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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Kaibab National Forest
Whitehorse Lake Trail #33

Due to some very serious competition, the two little trails at Whitehorse Lake don't get the attention they deserve. Located adjacent to several classic hiking destinations on the Kaibab National Forest south of Williams, it's no wonder these lakeside gems live in unheralded obscurity.
Although these mini treks are certainly not in the same league as the nearby Sycamore Canyon Rim Trail, Overland Road or the epic routes ascending Bill Williams Mountain, they are ideal for a warm up leg stretch or educational strolls with kids. Also, they're situated within Whitehorse Lake Campground, which makes the perfect base camp for hitting the aforementioned famous trails.
Whitehorse Lake #33 begins at a parking area near camp Loop F where there's a map sign and a supply of brochures with descriptions for 12 numbered points of interest along the route. The one-way trail ends at a blocked road gate near camp Loop B.
From the "F" trailhead, go left and hike out over a dam built in 1934 to improve wildlife and recreational opportunities in the area. Follow the posts through pine-oak woodlands, marsh areas and reed-choked coves. Features along the way include waterbird habitats, "yellow-bellie" Ponderosa pines, wildflowers, bird and bear feeding sites and mushroom logs. At post #9, the Canyon Overlook Trail #70 veers off for an optional 2.5-mile roundtrip hike to a scenic point over Sycamore Canyon. Both trails have short sections where the route is obscured by deadfall and leaf litter, but finding your way isn't too challenging. Beyond post #12, the trail swings through prime critter country along the southeast shore of the 35-acre lake before ending directly across the water from the start point. Retrace your steps or follow campground roads back to the trailhead.
Trail #33: 2 miles roundtrip
Trail #70: 2.5 miles round trip
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 6,600'-6,625'
FACILITIES: restrooms, camping, fishing (fee)
From Williams, go 8.2 miles south on 4th Street (turns into Perkinsville Road, County Road 73) to Forest Road 110 at milepost 177. Turn left and go 7.2 miles to Forest Road 109, turn left and continue 3 miles to the lake. Follow the signs to either day use area nears Loops B or F. There are no fees for day use only. Roads are paved and sedan-friendly dirt/gravel.
INFO: Kaibab National Forest

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