I don’t consider Wynston and I to be “hikers.” Although we enjoy hiking, I have to keep strenuous activity to a minimum due to my osteoarthritis. Typically I come across trails that I’m interested in while exploring wilderness areas. That’s how I found Butcher Jones Trail. Wynston and I were visiting Butcher Jones rec area when I noticed a trail head off the coast of the beach. When we decided to hike the trail a week later, we weren’t disappointed. The dog-friendly Butcher Jones Trail is an intermediate hike which offers breathtaking views.
Butcher Jones Trail
Distance: 4.9 miles
Expert level: Intermediate (in our opinion)
Elevation gain: 541 feet
Trail type: In and out
Permit: Recreation Pass required to park at Butcher Jones Recreation Site ($12.00 for a day pass)
Notables: Very narrow trail. Will require some simple boulder climbing in some spots. The beach area has picnic tables and lots of shade.
We visited Butcher Jones Trail for the first time on a Tuesday afternoon around 12pm. It was a beautiful day, about 70° and sunny. The trail was somewhat populated, even considering it was a weekday. I can imagine the trail being extremely busy on the weekends.
Butcher Jones Trail is incredibly narrow, and is only wide enough for one person to walk at a time. When Wynston and I came across other parties of people, we’d have to step back or find a space off to the side in order to allow them to pass.
Wynston and I aren’t in the best physical shape but we had no problems with this trail. You do need to be mindful of your step a majority of the way because one misstep could send you off the mountainside. There are places along the trail to stop for a rest and water break. Everywhere you look there are beautiful views.
The reason I rate the Butcher Jones Trail as intermediate is due to the narrow pathway, rocky areas and steep cliff sides. There are plenty of places that you can stop and turn around, so you can really hike as long as you want. If you have a dog who loves to run, I’d suggest keeping them on a secure leash. Some of the turns require extra care as to not fall down the side of the mountain.
Bring these items on your hike:
- Treats (great for getting your dog’s attention for photos)
- Collapsible bowl for water
- Waste bags
- Collar and leash
Other items to consider:
- Wet wipes for cleaning paws or hands
- Booties for your dog’s paws
- First aid kit
I appreciate how easy it is to access Saguaro Lake and the Butcher Jones Trail. It’s our new go-to spot because it’s so close to the house. I love the Butcher Jones Recreation area because you can hike, have a picnic, put your kayak in the lake or relax on the beach. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Do you and your dog have a favorite trail that you frequent?