for free!
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Thompson Trail #629, AZ

Guide 89 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.6 of 5 
no permit
1.1k 89 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,840 feet
Elevation Gain -250 feet
Accumulated Gain 360 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.8
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
33  2021-08-06
White Mountains Tour
6  2021-07-26 friendofThunderg
6  2021-05-27 jochal
15  2020-08-30 jillyonanadventu
30  2020-08-28 outdoor_lover
20  2020-08-24 Oregon_Hiker
10  2020-08-21
White Mountains Fishing & Hiking
19  2020-08-05 jsmmeyer
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 8
Author BelladonnaTook
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 9
Photos 1,291
Trips 58 map ( 568 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Lakeside, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Aug, Sep, Oct, Jul → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:02am - 6:22pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2011 Wallow Fire29.45

Prettiest in the White Mountains
by BelladonnaTook

Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
In its short course along Black River's west fork, Thompson Trail traverses one of the loveliest landscapes in the White Mountains. The trailhead is on a major forest road negotiable by vehicles of all types. The trail is generally well-groomed and level and remains always on the same side of the creek, requiring no crossings. Despite its proximity to the popular campgrounds around Big Lake, the area has few visitors other than fishers, who usually do not venture far from the road.

The trail begins, atop the old railroad grade, where West Fork departs a large valley and enters a narrow, forested canyon. The first of two fish barriers appears in the creek 0.4 miles along, and immediately after that, the trail divides. At this point, bikers and equestrians are invited to remain on the rail bed while the footpath departs to the left and through a gate. The two routes stay close and parallel, but the former is elevated and, for the most part, out of sight from the latter. The trail passes the second fish barrier - fishing is prohibited between the two - and continues at creekside for a mile. Then the canyon widens, the forest recedes, and stream and trail veer easterly through a grassy park. Another park, even broader, occurs a half-mile farther downstream, and a sign near the end of it indicates a second way into, and out of, the canyon. To the right of the sign, a trail ascends to the rail grade, which here loops up into Stinky Creek and intersects an abandoned road back to FR 116. Thompson Trail continues to the left for a short distance until the canyon narrows and the path ends.

At this point, the hiker can retrace the route to its beginning or proceed along one of several different ways. West Fork Trail #628 begins on the opposite side of the creek and wanders to its intersection with FR 68 in about 3 miles. Crossing to it during low flows is possible by rock hopping or wading. If the stream is running high, one can cross on a couple fallen trees a short distance farther downstream. A bit further along, an arrow carved on a pine tree points to the right up a side canyon. An unmaintained track here leads to the rail bed. One could also start here on a cross country trek of 5 miles, combining old log roads, game trails, and bushwhacks, to reach the West Fork campground. A good map is essential.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

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

2003-09-13 BelladonnaTook
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Show Low, take Highway 260 east 35 miles to Sunrise turnoff. Go 14.5 miles south on SR 273 to FR 116. Turn right on FR 116 and proceed 4 miles to the kiosk and parking lot. Walk west across the bridge to the trailhead on the south side of the road.
    help comment issue

    end of page marker