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Fir Trail, AZ
mini location map2014-09-13
7 by photographer avatarblack_toes
photographer avatar
 
Fir Trail, AZ 
Fir Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2014
black_toes
Hiking2.58 Miles 325 AEG
Hiking2.58 Miles   1 Hour   20 Mns   2.42 mph
325 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is one of several loop trails leading west from the Squirrel Springs area 2.2 mi N of Greer. All link to the trail system around Pole Knoll to the NW. The trails run from 8,267' el at the large parking area up to 9,200.

The Fir Trail is the lead-in from the parking lot to several other trails, but is not mentioned at the info board. Consequently we mistakenly went S from the kiosk looking for the Ponderosa Tr. We lucked out. Turning right after crossing a cement bridge, we stumbled into a wondrous riparian area along the S side of burbling Benny Creek. It was wildflower heaven. Purple asters, red Indian Paintbrush along with yellow and white flowers I could not identify.

We eventually backtracked to the kiosk and turned W onto the nondescript Fir Trail, a dirt road winding monotonously through a flat land of scattered Ponderosa on the high ground between Benny and Rosey Creeks. About a mile out, some skittish elk trotted away from us down a small hollow. I saw only the impressive rack of the stag. A doe and buck followed. It is early in the hunting season up here, but despite seeing several hunters in camouflage over lunch at the Rendezvous Cafe in Greer, we heard no shots from the trail.

The Fir was heavily marked with blue diamond-shaped blazes on the trees, mainly as guides when snow covers the trail. Seeing blazes to the N, we cut cross-country thinking they were the back part of the Fir loop. It probably was but there was no visible trail. Obviously the blazes were meant for travelers heading back to the TH in snow. Weary of navigating over field of scattered volcanic rock, we returned to the road in short order and came back to the parking lot. Saw no one until we reached the kiosk. A group of six had made the same mistake we had and gone S from the kiosk, but apparently missed the floral display along Benny Creek.

We eluded the one o'clock rain showers, and the day was near perfect. Partly cloudy, temps in the low 70s. If you need to acclimate to the higher elevation in the White Mountains, the short Fir Trail might be the answer. And from where we turned around, the territory ahead looked inviting. Thicker woods and varying terrain.
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