Thursday, August 27, 2009

EAST FORK TRAIL

EAST FORK TRAIL Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest The thin air above the town of Greer may get your lungs pumping, but it’s the views of Arizona’s White Mountains that will really take your breath away. This alpine passage begins where the West and East forks of the Little Colorado River drift off in opposite directions under a canopy of streamside alders and willows.. After an immediate wade across the West Fork, a short but steep haul up to 9,200-foot Amberon Point marks the most difficult portion of the hike. With the only major uphill grind of the hike out of the way, it becomes much easier to take in the relaxing alpine scenery that characterizes the remainder of the trail. Roughly paralleling the East Fork of the Little Colorado River, trail #95 meanders through a checkerboard of cienegas—marshy wetlands fed by springs, seeps and drainages—that foster acres of waist-high grasses and a colorful mix of flowering plants. Because of the vigorous vegetation in the cienegas, it’s easy to veer off track-- look for strategically placed trail posts to stay on course. Near the end of the route, the path follows the remnants of the Maverick Line of the Apache Railway that was used from the 1940s to the 1970s to transport logs to the McNary lumber mill. This final cinder-strewn segment of open country passes Colter reservoir before terminating at the Gabaldon campground at the boundary of Mount Baldy Wilderness. HIGHLIGHTS: Crisp, high-altitude mountain air with sweet vista views. LENGTH: 15 miles roundtrip RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 8,300' – 9,400'  DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 245 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From the stoplight in Eagar, go west on Highway 260 for 9.6 miles to Highway 373. Go south (left) on 373 and continue 5.5 miles to the signed trailhead on the left. INFORMATION: 928-333-4301 fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/recreation/sprgrvlle_trails/trl_spr_efork.shtml

1 comment:

Eric said...

Wow! This looks great! I'll have to check this out!