username
X
password
register help

Railroad Grade Trail #601, AZ

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
269 17 0
Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Eagar S
Rated
2.9
2.9 of 5 by 7
 
4
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 21 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,174 feet
Elevation Gain 245 feet
Accumulated Gain 675 feet
Avg Time One Way 7-9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.25
Interest Historic, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
8  2017-05-28 Alston_Neal
15  2016-08-16 azbackpackr
6  2016-06-24
West Baldy Trail #94
friendofThunderg
60  2015-04-05
Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015
Randal_Schulhaus
3  2014-09-01 Alston_Neal
14  2014-07-20
West Baldy Trail #94
friendofThunderg
13  2014-05-26
Pole Knoll Recreation Area
John9L
38  2014-05-24 tibber
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Aug, Jun, Jul, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Winter
Sun  6:54am - 5:13pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
15451followactivity
Official Route
 
5 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Four Knolls
2.9 mi away
8.0 mi
2,200 ft
Pole Knoll Recreation Area
Pole Knoll Recreation Area
3.7 mi away
6.2 mi
388 ft
Greens Peak Trail
Greens Peak Trail
3.9 mi away
1.2 mi
850 ft
Candy Mtn Trail
Candy Mtn Trail
3.9 mi away
1.2 mi
850 ft
Carnero Creek
Carnero Creek
4.4 mi away
1.5 mi
180 ft
Sunrise Lake Campground
4.5 mi away
Saint Peters Dome Wildlife Habitat Area
Saint Peters Dome Wildlife Habitat Area
5.4 mi away
6.0 mi
1,425 ft
Sunrise Ski Park
Sunrise Ski Park
5.6 mi away
Hoyer Rolfe C Campground
6.3 mi away
Horseshoe Cienega Lake Perimeter
6.5 mi away
3.0 mi
225 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
I hear the whistle blowin'
by azbackpackr

This trail is unusual in that, although it is designated non-motorized in summer, snowmobiles are allowed in winter. It is best done on a mountain bike, but I have seen people hiking it, too. It's also used by horse riders. It is kind of flat for hiking, but perfect for a summer's day mountain bike ride. I have also cross country skied along it. It is ok for beginners to that sport, but doesn't have enough hills for more advanced skiers.


It travels through the high meadows, with constant views of Mount Baldy, Mount Ord and all the little knolls. There are several lakes and lots of ponds. The lakes include Geneva Reservoir and White Mountain Reservoir. Sunrise Lake can easily be seen across the meadows.

In its heyday, the Apache Railroad was used to haul logs to the sawmill in McNary. It went all the way to the now defunct logging camp of Maverick. From 1964 to 1976 White Mountain Scenic Railroad operated steam-powered passenger excursions from McNary to Maverick. (I sure would have liked to experience that!) As the track deteriorated, the run was shortened and finally ceased operation. In the old days the train linked all the way to Snowflake and Holbrook, and ran regular passenger service up until the 1950's from McNary to Holbrook.

The Railroad Grade trail was constructed in 1998, in partnership with Apache County and with use of grant money from ADOT.

Parts of the trail are very marshy in early spring, and can't really be ridden until late May in very snowy years. Generally it can be hiked or mountain biked from late May through late October. For cross country skiing, usually January and February are the best months, again depending on the snowfall that year.

If you are on a bike, you will notice that the tread of the trail varies, from well-packed single-track to sloshy cinders. Mostly it is pretty good--the cinders are starting to wash away, thankfully. Keep your fingers crossed that the FS in its infinite wisdom does not decide to cover it over with cinders again, like they did when it was first built. It was not rideable back then, and local mountain bikers were upset with the FS.

For more information, visit the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest website. Wikipedia also has information about the Apache Railway.

azbackpackr

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, take 87 to Payson, then turn right on SR 260. Follow 260 to Show Low, turn right, continuing to follow 260 past the towns of Lakeside, Pinetop, Hondah and McNary. Continue on past the Sunrise Ski Park turnoff, do not turn there. Watch for the Indian Reservation boundary with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. When you reach the boundary, you will see on your right a big red and white communication tower on a small hill. At the base of the hill is a big parking lot with a restroom. The trail starts near the restroom, and is well-signed. (The parking lot is huge to accomodate winter sledding there.)
    page created by azbackpackr on Jul 02 2010 4:52 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker