dogs on leash
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.
My boyfriend and I are seasoned hikers and were in the area looking for a fun long hike. To be honest, we were a bit disappointed. There weren't that many great scenic points for how long the trail was. It was a great length for a good afternoon activity, but I'd say it is more of an easy rated trail for a quiet enjoyable walk through the woods.
Cool trail, although pretty hard for me. If you are out of shape and/or not used to the altitude, it will be a great workout. I am both, so I was really huffing at times. Also, I am an experienced bike rider, but not an experienced trail rider. There are two sections at the beginning and end, which have tons of fist-sized rocks. If you go clockwise, the section after about 2-3 miles is very downhill and the one towards the end is very uphill. I had to get off and walk. Great scenery, great views, fresh air. 9 am on a Saturday, I saw two riders in the parking area, and two horse trailers, but I did not see anyone on the trail. It is well-marked, as are most WMTS trails. Going clockwise, towards the end, the trail criss-crosses a big dirt road and is a bit confusing. Just stay on the road and keep your eyes peeled off the road to the left looking for the white diamonds to start again.
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!
Did the short loop today, wonderful views from the ridge. Well marked and easy to follow. Lucky enough to a coyote and some beautiful wild flowers. Just made it back to the car before an amazing storm hit. So glad we paid attention to forecast and hiked early, parts of this trail are very exposed and would be quite scary in a thunderstorm
Enjoyed it! Sad about all the burned trees and downed trees but we thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Took it 2 miles past the road (Mexican hay lake trail). Trail not used a lot so hard to fine in places but beautiful views and fun adventure! Very worth it!!!! Saw no people on a Saturday late morning to mid afternoon. Love the stream and that their was some altitude but not too much.
Nice hike to Big Lake Lookout. Only hiked about a mile past the lookout on the trail -- lots of deadfall and snags. I remember this being a beautiful, lushly forested trail about 10 years ago. Encouraging to see all the new growth Aspen and sad to see the devastation from the Wallow Fire.
The hike from the picnic ground to the river crossing is only about 2.2 miles not 3. There is a lot of poison ivy along the way. The trail at this time is not ideal for mountain biking because of all the downed timber across the trail after the Wallow fire.