Hiking The Blue Ridge Trail
The 34th most popular hiking trail in Arizona.
Monday 8 August 2016 04:12 GMT
East of Pinetop in the White Mountains, the Blue Ridge Trail (#107) is a forested trail with great views. Its rocky and technically challenging in places. The trail has many options which you can take for different adventures, like the Ice Cave Trail (formerly the Blueridge Cave Trail), or cross over Billy Creek to hit the gentler trails below the mountain in the Billy Creek Trailspark. There is a connector trail to Springs Trail. Mileage can vary, depending on the side trips, but the main loop is about 9.7 miles (it went up with the recent trail re-routing). There are three trailsheads.
Trailhead #1: Traveling from Lakeside to Pinetop (East) on SR260 - Turn left at First Baptist Church on to Moonridge. Go 1/4 mile to stop sign. Turn right on Billy Creek Dr. Go 1/4 mile to stop sign, turn left on Meadow Dr. Cross Billy Creek bridge and turn right. Continue approximately 1/2 mile to top of hill. Turn right on FR 187. Cross cattle guard and go about a mile up the hill. Just past the Springer Mountain Lookout road (.5 miles to the lookout - not a bad side trip), the trailhead parking is on the right.
Trailhead #2: To access the second, newer trailhead, drive south on Hwy 260 towards McNary. Turn left on Bucksprings Road (just outside of Pinetop). At 0.6 miles, turn left on FS182 (Sky High). Just past the Springs Trail trailhead, take FR 187 left. The hiking trailhead is about 200 feet down the road.
Trailhead #3: In October, 1997, the Forest Service added another trailhead at what may eventually be the Billy Creek Trailspark. From White Mountain Cyclery, travel East on HWY 260 to Pinecrest Rd (near the Best Western Inn of Pinetop). Turn left on Pinecrest and follow to the end of the street. The trailhead is straight ahead. Parking is limited. By reversing your route and crossing HWY 260, you can enter Woodland Lake Park at the Pinecrest Trail junction.
Overall, Blue Ridge Trail is the 34th most popular hiking trail of all 49 hikes in Arizona. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Blue Ridge Trail including Buena Vista Trail, Juniper Ridge, Los Caballos Trail, Timber Mesa Trail, Los Burros Trail and Ghost Of The Coyote Trail.