hiking

dogs on leash

forest

views

trail running

walking

river

wild flowers

Love this trail. We even saw a small herd of horses. The mares were interested in our horses but the stallion quickly diverted them.

This is definitely a worth while drive, but be sure to allow plenty of time. It is slow going as there are endless switchbacks and sharp corners along the road. In fact, there are many places where you probably won't be going any faster than 20-30 miles an hour due to this. Very scenic, with access to lots of side roads and trails all over this national forest. I've done this drive many times, both directions. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, this is your road as it has lots of twistys!! If going south, you will start up in the high country around Alpine. Forest, lakes, streams, meadows and an elevation of around 9000'. And it will drop all the way down to Clifton which has you back in the desert. When you get close to Clifton, the highway actually goes right through the Morenci Copper mine there. You actually have to stop for Haul trucks that cross right over the main highway. It's pretty surreal. And the mine is HUGE. It is the largest open pit copper mine in North America, and the 3rd largest in the world. It is in stark contrast to the beauty this drive has at higher elevations, but is something to see regardless. This is a good way to see how dramatic the vegetation changes in AZ. From cactus to tall pines, or vice versa. Be aware of the weather in winter though, the upper reaches of this road can be treacherous after a winter storm. And there is literally no services for miles and miles!!

backpacking
2 months ago

Did this as a loop in early November with West Baldy Trail, using the 3.5 mile crossover trail. No water source on East Baldy Trail at that time, but found water on West Baldy Trail the next day. Pretty hike, trail is very well maintained. As other people have mentioned, the ascent is strenuous but doable. Day 1 on East Baldy Trail we made it to within a mile of the peak with 25lbs backpacks in about 6 hours. We found a few nice campsites with premade fire rings. Day 2 we finished the ascent and started the descent on West Baldy. Again found a nice campsite next to the West Fork of the river with a premade fire ring about 2.5 miles from the West Baldy Trail head. Day 3 finished out the descent and completed the loop on the crossover trail. Crossover trail is 3.5 miles and a bit more strenuous than we thought it would be. Overall a good 3 day 2 night backpacking trip.

hiking
4 months ago

Not too strenuous at all a few hills but nothing too major. Very rocky. Very long took us 4 hours to do the whole loop, we did take a few breaks. Several spots with great views for photo ops. Make sure you follow the white diamonds and you cross over a few dirt roads. There is also a shortcut about 4 miles in - follow the white diamonds with the yellow dot, I'd say this cuts about 4 miles off the 9.3 but I'm not sure, just a guess but it is a significant shortcut

Beautiful scenic hike with multiple locations to look east toward Escudilla and Big Lake. Closer to the end of the hike, the forest has been devastated by the wood beetle. Well maintained trail and worth the trip.

Saw a herd of elk just off the trail

This trail is nothing special. About a mile in is a beautiful open field where the "river" cuts through the heart of. This river is not big at all, it is maybe a small creek at best. After venturing through the meadow you will find yourself next to an incredible rock formation which you take a few switch back to get over. This leads to a field of spectacular rocks with a great view. The trail then goes back into thick forest where your calf muscles will be tested inorder to get up the mountain. The peak of Mt Baldy is on Indian reservation so it is illegal to truly summit the mountain, however, you will find a false summit near the peak where you have a decent view looking north west. Overall this trail did not impress me however the wildlife and vegetation kept it somewhat exciting.

backpacking
5 months ago

This trail is nothing special. About a mile in is a beautiful open field where the "river" cuts through the heart of. This river is not big at all, it is maybe a small creek at best. After venturing through the meadow you will find yourself next to an incredible rock formation which you take a few switch back to get over. This leads to a field of spectacular rocks with a great view. The trail then goes back into thick forest where your calf muscles will be tested inorder to get up the mountain. The peak of Mt Baldy is on Indian reservation so it is illegal to truly summit the mountain, however, you will find a false summit near the peak where you have a decent view looking north west. Overall this trail did not impress me however the wildlife and vegetation kept it somewhat exciting.

I used to hike this area a lot years ago during the fall grouse hunt. Very steep with lots of aspens. I have not been back in quite a while, and not since the Wallow fire at all. Great spot for fall colors with all the aspen trees it has.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a great trail! It was well marked and maintained, and the trail itself is interesting to follow, with a wide variety of nature and wildlife (including cows). However, be aware that the loop itself is closer to being 13 miles long than it is to being 9 miles.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice cool hike for mid-summer AZ, with lots of shade, a few remaining wildflowers and many butterflies. Mostly forest with one very nice view point looking SE about half way up. Another view point looking N closer to the end. Smoke from distant wildfires rolled in mid-afternoon.

Was a really beautiful hike. Very green and my kids loved playing at the creek. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail full of wildlife, aspen groves and thick dense canopy. We took our Cub Scout den and hiked 6 miles of the loop. It was a great time and was not very difficult.

Beautiful trail! Did the whole Loop East to West and it was stunning!

hiking
7 months ago

Really fun trail, with a mix of meadows, forests, creeks, and rocky ridge lines. The grade up to the ridge line is not bad at all, and I saw numerous families with children along the trail. I usually associate Arizona with the more Sedona-type of geography, and this trail broke that stereotype for me completely. Great trail, and a great little region of Arizona.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail was very well marked. I agree it is definitely moderate. Not much wildlife except for a few horn toads. We took the short loop, which took us about 3 1/2 hours. Definitely worth it.

Excellent for wildflowers in late spring and summer. Very flat trail for quite a distance, which makes for nice open views. Near the end it finally rises, offering nice views amid tightly packed trees.

Good length for a couple hours hike. Some pretty panoramic views but not as many as you might expect. Not very much elevation gain so good for someone who has bad knees or doesn't want the challenge of a mountain.

Started down the trail of this beautiful hike. We got about 1/3 of a mile in and saw a big cat track that looked somewhat fresh. Were not prepared to be stalked by a mountain lion, or whatever it might be. We turned around and hiked back to the car. No other hikers on the trail. We saw some abandoned cabins about 1/4 mile north of the trailhead. Anybody know the history of those? Pretty dilapidated.

hiking
11 months ago

I have hiked this east trail twice now, and it is one of the easiest grades to walk that you can imagine. It is a long hike, but so easy to do. No real steep pitches anywhere along it. Just did one this past fall, 2016, and it had been a long time since my first trek. I had forgotten how nice this trail was. No real great scenic views until you get up on top by the reservation boundary. As most know, the actual peak of Mt. Baldy is off limits unless you are an Apache. The peak is on their land, and is sacred to them. You can apparently get permission before hand if you choose to. A worthwhile hike up there even if you can't summit the actual peak. I'll have to do the west fork trail some day just to see what it's like. Beautiful forest trail for sure.

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