Chiricaha in the White Mountains
After following the meadow for about a mile and a half, the trail enters the timber. Here it begins to climb, and what a climb it is. The trail winds through a maze of sandstone boulders and stands of mixed conifer. In a half mile of climbing, you will gain 800 feet in elevation. As if this were not enough reason to catch your breath, try the view. A reward usually comes to those who strive, and your reward will be a truly panoramic view. This view includes portions of the White Mountain Apache Reservation, Big Lake, Crescent Lake, a sizable chunk of the Black River Valley, Escudilla Mountain, the Blue Range and on into the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Few vantage points on the Forest offer a view like this. Hopefully you brought a camera.
From this point, the trail follows a ridgeline on a continuous uphill grade, though it is a far more gradual climb that the one you've just been through. As the trail climbs, it alternates between timber and bare, rocky areas. About seven miles from the trailhead, this trail merges with the one from Sheeps Crossing. The two come together in a saddle below Mt. Thomas, nearly to the top of Mt. Baldy. The summit of Mt. Baldy is located on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation and is closed to all non-tribal members. From this point you can choose to continue on to Sheeps Crossing, about seven miles away, or to return the way you came. Many people like to hike up one trail and down another and make their lives easier by parking or shuttling their vehicles at each of the trailheads.
Group size limits are 12 for hiking and riding and 6 for camping.
Stay off the mountain when thunderstorms are forecasted. July and August are notorious for quick unexpected storms. Lower the risk by being OFF the mountain before 11am on a clear morning. Stay safe, read the NOLS Backcountry Lightning Safety Guidelines.
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.