Northwest of Show Low and just southeast of Pinedale in the White Mountains, the Juniper Ridge (#640) is another excellent hard-pack trail. There are 7.2 and 14+ mile options as the trail winds through pine and junipers and offers some great views, especially at the Juniper Ridge Lookout.
The cross country ski trailhead can be accessed by heading east on SR260 out of Show Low. Go past Burton Road (see Ghost of the Coyote trail) and look for Old HWY 160 to the left. Go down this road a couple of miles to a small parking area and sign-in station on the right.
For the short loop, start to the left (clockwise). After about two to three miles, keep your eye out for the shortcut trail (yellow dots) to the right. This will take you up the hill another two miles to the loop back. There is a good steep downhill stretch with a great drop-off over a log and then about five miles of ragin single and two track back to the trailhead.
To take the longer loop, either way is OK. Just be sure to take time to climb to the top of Juniper Ridge Lookout (6898 ).
Note, the region experienced a forest fire in 2002.
Overall, Juniper Ridge is the 10th most popular cross country ski area of all 11 Nordic ski destinations in Arizona.
Local Contacts: ASNF (928) 368-5111; Arizona Tourism (866) 275-5816; Pinetop Tourism (928) 367-4290.
Best Season: Jan. - Feb.
Average Difficulty: Moderate
Base Camp: NFS Lakeside CG near Lakeside Ranger Office
Breakfast Restaurant: Johnny Angels, Pinetop
Reference Source: click here http://www.wmonline.com/
GPS: 34.29829, -110.23004
Date Published: 1/5/2016
Date Updated: 7/9/2016
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