Ashurst Lake/Forked Pine Campgrounds
Good fishing and excellent views of the San Francisco Peaks characterize these two lakeside campgrounds. Ashurst Lake is stocked with trout, bass, and channel catfish, and boasts enough wind for windsurfing.
Both campgrounds hug the lakeshore with campsites huddled in a picturesque stand of gnarly old juniper trees and pinyon pines. One of Ashurst Lake's most notable characteristics is it ability to hold a high water level in drought years. That can be very important here in northern Arizona where less resilient lakes sometimes dry up.
In addition to fishing and board sailing, the lake offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching during the spring waterfowl migration. For a special treat look for white-faced ibises grazing in the shallows along with the cinnamon teal, pintails and other ducks. Bald eagles and osprey can also be seen in the area, along with a number of species of hawks and songbirds.
A graveled road to the lake and graveled road that surrounds most of the lake provides convenient access for most passenger vehicles and bicycles. Rustic gravel and “two-track” roads in the area offer some great opportunities to mountain bike or walk out into the surrounding juniper/ponderosa mixed forest for some wildlife viewing and open spaces. The San Francisco Peaks stand majestically on the horizon providing a grand display of Arizona’s volcanic past.
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The road in can usually be traveled without 4x4 but it doesn't hurt. The campground is small but there's another just by if it's full. This is a fishing lake not a swimming one so leave your suits at home and enjoy a nature walk or campfire in peace and quiet. Campsites are decent size and just enough privacy but all a short walk to restroom. Beware of the steep boat ramp. The skies when you're out there look like a painting!