The entry fee to this state park is $10 on weekdays and $15 Friday-Sunday. Because we will be in Arizona for three months (and we know we really enjoy visiting state parks), we decided to purchase an annual pass. The cost is $75 for an annual pass for access Monday-Thursday (excluding boat launch, that we do not need). November 1 through March 1, the annual pass will provide access 7 days a week. This works out nicely for us as we will be in AZ October 20 through January 20.
After purchasing our pass, the park ranger provided us with information and a map about the hiking trails. Boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and camping are the primary activities available here. We parked near the beach (shown below) and made our way to the McKinney Loop trailhead.
Our first stop before hiking was the off-leash dog beach. Sadie has become quite the swimmer and immediately jumped into the lake.
Here is the view of the lake from the first overlook on the trail. Also shown, is the beach and boat launch area of Cattail Cove.
As we continued along the trail, the views of the shore and lake were fantastic.
We continued our hike on Whytes Trail that follows the shoreline of the lake. Each turn of the trail provided more amazing views.
Cattail Cove State Park has a camping area near the beach front, but there are also 32 boat-in primitive camping sites here. We came across one in a cove along the Whytes trail. It made us reminisce about our boat, Destiny, that we had on the Chesapeake Bay.
We reached Whytes Retreat and spent some time wandering around this beautiful area.
Ripley's Run is a relatiely new trail built by the rangers that intersects with Whytes Retreat that leads up the wash. It is a moderately difficult trail that requires climbing up several dry waterfalls in the wash.
The trail continues for approximately two miles through washes and the arid desert hills.
This was the first and only saguaro cactus I have seen in this part of Arizona (most are to the south and east of here). Interesting...
Ripley's Run intersects with Wayne's Way Trail that ends in a large wash a half mile from the Cattail Cove parking lot.
John took Sadie for one last swim and I (thankfully) took off my hiking boots and enjoyed the cool water of the lake on my feet! We finished our picnic lunch at a picnic table next to the beach. It was a great day of hiking and fun!