Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Clifton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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
9 months ago

Took trail to the right down into the canyon. Steep trail drops downhill so watch your technique. Did not do loop but camped at the bottom of the canyon about 4 miles. It was a holiday weekend but hardly anyone around. The first night our campsite was passed by a bear on the opposite side of the creek. I was playing catch and release with some fingerling trout in the creek. Spooked my companion a little (she had never seen a bear outside the zoo). Had to admit it unnerved me a little. The following day we took a day hike up to a fire watch station to the southwest. View was totally worth the climb. Apparently many people hike up the service road as a day hike. Climb back out the following day was strenuous

hiking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

The flowing creek here gave Fossil Creek a run for its money. However, the trail itself is mostly gone/destroyed since the 2011 fire.

I do not recommend doing this trail unless you are experienced at terrain navigation or have a GPS (e.g. on your phone or something--make sure it's CHARGED!).

I actually got completely lost on the way back. The part where it forks back east up towards FS25 is basically loosely stomped-down grass patches. I ended up missing it completely and had to climb over a mountaintop from the south to get back to it.

Overall it was a ~20 mile mountain excursion through basically-raw wilderness.

Again, you should not brave this trail unless you're experienced. It has not been maintained at all. Fallen trees are on the trail in a few dozen locations. You can follow the creek for the most part but--this is important--the "trail" portion is mostly gone. You're traversing re-vegetated wilderness.

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Great drive. unlimited hiking in the area.

hiking
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fun hiking trail. I was not able to complete because I ran low on water. I would suggest doing trail in cooler seasons. The beginning of the trail is about a mile or two down from high way 191 you take a turn off where you can park your car and then proceeded on foot down and old logging road. Look for the trail head sign on the left of the logging road. The trail descends down until you get close to red mt and you start to climb up again. Here the trail is hard to follow look for Ribbon or white string that marks the trail or use gps. Also good camping spot after step accent half way up red mt or almost at the end of trail. Trail could be completed in 2 days but there are no water sources to get water from on trail. I rated it 3 star because of difficulty following and lack of water sources.

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
Friday, January 27, 2012

I love this place. Fairly strenuous in place due to down trees and elevation change but the serenity and beauty is amazing. Plenty of water for backpacking too. (note) Fire has altered this place and I have not been back to how it has changed. I understand there are places quite destroyed, while others are still pristine but all is showing recover.

camping
Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What a great place for backpacking in Summer. My wife and I packed in on July 3rd and stayed 2 days. The environment is spectacular and rugged. The Bear Wallow Trail #63 is usually easy to follow but you will have to deal with many downed trees and cross the stream up to 17 times. It is high in elevation & pretty steep in places, especially the first couple of miles or so and towards the end so know your limits.

What You'll see - Lots of virgin forest and riparian scenery. I saw some of the largest Ponderosa Pines I have ever seen and some really nice Spruce to boot. The clear stream is a great water source and fun for splashing in and great meadows for camping that get you away from the water for safety but close enough you can still hear the flow as you sleep.

Other Things:

Temperatures, plan for them: Even in Summer, nights are chilly and days pleasantly warm. It got down around 40 both nights and around 78 during the day.

People: Saw two people from Saturday-Monday.

Animals: Only saw Trout, Turkey and other birds, many butterflies and a dead elk but it is bear, Mexican wolf and mountain lion country. Keep food/toiletries and other smelly things stored and hung properly away from tents.

Kid Friendly: Not for young children.

hiking
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

hiking
Monday, June 02, 2014