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Escudilla Trail
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mini location map2017-06-14
13 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
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Escudilla TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2017
AZWanderingBear
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,485 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   5 Hrs   8 Mns   1.95 mph
1,485 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
AZBeaver
The White Mountains never disappoint. We hiked Escudilla on the 3rd day of a 5-day camping/hiking trip to enjoy the cool of the high country. We established a base camp near the trailhead the afternoon before, close enough to road walk from camp to the start of the trail. Our camp was at 9744' making for a cool night with some great star gazing.

After some coffee and a light breakfast, we headed up the road. Just a hundred feet away from camp in the middle of the road was a nice fresh pile of Mexican Gray Wolf scat, looked to be less than a couple hours old. We had been told there was a thriving pack in the area. Would have been nice to see or hear them, but that didn't happen.

A Forest Service truck was parked at the TH. The beginning of the trail is a gentle climb and shaded. We hit some of the burn areas off and on. The trail was well maintained and we noticed some rather fresh cuts on some deadfall. About a mile in the trail gets steeper and we were definitely feeling the elevation.

After crossing the second meadow, we ran into two Forest Service guys ahead working on clearing deadfall off the trail. Since this is a wilderness area, no chainsaws allowed. They were working a particularly nasty jumble of downed trees, but stopped to chat a bit, warning us the entire reaming upper portion of the trail had not been cleared. We were close to .9 miles from the tower. We thanked them for what they were doing and pressed on. We climbed over, scooted under, and detoured around hundreds and hundreds of downed burned trees. There wasn't never more than a 30' section of trail free of deadfall. The winter had certainly brought down a lot of dead snags. It was slow going with ample opportunities to hurt yourself.

Close to the burned out tower we came across 3 more Forest Service folks, two guys and a girl, also working to clear the trail. We said hi and moved on up to the tower to enjoy the views and a snack.

When we headed back down the girl stopped us and asked if we had seen anyone on the way up. I said yes, two guys doing what you are doing. She was not happy they were down there and she was up here since one of them had the second handle of her two-person crosscut saw, rendering it useless. Immediately my mind flashed to the scene from Cool Hand Luke "what we have here is a failure to communicate." We offered to relay the message on the way down. Scrambling down was only marginally better than scrambling up. The message got passed and eventually the trail will be clear again thanks to the hard work they were doing.

Would have loved to done this hike before the Wallow Fire, but the trail still passes through some great aspen groves and offers fantastic views from atop Arizona's 3rd highest mountain. That evening we had a great view from our cap of hundreds of elk grazing the large meadow of Terry Flat. The White Mountains never disappoint.
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Culture
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
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AZWanderingBear's
184 Photosets

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