Mount Baldy Trail (West Baldy)

HARD 65 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Mount Baldy Trail (West Baldy) is a 16.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eagar, Arizona that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
16.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,782 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

hiking
23 days ago

One of Arizona’s most beautifully, peaceful hikes for sure. The first four miles are relatively easy, after this point though, the stream fades off as you start the truer gain in elevation through switchbacks in the mountain. I took the West Baldy Trail and came back the same way and my watch clocked in closer to 15 miles RT.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike especially after a good monsoon. We followed the running creek enjoying the wildflowers and crazy looking mushrooms. Will wear long sleeves next time as I got stung by a bee like insect two separate times.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail. The only think I could say negative, is I got stung by a wasp or bee or something on my wrist. Hurt for a short time, Then all was good!

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this trail and it’s beauty! Easy to forget I was in Arizona in July! Beautiful views, wildflowers and meandered along a river. Do not hesitate to try this trail if you are wary of the “difficult” rating. We did 2.5 miles and back—easy for even a novice like me!

2 months ago

Just took my 5 yr old on this hike with the family. We caught a bunch of rain, but really enjoyed the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

An amazing day hike. Beautiful views and wildlife sighting. If you go in the summer, be prepared for weather shifts. We got stuck in a thunder storm on the way back out.

3 months ago

Nice trail, high elevation does take some getting used to but as many note, absolutely beautiful, pictures do not do this one justice. will recommend to friends, and will do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Such beautiful scenery with a beautiful meandering creek. Lots of green. Wild strawberries! We ate along the way. And what were those blue trees? We went 10-11 miles round trip so not all the way, but good memories.
Stayed in Show Low the night before. Fantastic breakfast at Sweetheart Cafe before driving an hour to the trailhead. We were two families with plenty of kids on Fourth of July. Lightly trafficked trail that day. Finished the day with dinner and fireworks in Payson. Then a drive back to the valley. A wonderful day.

hiking
3 months ago

My friend and I did this hike a few days ago and it was BEAUTIFUL! We started at the East trailhead and hiked all the way up to the connection to the West trailhead. This is by far, one of my new favorite hikes! The weather was perfect and it was just gorgeous! There are several stretches where you have to go over or under fallen trees, but I think it just makes the hike more exciting! ;) The thing I found most difficult was the elevation. I was definitely out of breath as we were ascending. It’s absolutely worth it though! :)

hiking
3 months ago

Done quite a few hikes in AZ and this one is my favorite. So beautiful! The river was running along side it once you get going down the trail. Refreshing and cool for a mid day hike. We had our dog (60 pound) and 2 kids (11 and 13). They all loved it. We took dips when we got too hot. I couldn’t get over how picturesque this hike was. The photos don’t do it justice. About half way you get to a big open field and it’s surreal. Very tall pines surrounding you, which make you feel so tiny. Kids loved doing echo at this part! We turned around at this part because it had been a long day and we had kids. I wish we could’ve seen the end but even the 3 miles we did were amazing. One terrible thing about the hike were the bees!!!! Oh my goodness the bees, horse flies and other flying bugs. We had bug spray on but it didn’t help a bit. They were terrible in the beginning part but started to calm down just a bit later on. I had to run most of the way back because I was being chased by a bee. Don’t let them stop you from doing this hike tho!
I would just be prepared for being annoyed.

backpacking
3 months ago

Super fun trail. We camped at the LCR the first night, then near the summit the second night. Fun if done in a loop with the 3.5 mile crossover trail from east to west baldy or vice versa. Water was fairly abundant, even near the summit along the east Baldy trail we found a flowing stream. The map on here doesn’t guide you to the summit, near the top we found that this trail map was incorrect. Easy to figure out in the end though through trail signs. Highly recommend

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice trail! Not a lot of shade but enough to have a cool down when we needed one. Very nice beginner trail!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail!

6 months ago

Went 4/4/18 but there was still way too much snow at about 5 or 6 miles in. Beautiful hike nonetheless, I'll be back soon.

10 months ago

Beautiful trail. If you would like to enjoy vistas plan on about 8 hours for a round trip. The top can be under the snow even in May-June.

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

I love both the West Baldy and the East Baldy trails.

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Great trail! Not good for first timers. Very scenic no peaceful. Lots of people going in both directions.

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Easy hike and amazing views. The trail goes along the Little Colorado River. We didn't go a the way to the top but it worth taking this trail. We had the dogs with us and they had the blast, they were pretty much in the river all the way back and forth. The trail was not busy at,all, we met few people on the way and one couple was camping like 2 miles into the hike. The weather was amazing too so we stopped by the river and just relaxed before heading back to the parking lot. we got in around 1pm, out by 5 pm and we did not hurry, took the time to admire the views and enjoy the weather.

hiking
Thursday, May 25, 2017

I have never made it all the way and actually have no idea how far i have gone. I only know that my angel bride and I did the trail a few times in the mid to late 1990's with her daughter in tow so we always stopped after a few miles. We might have made it 5 miles but not sure. SInce Brenda became and angel I have done it again after 15 years a few times including taking her ashes to what I call Brenda's Meadow. A meadow on the right as you go up that is almost hidden. I saw wild turkeys running in it once. I don't know if I will ever make it further but treasure one of the most beautiful hikes on the planet earth.

hiking
Saturday, December 31, 2016

7/30/16
The prettiest trail I've done in AZ so far, and also the hardest. Definitely felt the elevation gain and my feet have never felt as sore after finishing before, but totally worth it. It has grassy meadows, rocky climbs with outlooks, forested switchbacks, and a peak that sits above the treeline. As I neared the summit (have to have a permit granted by the tribe there), a thunderstorm rolled in, so my time up top was very short. Highlight would definitely be the clearing towards the top with the broken plane wing surrounded by lush, purple flowers and literally buzzing with hummingbirds. Absolutely gorgeous.

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

This trail rocks. Western side is more of a flat walk until the last 2-3 miles. Great trail alongside the Little Colorado.

Starting at the west trailhead parking lot will take you up towards the peak, where it branches off to the eastern trailhead. There is then a 3.5 mile crossover back to the western trail as you approach the east trailhead parking lot (if you are heading from east trail to west, this crossover trail goes up--bit strenuous), where you can make your way back to the west parking lot.

East trail is a bit more mountainous: more rocks, better views, cliffs.

West trail is 8 miles, east is 6 miles, crossover is 3.5 miles, and there's a ~2 mile trek back to the west trailhead after completing the crossover: making the whole west-east loop just shy of 20 miles.

Worth noting: you can backpack in on this trail to set up a camp in a pretty secluded little oasis on the west trail.

If you're one who fancies pictures and views instead of distance, just do ~half of the east trail (takes you to a nice view, 6-7 miles round trip: it's uphill) and maybe a mile or two of the west trail to check out the Little Colorado.

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

The West Baldy trail is one of my favorite trails in AZ. The trail goes through Alpine meadows that are gorgeous with their bloom of wildflowers and tall grass as you follow the beautiful small meandering Little Colorado for several miles. Along the way you enter into and out of patches of lushes spruce forests crossing little creeks on the trail. These fairly level trail goes for a few miles before leaving the meadows and river. Once you leave the river as the trail heads into a different direction, you get into more thick beautiful forest area for the remainder of the trail. After about a mile or so you start the clime up with switch backs along the way. There are several times that you have some incredible views seeing as far as the eye can see. I took the trail to the top where the East trail connects and returned the way I came.

The one draw back of the trail I felt was the end of the trail which is a very disappointing anti-climatic. After making a hard clime the last two miles or so I had expected more of a reward but there is literally noting to see at the trials junction at the top. You are surround by short stubby trees that are so dense you can't see through them, so there is no view. I would recommend instead of going to the top to stop at a large out crop of rocks that sits on the very saddle of the mountain. A good place to catch a view, have lunch, and prepare to re-trace your steps back down to the beautiful river and gorgeous meadows below.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Nice hike

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Great / Beautiful hike......

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Beautiful trail. First 3.5 miles with beautiful forest and meadow views. Minimal elevation gain at this point so good for whole families. Total 7 miles took about 2 hours. I'll definitely be back for the full hike and summit.

backpacking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Hiked in about 3.2 miles to a gorgeous creekside camping area, then did the Baldy Loop trails (west to east). Very different terrain on each side but spectacular views. The crossover trail that connects the two creek trails is deceptively short (3.5 mi) but encapsulates the breadth of the wilderness in a challenging end-of-the-day span. Weather was great (highs in 70s) and no rain, though it was threatening as we hiked out on Sunday.

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Did this trail as a teen with only a snack and one water bottle if I remember right. We didn't see anyone else on the trail. We didn't go to the very top because it's sacred ground of the Navajos but the view was still amazing. It's the first real hike I remember and holds special memories for me thanks to the people I was with. I would love to go back someday.

hiking
Sunday, June 10, 2012

Awesome Alpine meadows! Pine forests. Old plane wreck near the top. Nice long day hike going up to about 11,000 ft. Best if you have 2 cars, one to park at the east parking lot and one to park at the west parking lot. Either end is okay too, if you go out and back. Please respect the native lands at the top and get the proper pass to enter that area. A pass can be bought at the local Hon Dah (sp?) casino.

hiking
Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hiked this to the top whit my dad when I was Kid. I would love to do it again. I hear the rules have changed and only tribal members are allowed access. I did know some Idiots that would ride dirt bikes up it at night.

hiking
Monday, October 11, 2010

I just did a weekend backpack in the Mount Baldy Wilderness the first weekend of October. Beautiful! Went in from the West Fork Trail, took the trail over to Phelps Cabin on the East Fork Trail and went up that way. Camped about 1.5 miles up from Phelps Cabin. Hiked to the summit the next day and continued down to within 3 miles of the entry trailhead. Stayed one more night and exited on day three. Bugling elk heard both nights, and a lone howling wolf on the first night. Total mileage 19.3 miles for the loop.

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