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Escudilla Trail
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mini location map2008-10-18
34 by photographer avatarPhilipMueller
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Escudilla TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2008
Hiking6.60 Miles 1,315 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   4 Hrs      1.65 mph
1,315 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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My dad and I rode up heavenly HWY 191 last Fri. Stopped in Clifton to check out the old jail and the old mainstreet. Had lunch at the Copper Canyon Cafe in Morenci--good chimi! Stopped at Blue Vista for some views. The weather was unbelievably perfect--rode all the way to Hannagan Meadow in khakis and a polo shirt! Took a short hike on Ackre Lake Tr. before hitting the Hannagan Meadow Lodge for a superb dinner. Stayed in one of the cabins there and after a hearty lodge breakfast buffet, we rode over to the Escudilla Trailhead. (Note: there was one early morning ice patch a few miles north of the lodge. Also, there were cows next to the side of the road. Later in the day, we saw a bunch of bikers sitting by the side of the road next to a butchered cow. Yep, a biker hit a cow, the cow died, the farmer butchered it on the side of the road, the bike was trashed, and the rider was lucky to escape with only a broken wrist. Between the ice, the cows, and elk and deer that might be crossing HWY 191 in these parts, please be careful). The FS road to the TH was fine for riding street bikes b/n 20-30 mph. The hike itself was quite gentle although the elevation added a little bit of huffing and puffing for us. Early on in the hike, 95% of the Aspens were completely stripped, but higher up, we saw plenty of gold both near and far. The conifers were quite lovely as well. We climbed the tower to the lock--360 degree views there above the treeline. Saw a prescribed burn in the distance to the west.
After Escudilla, we still had some daylight, so we rode over to Reno Lookout, the turnoff for which is about 5 to 10 miles south of Hannagan Meadow. From there you take a an easygoing FS road (20 - 30 mph on a street bike) for about 8 miles and then a pretty nasty 1/2 mile road to the lookout itself. If you are riding a street bike, we recommend that you park it and walk the last 1/2 mile. We rode it, but that was not wise on these bikes. The lookout affords spectacular views of the Black River Valley, Baldy, and Escudilla. Met a Tucson couple at the lookout. They were just cruisin' around the FS roads, enjoying nature. They shared with us that they had seen a beaver in one of the area lakes! They also pointed out that we could see nothing man-made from where we stood, except a bit of the FS road. Peace. Observing this couple at this spot made me think of an E. Abbey quote, "Wherever two human beings are alive, together, and happy, there is the center of the world." Nice. Rode out the next day down HWY 180 in NM and back into AZ on HWY 78--great views and riding on those roads. Good times.
Note: hunting season has begun. Hunters were EVERYWHERE. Try not to look like a deer or an elk if you go hiking in this area. : rein :
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