username
X
password
register help

Mount Thomas - Mount Baldy Wilderness, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
Fav
Wish
0
details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplog
topics
location
0 1 0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,378 feet
Elevation Gain 1,743 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,881 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 20.91
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2020-10-20
Thomas Baldy
DixieFlyer
Author DixieFlyer
author avatar Guides 52
Routes 462
Photos 6,330
Trips 422 map ( 5,281 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:51am - 6:47pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water


Don't doubt this Thomas
by DixieFlyer

Overview
Mount Thomas (elevation of 11,121 feet and prominence of 161 feet) is one of 12 named peaks in Arizona with an elevation greater than 11,000 feet.

Warning
This area often has thunderstorms in the afternoon during the summertime. Thus, it is best to start hiking early and be sure to check weather forecasts on the day of your hike.

Hike
Mount Thomas is in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Mount Thomas is partly in the Mount Baldy Wilderness and partly in the White Mountain Apache Tribal land; the summit lies in the Mount Baldy Wilderness, just outside the boundary with tribal land.

The Mount Thomas summit is about 0.3 miles from East Baldy Trail #95, and the default route in this guide is an out-and-back hike from the East Baldy Trailhead.

East Baldy Trail #95 is well maintained and is easy to follow. The trail initially goes alongside the East Fork of the Little Colorado River, and it goes through some lush alpine meadows. After 2.5 miles, you'll come to a hoodoo overlook, which is worth stopping at to enjoy some awesome views.

After about 5.5 miles, you'll be just north of the Mount Thomas summit, and a good place to leave the East Baldy Trail is at these coordinates: 33.91515, -109.55332. From here, it about 0.3 miles to the summit. The terrain is good, and the grade is modest, making for a relatively easy off-trail ascent.

The summit area is flattish, and it is easy walking to explore the summit. I marked the summit at these coordinates: 33.91313, 109.55216; however, if you wander around on the summit, you might find a spot a foot or so higher. There are some nice views at the summit, especially off to the north.

Once you are ready to leave the summit, you have a few options:
1) reverse course and go back to the trailhead (reflected in the stats for this guide)
2) Go back to the East Baldy Trail and continue hiking on the trail to its terminus at the junction with the West Baldy Trail
3) Go off-trail and take a more-or-less direct route to the Mount Baldy summit -- note that legal access to Mount Baldy requires written permission from the White Mountain Apache Tribe(WMAT)

A review of triplogs might offer other suggestions.

History
Mount Thomas is named for U.S. Army General Lorenzo Thomas(1804-1875).

Synopsis
I don't know that you'd want to make a special trip to the White Mountains to do this hike, but if you are already hiking on the East Baldy Trail, this is a reasonably easy summit to attain.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2020-10-21 DixieFlyer
    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 East Baldy Trailhead
    From Phoenix area take highway 87 to Payson, then 260 to Sunrise junction, then State Road 273 about 10 miles to turn off for East Baldy Trail. On topo, it is between Gabaldon Horse Camp & Lee Valley Reservoir.

    Start at the paved lot.

    Snow Plowing
    Highway Department typically plows Highway 273 past the ski area until December 31 but after which road is gated till often mid-April. Contact the Springerville highway department office at 928-333-4495 for the latest info.

    Google Maps Search: East Baldy Trailhead, Greer, AZ

    Tip
    The East Baldy Trailhead can still be found on some maps under its former name of the Phelps Trailhead.

    Alternative
    Very unusual but if the lot is full please there is a secondary unpaved trailhead next door at Gabaldon Campground. It is reserved for horse camping but there's a small dirt area for general parking. The trails merge within a quarter of a mile of their respective starting points.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 3 h 58 min (223 miles)
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 4 h 29 min (233 miles)
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 3 h 8 min (187 miles)
    page created by DixieFlyer on Oct 21 2020 11:45 am
    help comment issue

    end of page marker