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Hike #38 – Becker Lake

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260, drive 42.8 miles east on 260 to the traffic light in Eagar. Turn left and drive north 1.6 miles into Springerville. The road ends in a T at a traffic light on SR 60. Turn left back towards Show Low and drive 1.9 miles to the left turn to Becker Lake. Drive through the gate and down the gravel road and park in the parking area.

Trail: The trail is a gravel path and an old rough gravel road.

Trailhead and Directions: The trail starts to the west beyond the restroom on the gravel road that bends around the northwest end of the lake. There is a paved area leading to a dock where you can see the lake for birding. Continue on the gravel path along the west side of the lake. There are at least two other openings in the willows affording views of the lake before you reach the turn around. After about 0.6 miles the gravel path becomes an old rocky road track and bends to the right down into a swale and then up the hill. There is a track to the left, but turn right and climb the long hill heading back to the parking area. There are two benches where you can rest if needed along the uphill area. The old road returns to the parking area.

Access: Hiking, bicycles, no motorized vehicles, not handicapped accessible. The lake is a very popular fishing destination. Although the parking area is gravel, it is reasonably hard packed and a wheel chair could be used to reach the waters edge for a look at the lake and birds there.

Distance: The round trip on the trail described is only 1.2 miles.

Difficulty: Easy walking, just a little uphill and downhill.

Features: The lake can be good for birds in spring and fall, but rather quiet in summer. Coots are numerous, Double-crested Cormorants, Pied-billed Grebes, and Osprey are regular along with Mallards. Other ducks can be abundant in migration. Sometimes there will be herons and a Bald Eagle. Flowers are present in late summer when the Fourwing Saltbush, Adonis Blazingstar, and buckwheats bloom. Lizardtail is aboundant along the trail. Winterfat is present along the hillsides along with verbena and many Asteraceae. Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is present and many other species. The numerous willows are Coyote Willow. A few Fremont Cottonwoods are along the trail.

Connections: None. It is possible to get through the fence at the southern end of the hiking trail described and you can walk all around the south end of the lake and up the eastern side, but it is tough going. You can also walk the dike east of the parking area for a short distance. The parking area and trailhead for the northern end of the River Trail is only 0.8 miles back to the east on SR 60 from the Becker Lake turnoff.

Becker Lake Trail Map
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