Coconino National Forest Flagstaff, Arizona 86001Official Website
Rafts of ducks may be spotted from anywhere along the lake. In good years, the shallow southern end may contain huge flocks of dabbling ducks and shorebirds. Rare gulls and terns may be found. Osprey and Bald Eagles hunt for fish here. Flocks of sparrows may be encountered along the shore, and flocks of Pinyon Jays may wheel through the nearby junipers. Though the road out is bumpy (unpaved and not maintained in winter), bluebirds dot the grasslands and after heavy rains, ephemeral pools form which attract ducks, waders, and phalaropes.
There are a number of reasons to visit Ashurst Lake. First, since it’s regularly stocked with rainbow and brook trout, it’s an excellent place to fish. It’s a good place to paddle your canoe, too, or to windsurf or enjoy any of a number of other water sports. A graveled road to the lake and around it provides a good place to ride your mountain bike. The setting’s not bad either. The San Francisco Peaks stand picture-perfect on the horizon.
Ashurst Lake is medium-sized, as northern Arizona lakes go, but it has a reputation for holding water even through long dry spells. That’s especially important here, where periods of low precipitation can last long enough to dry up less resilient bodies of water. There are convenient campgrounds nearby, where you can pitch your tent or park your camper in the shade of a gnarly and set out your lawn chair within casting distance of the lake. And if you don’t catch any lunkers, you can always enjoy the peace and quiet and the bragging-size scenery.
20 miles southeast of Flagstaff on paved and graveled roads. Elevation is 7,000 feet.
Drive south 19 miles from Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road) then east about 4 miles on FR 82E.