Ah, The Shade!
The logical trailhead for the trail section lies down at the bottom of the drainage off of Rio Penasco Road, Forest road 164... and if you do start down at that bottom, you will have an additional 500' of climbing to reach the highpoint of the trail.
More commonly it is hiked from it's access point off of Forest Road 5009, The Old Sunspot Hiway. From this point, it climbs steeply and steadily up a narrow side drainage (Telephone Canyon), winding across an often rocky, rough path. It tops the ridge at about 9410', intersecting at that point with T5008, The Willis Canyon Trail. Also at that point it crosses an old timber road that winds off to the west, headed towards one of the higher points in the range close to 9,600', and eventually connecting with Forest Road 64. Ideally, this old roadbed (6411) should not have any ATV use, which is all too common on all the official forest trail routes.
From the cresting high point, The Willy White trail drops off the ridge and winds down and around through Willie White Canyon, to connect with the lower trailhead on Rio Penasco Rd... and also, intersecting T112, a spur trail leading over to the areas nicest springs and waterfall: Bluff Springs. The trail also connects again with T5008, Willis Canyon Trail... which begins and ends on each of it's ends off the Willy White trail.
This trail, as with most of the trails in this area, are best used to compose a variety of connecting loops. They do not really go anywhere... they just wind around... the remainders of old logging activity from the prior century. The higher elevation and nicely tree shrouded trail coverage makes this an ideal mid summer hike.
The section up from FR5009 is very rocky in some spots... not an ideal route for a beginning mountain bike rider; they would do better to ride down one of the milder alternative routes. Being able to ride the uphill legs out on the paved Sunspot Hiway does make for some pleasant mountain bike riding loops, with a wide variety of possible ascents. If you do want to ride uphill, consider connecting with the old logging road (6411)... it will provide one of the nicer and easier ascents.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
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.
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