|South Fork Trail|
The South Fork Trail is seven miles long, running from the South Fork Campground to Mexican Hay Lake. The lower trail, at 7,500 feet elevation, follows the river for 3.5 miles through stands of cottonwood, pine, aspen, and oak. The trail climbs to 9,000 feet, providing spectacular views of high e...
Becker Lake Wildlife Area
|Description: Becker Lake was created in 1880 by building a dam across an old oxbow of the Little Colorado River. Today, this shallow reservoir rimmed by wetlands and surrounded by high elevation grasslands offers excellent birding and wildlife viewing.|
Wildlife to Watch: Mammals include mule deer, occasional pronghorn, Gunnison’s prairie dog, and rock squirrels. Birds of prey include bald eagle (during winter months), osprey, American kestrel, prairie falcon, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, and turkey vulture. Among the waterfowl are nesting Canada goose, mallard, cinnamon teal, and ruddy duck. Migration and winter bring many additional species including American wigeon, ring-necked duck, and bufflehead, plus rarer species such as tundra swan and Barrow’s goldeneye. Terns and gulls also stop by during migration. During August and September, the grassland east of the lake often contains blooming stands of thistle and other vegetation which attracts large numbers of migrating rufous, broad-tailed, and some calliope hummingbirds, plus many species of sparrows and buntings.
Special Tips: Lewis’s woodpeckers sometimes nest in the small stand of trees near the eastern shore of the lake.
Other Activities: Two dirt hiking trails offer easy access for wildlife viewing. The Lakeview Trail is a 1-mile loop to an observation platform at the south end of the lake. The River Walk Trail parallels the Little Colorado River for ½ mile and returns by the same route.
Ownership: Arizona Game & Fish Department
Size: 629 acres
Closest Town: Springerville
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: