Escudilla National Recreation Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eagar, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Alpine: Drive 5.5 miles north on US 191 to Forest Road 56. Turn right on Forest Road 56 and follow it 3.6 miles to Terry Flat. Take the left fork past Tool Box Draw 0.5 miles to the trailhead.
The trail was a wonderful combination of climbing combined with more easy and open trail. The fall colors were beautiful and some wildflowers. We didn't see much wildlife, but birds were available for viewing. The burned out portion was very stark and made us feel like we were in the Game of Thrones forest, with raven's calling in the distance! Even so, the hike was a challenge for someone who has not hiked in a while and I felt accomplished after it was complete!
We loved this hike! Very green. Tons of wildflowers and trees. The vista/overlook was so beautiful! But alot of the trail was beginning to be overgrown with baby aspens. So we had to push our way through...which was fun! (Eagle Scout project right there!)
Recently 1/2 burned in the Wallow Fire. The Aspen section in the 1st 1/2 of trail is intact.
Unfortunately this trail is in wilderness & no bike are allowed :/
Beautiful trail and scenery. Unfortunately it has been burnt severely from multiple fires (50-60's) as well to one recently (2011- Wallow). The road leading you up to the trail head is brutal, any car can make it, just drive slow. There are dense groves of Aspen trees and a lot of ferns. There are many types of wild life out there. I have seen Mexican Grey Wolves on multiple occasions in the early morning and late evenings. As you reach the top of the first peak you are able to see all types of scenery and landscapes. You then walk through a burn area up to the top where the look out tower was once occupied. The tower still stands but is fenced off due to the fire damage. Once on the very top you are able to see all the way into New Mexico and the Gila Wilderness Burn area. This trail is quite steep in areas, but offers breath taking views from the top.
Don't let this short hike fool you - it's a little harder than it seems it should be. The trail is fairly steep in places. At the top you can climb the fire lookout for great views of the surrounding mountains. We did it in the fall - hiking through the aspens was beautiful enough, but seeing the view of yellow aspen covered mountains from the top was spectacular! The road into the trailhead is also a great place to spot elk in the evenings.