WOODS CANYON LAKE - GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

Only two hours from Phoenix Arizona, Woods Canyon Lake Recreation area is in the middle of an outdoorsman’s paradise with biking trails, hiking trails, offroad trails, fishing, camping and hunting.

Located on top of the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 7,600 ft. The Woods Canyon Lake Store offers boat rentals, groceries, beer & wine, fishing tackle, camping gear, firewood, ice, fishing & hunting licenses and hunting permit tags. As well as one of the largest ice cream selections in Northern Arizona with a friendly atmosphere.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all types including: anglers, boaters, hikers, families and photographers will find Woods Canyon Lake to be a great getaway.

Fish Species

Rainbow and Brown Trout thrive here and there are some really big ones. The state stocks catchable size trout every week from May through September.

Fishing Strategy

When fishing for rainbow trout from shore, try Power Bait or worms. Boaters can try trolling a Super Duper or tiny gold Kastmaster lures. When it's hot in the summer, fish a little deeper, between 10 and 20 feet; but don't fish too deep, because the lake stratifies in the summer, meaning there's no oxygen at the bottom. The lake is loaded with crayfish; try fishing for big browns in spring and fall with spinners or lures that imitate crayfish patterns. A state fishing license with a trout stamp is required for anglers 14 years-old and above. Daily bag limit is six trout for licensed anglers and three for unlicensed kids under 14 years.

Boating Options

Boat motors are restricted to electric motors only.  The lake is a favorite for paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing.  Boat rentals are available at the lake. The lake does have a boat ramp.

Camping Options

There is a picnic area and restrooms at the lake. A concessionaire at the lake rents boats, sells fishing licenses, sells bait and tackle and carries well-stocked items in its country store. RVers will find a dump station about a mile from the lake. There are four fee-based campgrounds nearby including the most popular Spillway Campground which is the closest to the lake. It has 26 camp sites, each accommodating trailers up to 16 feet long. Conveniences at Spillway include a campground host, drinking water, picnic tables, barrier-free restrooms and fire rings.

Aspen Campground, along Forest Road 105, is much larger with 136 sites, and can accommodate trailers up to 32 feet long. It has the same amenities as Spillway. The Crook Campground is mainly a group camping area, with two loops and a total of 26 sites. Usually, one entire loop is reserved for a group. Each loop has a large ramada with picnic tables.

Mogollon Campground, located along Forest Road 300, has 26 units accommodating trailers up to 32 feet. Amenities are the same as at Spillway Campground. No reservations are taken for this campground. Camping fees at most of the campgrounds start at $16 per vehicle per night. The campgrounds are open from April 15 to October 15, weather permitting. Get more camping information and reserve a site by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Directions

From Payson, AZ take Highway 87 (Beeline Highway) and turn right on Highway 260 East towards Show Low.  Turn left on to Forest Road 300 (Rim Road). Then turn north onto paved Forest Road 105 and proceed about a mile to the lake. The lake is about 30 miles east of Payson AZ.