90 minutes we make a complete circumference around the lake and we’re all back at the launch ramp once again. Too early to rendezvous with Lin and the rest of Group B, who will be using our kayaks for the remainder of the day. So we decide to paddle over to the dam and back, which should eat up another thirty minutes or so. Dark storm clouds had begun moving across the lake earlier this morning, but it’s beginning to clear up once again. At one point we spot a bald eagle flying high overhead, probably in search of a fat trout for breakfast.

A rocky, boulder-filled stretch of shoreline. [photo by Ann]
Norma and Mimi are paddling a smooth stretch of water. [photo by Ann]
Chuck and Mimi exiting one of the numerous coves on Woods Canyon Lake. [photo by Ann]
These clouds are beginning to look pretty serious. [photo by Ann]

By the time we make our way back to the launch ramp, we spot Lin and a few others from Group B. At the same time an Arizona Game & Fish tanker truck starts backing down the launch ramp, and the driver gets out to check a few things before finally opening a large flush valve at the back of the tanker and releasing hundreds of small trout into the lake.

Several people, including Lin, are snapping pictures as a torrent of water and trout surges from the open tanker valve and streams into the lake. Having witnessed this process before, I’ve always wondered just how traumatic this experience is on these small lake trout and how many of them actually survive the process.

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updated August 3, 2022