We decided to get out of the valley heat for a few days and hike someplace that wasn't closed because of forest fires and also cool. I had been up to the White Mountains hunting and fishing many times over the past 30 years but had never done much hiking in the area. I have always considered the White Mountain and Alpine area incredibly beautiful.
Mt. Baldy, as the highest summit in the White Mountain of eastern Arizona, appeared to be a good choice. We were not to be disappointed. The Mt. Baldy Wilderness Loop was an amazing and incredible hike through some of the most pristine forest, open meadows, and trout streams as just some of its natural treasures!
We started at the East Baldy Trail #95 which has a brand new blacktop parking lot and can be accessed by any vehicle at this time of year. As you pass along the gate to the trail head the Crossover Trail will be to your right (west). The trail is 3 1/4 miles to Sheep's Crossing and rolls up and over several small "round-tops" and then drops you down into several beautiful meadows to join the West Baldy Trail #96.
We were not in any hurry and planned on spending the night on the plateau and finish up the next day coming down the East Baldy Trail.
The East Baldy Trail #95 is in my opinion, the more scenic of the two trails and offers fantastic panoramic views. You can gaze for over a hundred miles to the northwest toward Flagstaff and Mt. Humphrey s, the Painted Desert to the north and even Escondido Mountain to the northeast. From the Reservation Boundary Pole we are less than a half mile from the B-24 plane wreckage that had occurred back in 1942.
We ran into a forest service crew that had spent last week clearing the West Tr. #96 and were now clearing the East Tr. #95. They had 1 more day to work and all the trails would be clear of all down trees.
This was one of the best hikes we have done in Arizona and this is the perfect time of year to do it.