True Mountain Trail
The trail crosses meadows and winds through a thick forest setting dominated by spruce, fir and aspen. Beaver dams dot the streams and fishing on the West Fork is generally good. As you work your way up, the trail becomes a series of switchbacks. Please stay on the trail and resist the temptation to make your own shortcuts. This damages the soil, scars the land and causes erosion which could wash out the established trail and bring silt into the creek. The West Baldy Trail merges with the East Baldy Trail in a saddle near the Reservation boundary below Mt. Thomas. At this point you can see some new country and continue down to the other side, or turn around and see the trail you just came up from a different angle. Each trail is a 7 miles hike from this point. Many hikers park a vehicle at the Sheeps Crossing trailhead and another at the Phelps trailhead as shuttle vehicles. The summit of Mt. Baldy is on the White Mountain Apache Reservation and is closed to all non-tribal members. Please respect their customs and laws and do not travel to the top.
Group size limits are 12 for hiking and riding and 6 for camping.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.