Escudilla National Recreation Trail

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Escudilla Wilderness Area

Escudilla National Recreation Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eagar, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,479 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
blowdown
10 days ago

This is a short hike and not too strenuous except for the altitude. Lots of aspen growing in the burn areas and quite a few blowdown trees in the last mile.

hiking
blowdown
scramble
12 days ago

This is unique trail. It requires you to either crawl over or under multiple downed trees because of the Wallow fire, the largest fire in Arizona history. All those trees have broken limbs like small daggers all over them, I got gouged when crawling under a log so be careful. Besides its an ascent so it may take you longer than you expect. However, the results of the fire also makes it unique as the changed landscape is both ethereal providing more beautiful views but also sad In addition the wind cries through the naked trees like shrieking banshees! 10,824 at the Summit Loved it. Challenging and beautiful Follow our RVing adventures Facebook: Apackof2 for the Road Instagram: apackof2fortherd Twitter: Apackof2fortheRd Joan & Miss Emme Lu Who "Apackof2 for the Road"

hiking
19 days ago

Lots of downed trees across the trail in sections but not too bad. Trail is snow free to the tower at the top.

Tons of downed trees. up and back I counted 270 times I had to climb under or over trees. if I didn't break my stride I didn't count them. still incredible trail though.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail, a little spooky with the burn scar. Will return in the summer to complete it. The 4’ deep snowpack at the leveling point hindered us from reaching the tower unfortunately.

hiking
7 months ago

I first did this trail in June 2008. The 2011 Wallow fire had changed the character of this old logging trail. Mature first are giving way to young Aspen. The Vista has expanded. Several sides trails near the lookout have been washed away. The trail is clear and gently sloped, but volcanic rock takes over near the top. Several horses were on the trail earlier today, 10-19-19. There is no water on the trail, so make sure you bring your own.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely beautiful sunrise hike. I saw many Elk, 2 Rams, and quail. The scorched trees, gentle wind, and sweet smell of the morning had a certain mystique and calmness about it. Even the drive to the trailhead was scenic. Great trail, would love to do it again.

hiking
8 months ago

Good hike. The views by the tower were breathtaking. The burnt pines were speaking to us with wind blowing through them. Sadden by the beauty that once was.

hiking
8 months ago

My group was working on the AZ20-20 challenge and this was the second of three. Not only a great hike but also a very scenic drive from Pinetop. Trail is in great shape, no downed trees. A treat for us was the sound of the Mexican wolves, which have been reintroduced to this area. Spectacular view from the summit.

hiking
11 months ago

A most enjoyable hike! The burn areas held a haunting beauty with promises of new life as young Aspen trees stretched toward the sky. Surreal up near the tower as wind howled and shrieked through the skeletal trees. Great concern that the dead may come down. Felt danger in this area. The lush green meadows held much elk sign, hoof prints and droppings, fresh and old. A mountain lion was spotted by fellow hikers that day. At the top, expansive and awe-inspiring vistas stretched as far as the eye can see and would not have been visible but for the burn areas. The tower is completely fenced off. No accessibility up to the top. Fire damage. Aspen skeletons have been bleached to a silvery platinum by the Arizona sun. A most exquisitely unique site.

Mon Jun 03 2019

Trail is cleared to the tower just got done helping with a volunteer group. Just watch out more small trees might come down due to high winds. Best case check weather before you hike.

Wed May 01 2019

Beautiful hike. The downed trees add a challenging element, but really slow you down.

Tue Aug 07 2018

Great trail with some of the best 360deg views around. Trail is well maintained. They have put up a fence around the lookout But still great views

hiking
Sun Jul 16 2017

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
Fri Jun 02 2017

Luckily, this hike was the middle hike in between Humphrey and Baldy. It would have really been simple, if it weren't for the downed aspen trees. It turned into more of a steeplechase than a hike.

hiking
Mon Oct 03 2016

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!

cross country skiing
Tue Jul 14 2015

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!)

hiking
Tue Oct 22 2013

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 :/

Thu Aug 23 2012

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.

hiking
Mon Aug 09 2010

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.

backpacking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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