Explore the most popular river trails in Apache Sitgreaves National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of the best trails in the White Mountains. Starts out easy through open meadows along the little colorado river but becomes moderately steep as it climbs a mountain through huge ancient fir trees before it tops out at a granite overlook with views for miles. There is aircraft wreckage on the 11200 feet mountain next to Mount Baldy.A good trail to see mexican wolves.

best of the white mountains i would rate it as difficult in the first four miles pretty steep but beautiful climbs a mountain through huge ancient fir trees then tops out at a granite vista with views of many miles

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
6 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.

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.

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
9 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.

hiking
10 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.

Beautiful out there yesterday

hiking
10 months ago

Makes for a great trail run (5-6 miles) out and back. Plenty of small brown trout in the river if you're inclined to fly fish.

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

hiking
11 months ago

Directions provided by the link are NOT correct. From Highway 260 it is 17.5 miles to the right turn onto FR 116. It is 4.1 miles on a well maintained dirt road to the parking at Thompson Trail #629 on the right. The actual trailhead is about 100 yards further and on the left.

on Thompson Trail #629

hiking
11 months ago

An amazing gem! We hiked this trail last week and could not get over the beauty. Trail is 5 miles in and out and great for the dogs. The Black River runs along the trail so plenty of water for the dogs and for you if you bring a filter. You will drive on a dirt road for 4 miles before you get to TH. A car can make it but it will be bumpy and very dusty. We will be back again to explore more of the beautiful White Mountains.

hiking
11 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
Thursday, April 27, 2017

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.

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
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

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.

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.

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Great drive. unlimited hiking in the area.

scenic driving
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Most of this ride is in the almost 3,000,000 acre Apache Sitgreaves National Forest near the New Mexico - Arizona border. You may not have thought of Arizona as having beautiful lakes and forests but it is all here. I want to come back and hike a lot of the hiking and backpacking trails.

hiking
Sunday, June 23, 2013

A wonderful hike! I would suggest anyone try to get this one in. The basic lay o' the land is 2 trails (East, #95 and West, #94) from highway 273 to the 'summit' with a 3.5 mile connector near the base. The connector basically follows the road but up in a much nicer environment. We choose the 7 mile east trail based simply on a recommendation of our campground (Winn Campground) hostess. We traversed meadow, forest and rock...no scree! Most sites list this as a moderate with strenuous spots hike. I sort of agree but lean more towards just moderate. There are a few spots that remind you that you've been above 10,000 feet all the way but it's all fairly easy. The altitude and the distance (7 miles one way) take it out of the "easy" category. The trail is well defined and obviously well used. We saw a total of 11 others during our hike. Statistically, it took 4 hours up w/obligatory crique spots and hydration breaks, 3 hours down. Shoes on the trail at 0620, back at the truck at 1400. We spent about 30 minutes at the reservation boundary which is as far as you can legally go towards the summit. According to my GPSr, the summit is about .8 miles south. Elevation at the TH was 9388', 11177 at the RB.
       Most of this hike is through forest. It was windy during the morning, a bit uncomfortable both in velocity and temperature. We weren't exposed to the wind for any real length of time. A medium weight jacket was sufficient. The hike down was pleasant even with the temperature hitting the low 80's since we were in the shade most of the time. Only a light breeze on the trip back.
       This area was spared by the Wallow fire but it is being devastated by insects. There are areas that are truly heartbreaking to walk through. We saw no wildlife except the occasional squirrel and birds. It is incredibly dry right now but there is a very small trickle of water near the top. About a 1/2 mile from the RB we came across the aircraft wreckage. I hadn't realized it was there and it was actually quite emotional.  
       All things considered, this was a great outing. Camping in the area ranges from tent with basics to full blown RV hookup. There are several lakes to fish with boat rentals available. A small visitor center was staffed by 2 very knowledgable USFS people.
The only disappointment was not being able to actually summit. There is one site that states you can summit if you obtain permission from the Apache. While this statement might have been true back when it was written, I found, after 3 days of trying, that the Apache bureaucracy is as messed up as our own. Don't count on getting anywhere with them.
This hike can be done as a 17 mile loop starting at either #94 or #95 trailhead, going to the reservation boundary, down the "other" trail, then using the connector trail to get back to your starting point.

hiking
Thursday, April 25, 2013

All Trails,
This trail is not even close to Roosevelt, AZ. The closest town would be Greer, AZ. Also there are two "Baldy" trails. One is the East Baldy Trail and the other is the West Baldy Trail. They are both great trails and connect near the summit.

hiking
Saturday, May 26, 2012

we are staying at X Diamond Ranch and the hike is about 200 meters up the hill. very nice and easy hike close to the river. Two things to have in mind, watch out for the bears and it seens that it was a fire and the trees are a little burned.

hiking
Friday, November 05, 2010

This is a peaceful, scenic hike in the Arizona Rim Country. The trail crosses meadows, follows a stream for a mile or so, and then ascends Mt. Baldy. It was early in the season (May) so as we gained altitude we started to have difficulty following the trail in the deep snow. After losing the trail and realizing that our shoes were hopeless for hiking in snow, we turned around before reaching the top. Still, it was a very good hike and we would like to do it again in July or August.

hiking
Monday, August 09, 2010

Nice easy trail following the Little Colorado. Eventually begins to climb a bit away from the river. At this point we turned around, probably less than an hour in? Would like to see where the trail goes from there someday. Worth hiking in at least a short distance if you're in Greer.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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