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East Fork Trail #95 - Greer, AZ

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Guide 25 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Eagar S
2.7 of 5 by 6
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Distance Round Trip 0 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,406 feet
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2019-09-21
Mt Baldy Super Loop
9  2019-09-21
Mt Baldy Super Loop
29  2014-06-27
Mount Baldy Superloop
13  2013-07-04 Tortoise_Hiker
24  2012-10-26 OdinWiski
12  2012-08-16 Crzy4AZ
20  2011-08-31
West Baldy Trail #94
9  2010-11-21 desert_boonie
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Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Aug, Jun, Jul, Sep
Sun  6:06am - 6:15pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
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Likely In-Season!
The trail immediately crosses the West Fork of the Little Colorado River, so roll up your pants and prepare to get your feet wet because there is no bridge here. Once across, the trail goes almost straight up toward Amberon Point, rising nearly 600 feet in elevation in just under an eighth of a mile. Engelmann spruce and Douglas fir trees are thick on either side of the trail here. The chattering of squirrels should inspire you through the climb. Once at Amberon Point, catch your breath and consider that the most difficult part of the trail is behind you. The trial continues on a more reasonable grade toward Marble Spring, offering a glimpse of the Greer Basin. Near Marble Spring, the trail skirts and actually passes through an area that was logged in 1988

The trail soon leaves the forested area and cuts across wide meadows, detouring around cienegas, or marshy areas. Waterfowl can be found in these wet spots through the summer and early fall. Frogs sing away the summer as garter snakes hunt in the tall grass. Elk are a common sights, cooling themselves in the cienegas in the warm summer afternoons.

The trail continues through open country, bordered by tall trees, and East Fork Trail Image Map #2 eventually follows an old railroad grade near Colter Reservoir. These railroad beds are common throughout the Springerville and Alpine Ranger Districts. They are what is left of the Maverick line of the Apache Railway system which hauled lumber to the mill in McNary after World War II . Posts set in the ground with a hiker symbol help delineate the trail's course through the meadows.

  • This trail is open to hiking, horseback riding and mountain bicycling. It is closed to motorized vehicles.
  • The trail continues past Gabaldon Campground and into the Mt. Baldy Wilderness, which is described in the Wilderness section.
  • Mountain bikes are not allowed past the wilderness boundary.
  • Be considerate of other trail users.
  • Carry your own drinking water or purifying equipment as none of the water sources in the area are treated.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    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
    East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
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    Mt Baldy Super Loop
    14+ years ago I photoshopped this loop when static maps were more common. Denny pitched this loop with three weeks notice. Interest piqued. Scrolling through my history a hike over 26 miles had not occurred since 2014. East Valley of the Sun midnight meetup... what!

    East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
    My first trip to Greer, I was a little wide eyed. This loop favors a drivable water cache setup between trails so that was task one. 4:47am dark and cool we hiked over on Osborne Rd. Then dragged Main Street to East Fork Trailhead.

    I thought Denny secretly had a cool app that occasionally shrieked screams to get us in the Halloween spirit. Elk bugling, gimme a break I don't get into the high country often... lol

    This was my least favorite trail of the day. The 2011 Wallow Fire toasted the terrain. Still a nice cool morning hike. It quickly rises 600 ft out of Greer valley then an easy stroll through warm-morning-light meadows to 9,410 ft. RS helped decipher the only notable route finding on the day.

    East Baldy Trail #95
    Still love this one. Lycium berry bushes were loaded, battery-acid pie lovers would have been in 7th Heaven. Get a good night's rest or beware the rattle-squirrel passing the hoodoo rock outcrop. Denny was rethinking the pace further up so we slowed the train down.

    West Baldy Trail #94
    It was windy at times throughout the day. Overall perfect weather otherwise. After a little break we decided to omit the mile out-n-back to the summit then headed down. Just a great hike down IMHO.

    West Fork Trail #94 - Greer
    Majority is toast. Potatoe Hollow Spring looked dependable. The final mile down to the Greer trailhead is a nifty hobbit pine forest.

    Great company on a memorable hike. Crawled under a half dozen dead tree obstacles tops. Doubt I'll forget this 24h 55m door-to-door day-trip from home on 1h 40m sleep.

    Shocking substantial mini swaths of yellow above 10k. A dabble at best otherwise.
    East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
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    Mount Baldy Superloop
    Day 1 - 5 miles

    Started at the West Fork Trail TH in Greer a little after 3pm. A few minutes up the trail is Trail Spring Tank, a beautiful small pond. I saw two hikers walking around the edge. They would be the only people I saw that day.

    The trail then goes through some forested areas and large meadows. And burned areas. Lots of blowdowns to climb over or walk around.

    Potatoe Hollow Spring had a good flow. The spring and the earlier tank were the only water sources along here.

    I stopped for the night on the edge of a large meadow about a half mile short of Sheep's Crossing. As I was boiling some water for dinner a bear walked by, maybe 100 feet away. This time I had my camera at hand and got a couple pictures and some video. It didn't seem too concerned that I was there, not even when I made some noise. A few minutes later, 5 or so turkeys walked past.

    Day 2 - 10 miles

    Crossed 273 and arrived at the West Baldy TH. One vehicle in the lot with a guy sitting in a lawn chair. We chatted a bit. He'd been out hiking with friends and got worn out from the altitude, returning to the car while the friends went further on the Crossover trail. I admitted I was concerned about the elevation. I've never hiked to 11000, much less backpacked. My plan was to try Baldy, but if it was too much, I'd come back down and take the crossover to make a shorter loop.

    The trail soon follows closely along the West Fork Little Colorado. Very scenic. I like water features. I think this was my favorite section of the loop.

    I met a pack train and a trail crew coming out. They did a great job. Only had to detour around one blowdown on the West and East Baldy trails, with lots of recently cut through blowdowns.

    At the last drainage before the trail starts seriously climbing I stopped for lunch and to load up on water. I figured the next sure source wouldn't be until the East Fork Little Colorado. As I picked up to leave, two guys came huffing and puffing up the trail and passed me. Ten minutes later they passed me going back down. They didn't say anything.

    I was huffing and puffing too, but I kept going. I was on the last stretch to the trail junction when something exploded out of the brush next to the trail. It was a Dusky Grouse (I think) hen squawking and carrying on like it had a broken wing. I took a couple quick pics and moved on. My heartrate slowly returned to it's normal pounding.

    Made it to the trail junction. Yay! Highest I've ever hiked. It's all downhill from here. (I thought briefly about sneaking to the summit, but after hearing that it wasn't that difficult to actually get permission from the tribe, I decided no, I would do it right sometime.)

    I headed down the East Baldy Trail. I checked out the airplane wreckage, and the unnamed spring near the saddle with Mount Thomas. Not big, but it was flowing. I could have filled up here.

    Spent the night at the saddle below Mount Thomas.

    Day 3 - 10.5 miles

    The trail so far had been quite clean, but at my campsite and one a bit further down I found a fair amount of trash including a large glass bottle. Some people are disgusting. If you carry it up, you can carry it back down. I stuffed it in pack pockets and hung it off loops, figuring I'd haul it down to the Gabaldon campground. But they don't provide trash collection, so I ended up carrying it all the way to Greer.

    I think this was my second favorite section. The trail is good, some nice forrested sections, and interesting rock formations. Some good views down towards Big Lake too. But I think I like the trail along the West Fork LC better.

    I met several groups of hikers in the morning, all asking things like how far they had come, if it's steep all the way. I tried to be encouraging, but they'd only started up the steep bit.

    Took the trail over to Gabaldon CG after grabbing some water from the creek. Crossed back over 273 and started on the East Fork Trail. It follows the same route as the 601 railroad grade trail for a bit over a mile. I've thought some about backpacking the 601 and the Overland trail as a longer trip. Now I'm not so sure. The 601 may be an easy grade, but the surface isn't that easy to walk on.

    I saw a couple people in the distance walking out to the dam at Colter Reservoir, but they turned around and headed back on the 601 before I got there. The East Fork splits at the dam. I saw no people or even footprints after that until almost Greer. It seems this trail doesn't get much use.

    Colter reservoir had some water, and was nice and green around, as was the EFLC below the dam. But after that, the most interesting thing was a billowing smoke cloud from what I found out later was the San Juan Fire. Shortly after crossing the EFLC, the trail enters cattle country. Dusty trails. Cows that insist on walking ahead of you down the trail, kicking up more choking clouds of dust. Or being agressive and threatening. Burned areas with so much blowdown you can't follow the trail. Others where there are so many cowpaths you don't know what trail you're on. I guess it's clear this was my least favorite section. I don't think I'd do it again except as part of loop or longer hike.

    I stopped for the night on a meadow a bit past Dry Spring. Which was dry.

    Day 4 - 5 miles

    Woke to cows staring at me.

    I wasn't in a hurry. Just a few miles in to Greer now. This part was hit hard by fire. There's a point where you can see down into the EFLC river valley, and Greer in the distance. It's all burnt sticks. I do believe in the goodness of fire, and that fire is natural. But not this devastation. On the upside, I guess there wasn't much of a clear view before all the trees burned. At least the last bit into Greer was in nice trees again.

    A little log "bridge" over the West Fork and I was done.

    Well, except for mile and a half of roadwalk to the West Fork trailhead and my car. Stopped at the Rendezvous diner for a cold soda. I reeked pretty bad, but they were polite and didn't hold their noses.
    East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
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    Mt. Baldy Wilderness Trails - August 2011

    West Baldy Trail #94
    West Fork Trail #94
    East Baldy Trail #95
    East Fork Trail #95

    Thompson Trail #629 => status?

    Having recently completed a business trip around the world in 7 days (Phoenix to Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Delhi to Hong Kong to Shanghai to Singapore to Tokyo to Los Angeles to Phoenix), I booked a week off to recharge the batteries and spend some time with the wife and dogs.

    With a request to escape the Valley heat for some cooler climes, I scouted up some of my favorite trails in the White Mountains. Escudilla, South Fork Trail #97, Indian Spring #627 all seem to have fallen victim to the 2011 Wallow Fire :( :( :(

    It's been a few years since I've been to the Mt. Baldy Wilderness (check out => ) and I seem to recall that SR273 formed the western fire line. With the Mt. Baldy Wilderness being on the west side of the fire line, it should have been untouched by the Wallow Fire. A quick check of the weather forecast, Hi 72degF, Lo 52degF, 30% chance of T-storms and Lynn, Skippy, Chrissy, and me were off on our first trek in the new F-150...

    There have been a few changes to the Mt. Baldy Wilderness since my last trek. No longer is SR273 a rough, washboard gravel road - it's now paved from the SR260 turn-off to the intersection with Big Lake Recreation Area campgrounds (check out => ). There's a new road bridge crossing the West Fork of the Little Colorado River, and 3 new paved parking lots at the West Fork Trail #94 trail head, beside the new bridge (Phelps Cabin TH?), and at the East Fork Trail #93 trail head. Even the access road to the Lee Valley Reservoir is paved now!

    When we pulled into the West Baldy Trail #94/West Fork Trail #94 parking lot noon-ish, we'd seen scant evidence of the Wallow Fire :) With only one other vehicle in the ample parking lot, we were anticipating a true wilderness experience. The Shih Tzu and Springer Spaniel were excited about hitting the trail and set a blistering pace to the intersection of the Phelps Cabin Trail at the open meadow near the Wilderness Boundary. We had perfect conditions to relax and explore the banks of the West Fork of the Lower Colorado - spoke too soon...

    Echoing claps of thunder punctuated the sounds of nature as dark clouds began rolling over Mount Baldy. A light rain began to fall as we trekked further along the trail. We're past the Wilderness Boundary sign and I can't help but notice the recent ATV double track paralleling the trail - what's up with that?

    We enter a forested area right beside the Little Colorado River and decide to wait out the rain here. A couple of Fish & Game workers amble down the trail and stop to chat. They've been electroshocking trout and taking inventory upstream. Indicated they inventoried only a couple of dozen no bigger than 4 inches. As they depart, they say; "Break out the rain gear because it's going to rain the rest of the day". Not exactly what I wanted to hear...
    East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
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    While spending 3 days at a lodge in Greer I had to hit up a good hike. This was about the only one worth doing for me so I heading on out early. A very windy day and snow flurries added to the enjoyment. Spotted several trout in the water and almost had one with my bare hands. (He was caught in the shallows) Didn't hike all the way back as the weather seemed to be getting worse, but enjoyed being up in this area.

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