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

Four Knolls, AZ

no permit
74 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Show Low
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,400 feet
Elevation Gain 2,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
60  2015-04-05
Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015
7  2013-09-29 BelladonnaTook
14  2008-08-10 BelladonnaTook
18  2007-08-19 Randal_Schulhaus
13  2007-07-28 BelladonnaTook
11  2005-09-18 BelladonnaTook
11  2005-08-31 BelladonnaTook
Author BelladonnaTook
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 9
Photos 1,291
Trips 58 map ( 568 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Lakeside, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:03am - 6:22pm
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Knoll - a small round hill; mound (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary).

Knolls abound in the White Mountains, cindery remnants of ancient volcanic activity. Most aren't notable; but a few do attract attention due to size, shape or location, and some even have names. Greens Peak (10,133 ft.) is one such and may be the highest knoll in Arizona. Near it are three others, all exceeding 9,900 feet in elevation, that would rank among the thirty highest named peaks in the state, if they had names. Since they don't, I will refer to them as West, South and East. These four define an elongated diamond three miles long and one wide, more or less bisected by Forest Road 117, and situated at 9,400 feet on a plain more grassland prairie than forest. Besides their elevation, the four share a similarity of appearance, being densely timbered on their north slopes and totally devoid of trees on their south. The knolls' positions relative to each other suggest a loop hike, and the improvised trailhead can be anyplace you want to end.

An option I haven't tried is parking atop Greens Peak, the only one of the four surmountable by car. It is also the highest, by a couple hundred feet, and the steepest. If its to be the fourth climb of the day, one could rationalize using the road instead of heading straight upslope. The views west, south and east from the summit are spectacular, but don't expect to enjoy them in solitude. There's a road up here because it's the site of many communications antennae and a fire tower, all of which invite much traffic. Even when no other people are around the area is less than peaceful because air conditioning units on the communications gear kick in noisily from time to time.

Since Greens Peak is the northern point of our diamond, one naturally climbs its south side. Not so for the others as approaching them from the north is possible. In all cases, the south slope is still the best route up, because negotiating a way through the dense and fallen timber on the north is difficult and time consuming and lacks the wonderful distant views that are the main reason for doing this at all.

West knoll (9,910 ft.) overlooks a couple earthen tanks that attract elk and deer when the area is not overrun by cattle. From five hundred feet above, the surrounding plain appears as blank and two dimensional as the surface of a lake, and small groves and lesser and larger knolls stand out against it in such contrast that the term "sky island" comes to mind, whether appropriate or not. South knoll (9,913) looks down on Highway 260 and south toward Big Cienega Mountain and Sunrise. At its top are a couple primitive tables and a water catchment for wildlife. East knoll (9,947 ft.) provides great views east into Round Valley and southerly toward Antelope Mountain and Escudilla. From its peak, marked by a cairn, one can follow a game trail north and west down a wooded ridge to a skidder trail that leads to the base of Greens Peak.

This area is especially lovely in late summer when monsoon rains have rejuvenated the prairie grasses, and in fall when aspens on the north slopes turn. FR 117 is kept (sorta) passable in winter for access to the electronics on Greens Peak, so the four knolls route might invite snowshoers. I bet it would be gorgeous then, too.

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2005-08-30 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Four Knolls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015
    Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015

    197 miles, 3hrs 45min per Google Maps

    Bob Mohle's country getaway cottage on the outskirts of Pinetop AZ was offered up as an excuse to burn off some forfeitable vacation time. With some backdrop interest in the local history surrounding lumbering/lumberingu railroads, we headed out to the White Mountains with seven basic clues;
    Clue #1, Apache Railway :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... d/34
    Clue #2, Apache Railway :next: ... lway
    Clue #3, Apache Railway 2004 :next: ... html
    Clue #4, Southwest Lumbering Industries logging train, circa 1910 at Standard AZ in the White Mountains :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... c/14
    Clue #5, White Mountain Scenic Railroad (7 page brochure) :next: archive.library.nau ... 1967
    Clue #6, White Mountain Scenic Railroad locomotives :next: ... .htm
    Clue #7, Maverick AZ ghost town :next: ... ashx

    Day 1 - Sunday April 5th, 2015
    FitBit totals = 7.64 miles, 770 AEG (77 floors)

    On the road by 3pm after Easter brunch with the family. Arrived at Bob's Pinetop cottage about 7-ish and enjoyed some crisp country air with temperatures expected to drop into the hi 30's later that evening...

    Day 2 - Monday April 6th, 2015
    FitBit totals = 6.97 miles, 410 AEG (41 floors)

    Up at dawn with a loose plan to visit Kinishba Ruins, Fort Apache Historic Park :next: ... .htm , Pacheta Lake, Pacheta Falls, and scout out remnants of the logging railway that ran between McNary and the ghost town of Maverick. Flat tire on our way out from Pacheta Falls to Maverick put an end to the exploration (made it back to Pinetop to see NCAA final game tipoff).
    Apache Railway that ran from Holbrook to McNary to Maverick :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... d/34 NOTE: ran as a tourist train during 1960's and 1970's until fire in 1980 (1976 in some references) at the McNary Lumber Mill combined with changes in tribal lumbering policy led to its closure. Ran under brand of White Mountain Scenic Railway.
    Maverick ghost town :next: ... html
    McNary lumber history :next: https://fhsarchives ... lls/
    Finish the day with some "Hollywood History" by watching Walter Hill's "GERONIMO - An American Legend" with Wes Studi, Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon, and Robert Duvall :next: ... 004/.
    Our visit to Fort Apache and seeing General Crook's cabin made me think that movie would be a great bookend to our day...
    Later that night, I find the best historic reference for the Apache Railway, an article from the January 1963 Arizona Highways entitled "First Caboose to Maverick" :next: islandpondrailroad. ... .htm

    Day 3 - Tuesday April 7th, 2015
    FitBit totals = 9.60 miles, 790 AEG (79 floors)

    Up at dawn and after a hearty breakfast, headed over to Greens Peak - Four Knolls area to take in the stellar panoramic views (despite hurricane-like winds). Explored Sunrise Ski Resort area to see if tram to top of mountain was open (everything closed to public). Off to explore the headwaters of the Little Colorado and the Mount Baldy Loop. When we parked at the West Baldy Trail #95 TH, I heard a distinct hissing sound - Another flat tire!
    Fortunately I was able to limp back to Pinetop where Rex @ Future Tire ( ) took care of us. Today's flat was caused by a roofing nail and a simple plug-n-patch repair to the Goodyear Wrangler P275/65R18. Monday's flat was a rock puncture and not repairable. Disappointed with Ford's off-road package tires (these weren't my first off-road flat tires), I let Rex sell me a Cooper Tire Trailcutter AT2 that we mounted as my spare for now as I contemplate what to replace my other 4 tires with (anyone have experience with Cooper Tire Trailcutter AT2's???). A special "shoutout to Louis Weaver (Bob's handyman in Pinetop) who met us as we limped into town just in case we needed a ride
    Lugs are 21mm, stock tire wrench lugs 7/8", yet have specialty 21mm wrench in truck
    (Shouldn't the 7/8" lugs on truck all be 21mm to fit wrench?)
    Back on the road after lunch at Red Devil Pizza :next: (Randy and CJ took care of us during lunch) and headed over to Porter Mountain and
    Ice Cave Trail #608 :next: [ description ]

    Day 4 - Wednesday April 8th, 2015
    FitBit totals = 5.11 miles, 150 AEG (15 floors)

    On the road home with a stop at the Salt River Canyon...

    29.32 miles, 2120 AEG
    85 images on iPhone 5S
    87 images on Canon 6D
    9 images on Canon 7D
    12 images on Canon Rebel XT

    1. Kinishba Ruins :next: [ description ]
    2. Fort Apache Historic Park :next: [ description ]
    3. Pacheta Lake :next: [ description ]
    4. Pacheta Falls :next: [ description ]
    5. Maverick Ghost Town :next: [ description ]
    6. Railroad Grade Trail :next: [ description ]
    7. Greens Peak :next: [ description ]
    8. Four Knolls :next: [ description ]
    9. Candy Mountain Trail :next: [ description ]
    10. Sunrise Park :next: [ description ]
    11. West Baldy Trail #95 :next: [ description ]
    12. Ice Cave Trail #608 :next: [ description ]
    13. Salt River Canyon - AZ60 Crossing :next: [ description ]
    14. Upper Salt River :next: [ description ]

    Sent from my iPad
    Four Knolls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    8 hours of driving and 6 hours of hiking in the White Mountains near Springerville --- fantastic!

    Skippy and I arrived at Green's Peak (the north knoll) at about 10:30am. We did a perimeter hike along the upper service road and followed the faint trail through the forest on the north side emerging near the Forest Ranger Lookout Tower. This 10,133 foot vantage has views nothing short of spectacular. Made our way over to the east knoll and proceeded to summit the 9,947 foot volcanic remnant.

    My only complaint is the constant traffic on FR117 as the weekend recreationists were pulling-out camp and high-tailing it back to the baking city. The views made up for any complaints though.

    My trusty GPS had "failure-to-launch" today. I'm afraid it may be in permanent sick bay. Too bad, it's been a hiking mainstay for me...

    Also encountered a major delay on the return home on SR60 about 20 miles east of Show Low as a roll-over during a monsoon shower required a helicopter to land on the highway to emergency airlift the injured to the nearest hospital. Hope everyone is ok...

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

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    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take Highway 260 south and east from Show Low 37 miles. 3 miles east of Sunrise Junction, turn left (north) onto FR 117. Proceed 3 to 5 miles, and start walking when the spirit moves you.
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it hard
    help comment issue

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