White Mountains Online

Timber Mesa Trail #636


Arizona's White Mountains

Elevation: 6,640 - 6,960 feet.

Season: Early spring to mid winter

Use: Moderate

Length: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate for hiking. Moderate for horses. Difficult for bikes.

Attractions & Considerations: Timber Mesa is a good trail of moderate difficulty just a short drive from Lakeside Ranger Station. The six-mile trail has just a few steep climbs. The natural surface of the trail is volcanic rock, which makes for interesting bike riding.

The trail begins with a short climb to the top of Timber Mesa. The first half meanders along the edge of Timber Mesa, with good views of the meadows and Jacques Marsh below. The trail then drops off of the mesa and returns to the trailhead along an old fire road. As you are approaching the trailhead on the fire road, watch for the twin chimneys on your right. The chimneys and foundations are all that remain of the Jacques Ranch.

One of the interesting things about this trail is that it passes through several distinct ecotypes. On top of the mesa it moves in and out of ponderosa pine and manzanita scrub. Below the mesa one mainly finds pinon-juniper woodland. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water as there is little shade in the pinon-juniper.

Access and trailhead location: From Lakeside Ranger Station drive 0.2 miles on AZ 260 towards McNary. Turn left on Porter Mountain Road (Forest Road 45). Drive 2.2 miles. Turn left at the cattle guard. Drive 75 yards to the cindered trailhead on the right.

Suggestions: Bring Your Own Water!
Trail Markers:
Y(ellow)=Short Loop
T(urquoise)=Trail Marker

Timber Mesa Locator Map

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For more information, please feel free to contact:

  • TRACKS, c/o Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, Parks & Recreation Dept., 1360 N. Niels Hansen Road, Lakeside, Arizona 85929, Telephone: (928) 368-6700
  • USDA Forest Service, Lakeside Ranger District at 928.368.5111 or you may write us at 2022 W. White Mtn. Blvd., Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona 85935

White Mountains Online wishes to express our appreciation to the USDA Forest Service, Alpine District for providing this information!
For more information, please feel free to contact the USDA Forest Service, Alpine Ranger District at 928.339.4384 or you may write us at P.O. Box 469 Alpine, Arizona 85920