East Baldy Trail #95 is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Eagar, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
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.
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.
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.
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.