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The Best Hikes in Fort Apache

68 Triplog Reviews in the Fort Apache
Most recent of 34 deeper Triplog Reviews
2.5 mi • 120 ft aeg
The drive to this was the adventure. A spaghetti bowl of reservation roads that is like a never ending maze. I missed in a previous triplog that the gate to forest was locked at one end. On our way out guess which way we went? We did a big hike the day before so we just hung out up top instead of venturing down. It was an amazing day out in the wild. A map is a must!
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
Cancelled plans to go to Snowbowl after hearing about 28" snowfall at our preferred ski park, Sunrise. Drove up to the house in Nutrioso Friday night. Drove through light snow storm from Salt River Canyon all the way to Springerville. 6 more inches fell Friday night on the mountain. Saturday and Sunday were all sunshine, temps in the high 20's and little to no wind. Perfect! Great powder made for some fun runs and the crowds weren't too bad either. Saturday was the busiest, but crowds were light on Sunday.
1.2 mi • 0 ft aeg
A hiking buddy and I had Pacheta Falls on our White Mountain bucket list for several years. On Saturday we finally got around to checking it off while base-camping at the cabin in Show Low. We picked up our Black River Special Use permit ($15 per person) on Friday night, at Kmart of all places. We departed Show Low early Saturday morning for a long 3 hour drive to the "trailhead". Steve had downloaded a driving track on HAZ which was the north approach from Sunrise. It's a good thing we had that driving track as there were many intersections along the way some of which were not signed. Fortunately all the dirt roads on the Rez were Subaru-friendly, even the muddy one at the very end of the long drive.

We parked about 300 feet short of a turnaround at the terminus of a dead-end road. From the turnaround we readily found a short route to the brink of the falls on the north side of Pacheta Creek. It was at most a 1/4 mile hike to the top of the falls. After the long, time consuming drive we wanted to hike more so we continued to follow the route down the north side of the canyon in an easterly direction. There was a sheer drop off into the canyon for as far as the eye could see. We thought there was no way we could access the bottom of falls without bushwhacking in from quite a distance below the falls.

Much to our surprise, about 200 yards east of the brink of the falls, we stumbled upon a somewhat-hidden steep chute which led down to a wide ledge above the creek. We were a bit intimidated by the chute at first but eventually decided it was doable. However, before scrambling down, we scouted from above and mentally plotted what we thought was a doable route up the rugged canyon choked with boulders and vegetation.

After scrambling down the steep chute to the wide ledge, we continued up canyon across two boulder fields that were connected by a route through the lush vegetation. Before we knew it we were at the base of the falls enjoying the cool mist on a humid morning. We finally felt rewarded for our long drive. The scramble down the chute and bushwhack up the north side of Pacheta Creek were not as difficult as it appeared from up on top.

We could have spent a good half hour at the base of the falls but after less than ten minutes we heard thunder and felt a few raindrops. We got out of there in a New York minute as we did not want to scramble the boulder fields and climb the chute on slippery wet rocks. Fortunately we beat the rain back to the car.

Persistent afternoon rain put the kibosh on our plans to explore the East Fork of White River, so we drove back to Show Low via Christmas Tree and Hawley Lakes thus making a big circle drive around Mt. Baldy which took most of the afternoon. Christmas Tree Lake required an additional permit. Upon passing though Pinetop we had an excellent dinner at the Red Devil and then stopped at Darbi's for triple berry pie dessert, but they ran out :(
3.23 mi • 328 ft aeg
I was up north visiting with some friends and we deciding to do this hike again. It had been about 10 years since I had done it. We got lost again on the drive. The weather was great though and we got to see lots of wildlife. Turkeys, Antelope,and Elk several times along with one snake and lots of birds and lizards. We parked where Pacheta Creek crosses the road and hiked in from there. We started on the east side of the creek and never had to cross. Hiking along this creek is a nice pretty stroll for a 1.25 miles or so. After taking a little break we explored a little and found a way down to the bottom of the falls. (BE CAREFUL) It was nice to see from the view below and the mist felt really good. The hike out was pleasant as well. We crossed over to the west side about half way back but used the big tree that lays across the creek. No wet feet on the way back either. We finished off the day with some good BBQ at Avery's in Springerville. MmMm. Great day with some good ol friends! :y:
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
I love this place. It's different every time I come. It can be a little busy in June and throughout the summer months. Apache Falls is the premier swimming and fishing destination for the local White Mountain Apache Tribe that live nearby. This is there spot. It's a nice spot!

This trip was clean clear moderate flow across the entire face with lots of healthy green. Our amazing snow pack this season contributed to that. I had it all to myself. Really cool.

2.5 mi • 1,370 ft aeg
Nice day on top of Sunrise Peak. Stopped in at the café on top of the peak for some Navajo Taco's. Temp at the top was 60 degrees, cloudy and breezy around 1:00 pm which was a nice change from Phx heat. I hiked around a little near the top of the peak and was pleased to see most of the trails on the mtn open for public access, in the years past they only had one or two specific routes open. Uphill hiking was difficult at this high elevation found it difficult to breath and had to move slower uphill. Overall a great experience.
4.5 mi • 620 ft aeg
The pups and I drove from White River to the Pacheta Falls trailhead. We stopped at Maverick Ghost Town and a couple other places along the way. We hiked a short loop overlooking the falls. We then headed toward Thompson Trail #629. Along the way, we stopped at Drift Fence Lake, then high centered my truck in a patch of snow 1/2 mile North of the lake. Driver error.... Earlier in the day the snow drifts where still frozen and I was able to drive over them. A few hours later the warm sunshine soften the drifts and I sank.... Oh did I mention, I left my shovel leaning against my garage door. The first time I forgot my shovel, and the first time I needed it for myself.. I tried a couple tricks to try to get unstuck and wasn't successful. I then hiked back to Drift Fence Lake to see if a group of campers had returned to their camp. Two of the guys came back and helped me pull my truck out.
The pups and I didnt make it to Thompson Trail. Overall it was still a great day!
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
Had an adventure Sunday feb 7th, exploring canyons and chasing waterfalls. I found a few spots on the map, couple of seasonal waterfalls and then some known perennial waterfalls, that I wanted to visit. Altogether around 750 feet of waterfalls.

fist stop 2 am at a frozen 250ft seasonal waterfall because who doesn't like hiking around icy sheer cliff faces in complete darkness?
It was Saturday night clear skies and almost the new moon.
I began hiking my hike soon Hearing the sound of a running creek I began to get very excited. Hopping along the rocks in the icy creek bed my anticipation built, and soon enough right in front of me the creek disappears into complete blackness. I carefully walk to the icy edge of the waterfall knowing one mis-step my life would be over. Shining my headlamp down I can see absolutely nothing because it only shines 120 feet not even half way to the bottom of the waterfall. Looking across I can see a faint cliff face that looked like it would be a good vantage point to view the fall.
I thought it would be an easy hike over, but it turns out hiking in the pitch black on the edge of cliffs is a bit of a challenge as it helps to be able to see where you are going. My destination ended up being a narrow rock spire that jetted out from the canyon sides. I had just enough room to sit on the edge and set up my tripod and take a few pictures. Not seeing much I could hear the sound of the falls, the wind howling, and large chunks of ice breaking off the falls and crashing into the waters below.
Definitely not the safest thing but it was quite the rush and a good start to the next 24 hours of adventure!

I love the night but nothing beats a bright warm sun! After my night photography adventures I drove to a scenic vista pull off on the side of the HW so I would have a great view for the sunrise. Getting to sleep around 4, I awoke in a daze around 5:30 to loud country music! Why person did you decided to pull up next to me and blast music for an hour? Couldn’t you have parked anywhere else? or at least like better music? I have no idea but I was too unconscious to do anything about it at the time. I got up around 7:30 to soak in the sunrise, then start my drive down a long dirt road to another seasonal waterfall. Stopping next to the river along the way to cook some breakfast and sing songs with my Father. Ended up having such a sweet time leaving me in tears feeling extremely loved, cared for, and accepted. Moments like these are what I live for. Peace that I can’t even understand! The eggs were delicious too.

Next stop another seasonal waterfall
Out of all the falls I visited that day this was my favorite. The falls cascade down 450ft of powerful and almost majestic looking cliff faces, I had so much fun climbing up this waterfall, I took a shower in the fall, bathed in its pools, laid out on the rocks soaking in the sun and took a nap listening to the relaxing sounds of the falls.
After my nap I hiked down and started off the the next waterfall I wanted to visit that day.

Next stop Lower Falls of Cibecue Creek, many of you might recognize this spot because it's a popular swimming hole in the summer months.
Even though it is winter time and the water was very cold, the flow was very strong due to snow melt so I really wanted to see the falls raging! I got to the trail-head later in the afternoon giving me just enough time to hike in and out in time to get to a vista to watch the sun set. That’s if I started then but I decided to rest first as I was feeling my last two adrenaline filled hikes on top of little sleep. I hit the trail a little after 5 with my watermelon in hand. The canyon views are very striking; I really love this part of AZ. I knew with the creek so high I would not be able to stay out of the water. On the first crossing the water didn’t feel too cold but with each crossing it seemed to get colder. I got to the falls just as the sun was setting; it was quite a powerful scene. The falls demand respect, its roar amplified by the narrow slot canyon walls that the water carved. The flow was so strong the fall was split into 3 separate falls, creating a 2 ft wave at the base and a good amount of foam on the water. Just me and the bats there to soak it all in.
The hike back proved to be a challenge in the dark, not being able to see the bottom of the creek and having numb feet from the cold. What’s a good adventure without challenge? I’d definitely do it again!
On my way out I had one more waterfall to visit. Apache Falls are very easy to get to, not too far off the HW, but is one of the few waterfalls in AZ that is in a river not a creek. It is an impressive fall because of the size and the amount of water flowing over them (especially after snowmelt).

Snowmelt swells the river to a roar as she winds through the towering majestic canyon walls, a sight only the stars can fully take in.
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
Pacheta Camping
Spent a nice long weekend with friends in the White Mountains at Pacheta Lake. It was a lay back and fish kinda weekend although we didnt catch many. Played lots of games, drank lots of beer, and burned alot of wood. The first 2 days were sunny and warm(cold at night), second 2 were cloudy with pockets of weather. We made a trip to the falls one day to take in the scenery and spooked some turkey and big horn sheep on our way in. Caught some aspens changing at the right time and others not so much. The road trip home was fun, took 71 back to White River and saw lots of new scenery and wildlife :D
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
A unique elevated perspective on an amazing location. All of the people really add perspective. Ended the day at the river above the falls for a moment of peaceful calm. Its a special place.

Stream flow: 140 CFS (TH gaging station) ... 0065,00060

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