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 passes through an area that was logged in 1988
The trail soon leaves the forested area and cuts across broad meadows, detouring around
ciénegas, 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 is a familiar sight, cooling themselves in the ciénegas 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 standard throughout the Springerville and Alpine Ranger Districts. They are the remains 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.
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.