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Take advantage of the terrific network of trails in this gorgeous riverside state park near Parker, AZ! Buckskin Mountain State Park is much larger than most people think it is and extends eastward into an extremely scenic western Arizona mountain range. Luckily for those of you with adventure in mind, trails lead into these mountains and provide memories (and views) not soon forgotten. See a smorgasbord of expansive views, abandoned mines, desert plants and wildlife, and outlooks that show off the Colorado River's glory. Come along on a western Arizona adventure and see this expansive trail system one mile at a time.
Lightning Bolt Trail
Starting near the park entrance, the Lightning Bolt Trail is steep right from the start, and winds for a half-mile round-trip that showcases the campground, park, and the Colorado River. Throughout spring, there are tons of wildflowers found along the trail, although the desert vegetation found here provides year-round beauty even after the flowers have become dormant for the season. Lace up your boots and don't forget your camera: the Lightning Bolt Trail is a must-see for park visitors and you want plenty of photos to remember the beauty.
Buckskin Loop Trail
Accessed via the Lightning Bolt Trail, visitors can identify native vegetation at numbered posts along the Buckskin Loop Trail with the help of an informative guide you can pick up at the ranger station. A concrete pedestrian footbridge crosses Highway 95 and leads to two other one-way trails. After crossing the highway into the western Arizona desert landscape, hikers immediately become immersed in an exciting adventure into ruggedly beautiful mountainous terrain. This one-mile winding trail is challenging in some areas, yet doable for most hikers. There are benches placed throughout to take a rest, snack, and drink water before continuing on the journey. As with other Parker, Ariz.-area trails, Buckskin Loop comes alive with color during the spring wildflower season and should really be experienced to fully enjoy the beauty found here.
Lamb Springs Trail (Formerly the Abandoned Mine Trail)
This trail traverses 2.3 miles (one-way) through a beautiful slice of western Arizona desert and connects the Buckskin Mountain trail system with nearby River Island State Park. The Lamb Springs Trail is adjacent to a wilderness area and truly gives a feeling of remoteness as you step deeper into the western Arizona backcountry. Throughout the journey, hikers will experience diversity of both mountainous terrain and desert wash country. Please use this isolated trail with caution and ensure you are prepared for the rugged country before tackling this gorgeous adventure through the western Arizona desert.
Copper Mines Trail
See western Arizona history right before your eyes! Located along this (0.6 mi one-way) scenic trail are a series of abandoned copper mines that serve as a reminder of Arizona's past. The mines are approachable, but fenced off for your safety. It really is interesting that once upon a time there were functioning copper mines within this rugged terrain and it's fascinating to see these abandoned mines amid the stunning scenery.
This nearly one mile (0.9 mi) trail experience gives hikers a great sense of admiration for the beauty of this diverse area. The trail starts out along the highway and then gives up some fantastic Colorado River views before cutting into a more remote, mountainous area. As with other trails in this system, an old copper mine can be seen along the way, helping hikers understand the widespread use of this region by miners back in the day.
Whether you are looking for a quick hike, a beautiful view of the river, or want to test your hiking endurance, the trails at Buckskin Mountain State Park are perfect any time of year. Remember, no matter what the weather is, wear sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen and take along plenty of water. Have fun out there!
Arizona's state parks offer a wide variety of hiking trail experiences statewide. After enjoying the trails at Buckskin Mountain, try one of these great trails!