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Name: The Lake Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)
Time: 1 -2 hours Region: Southeast Arizona
Length: 6 miles (one way) Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +500 ft / -800 ft / - 300 ft (one way)
Type: Through Trail Avg Elevation: 4000 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter, after summer rains Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: Medium
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: October, 2011
Short Description: An easy 4WD trail to a little known lake southeast of Tucson
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area: Twin Peaks; Rat Stash #4; The Gauntlet
References / Contact Information: NA
Points of interest: Small, little known lake southeast of Tucson, fishing, easy 4WD trail, access to Arizona Trail
Special Considerations: Portions of this trail are on State Trust Land and you will need a permit. Please respect private property signs next to the trail.
How to get there: From Tucson, head east on I-10, take the Soniota exit and drive south on highway 83. Drive about 17 miles. Turn right onto the dirt road at Waypoint 001. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This easy 4WD provides access to a small lake (appropriately called The Lake) southeast of Tucson, nestled in the northeastern foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains. I have seen fisherman there, casting from the shore, but am not sure if they've ever caught anything. I believe it is regularly stocked. There is also fishing at Twin Tanks nearby. The Lake has a few nice trees that provide shade for a picnic too.

The trail is typically very easy (though I haven't been on it since 2011, so it could have changed since then). The roughest portion of the trail is in the beginning. There is also access to the Arizona Trail. When Cat-dog and I did this trail, we first did a nice bike ride on the Arizona Trail, then did the 4WD trip. Lot's of fun!

There is also a spider web of spur trails and connector trails along the way and you could easily spend the better part of the day exploring the area. Some of these spur trails offer more challenging obstacles and grades and could be fun.

General Information and History

I don't have any history of this area yet.

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The Trails

Note: Not all trails are listed in the directions. There are many different trails leading off in both directions. Route finding may be a little difficult.

From highway 83, turn west at Waypoint 001 onto FR2852. Go straight through the gate and up the hill. This hill can be the most challenging of the trip, though I have seen numerous 2WD trucks make it up this hill. You will pass by roads on the right that lead to Twin Tanks and one access to the Arizona Trail.

After 0.6 miles from the start, you will pass the Arizona Trail as it intersects the road you're driving on at Waypoint 002. Keep straight. The road becomes a little less traveled at this point.

Continue on the main road for another mile until you pass a road on the left at Waypoint 003. Keep straight at this intersection and head down the hill toward The Lake.

Within 0.2 miles you will be at The Lake. Stop and enjoy the water, the shade or fish if you so desire. Then continue on the trail along the eastern side of the lake and head north for another 0.6 miles from The Lake.

Keep straight past the road on the right at Waypoint 004. The BLUE lines on the map show some other possible roads in the area in which I saw people driving, but I have never traveled on them.

Keep driving north for another 0.3 miles until you reach Waypoint 005. You can access a steep and challenging hill by turning right here. The main trail continues straight. After another 0.1 miles, you will come to another spur road on the right (Waypoint 006). This intersects the challenging hill road past at the last waypoint. I found some interesting tanks and ranching ruins in this area. When you're done exploring, keep straight to stay on the main trail.

Drive another 1.0 mile through a sandy wash until you pass Mine Tank at Waypoint 007. Keep straight. Drive another 0.7 miles north until you reach Waypoint 008 and the trail turns to a dirt road. There are a few roads leading off in both directions. Please respect the private property signs in this area.

Follow the dirt road north for 1.5 miles until you reach Sahuarita Road and the end of the trail.

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Have you been on this adventure? What did you think? Comments and updates welcome by clicking here. You can also rate this adventure by clicking here.

More Trails

July, 2016: I went out to find a geocache today (The Gauntlet) and used info in your 4WD southeast section “The Lake”. It was useful in getting us into the area and then google earth gave me a couple more waypoints. 

We enjoyed the area but maybe the best part of the trip was beyond the lake to the west and south. The trail ends on top of a hill at about 5000 feet elevation and the ridge roads leading to it are very scenic and fun. 

Thanks for all the info you have on your website. It has been useful in planning some trips around Tucson.

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