White Mountains Online

West Fork Trail #94


Arizona's White Mountains

Elevation: 8,500 to 9,500 feet.

Season: May through October, depending on weather conditions.

Access: The trail begins off Osborne road in Greer, or you can get to it from Forest Road #87.

Length: 7 miles from Greer to sheep's Crossing.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Use: Light

Description: If you start from the Osborne trailhead, the trail follows a small creek, which is surrounded by aspen and ponderosa pine trees. The trail takes a gradual uphill grade to Badger Pond, also known as Trail Springs Tank. Wild roses and raspberry bushes grow near the tank, offering a treat to the eye as well as the palate from mid to late summer. Past the pond, the trail splits and merges again in less than a quarter of a mile. Here comes the most difficult part of the hike, as the trail rises through steep and rocky ground. It is a short climb, however, and the trail soon levels out. You will notice that Forest Road 87 parallels the trail for a short stretch. After leveling off, the trail crosses two dead-end roads that come off F.R. 87. Either one of these roads offer an excellent place to park as you begin your hike.

From this point to Sheep's Crossing, the trail is generally level, except where it makes a slight dip to Potato Hollow Spring. The spring is set in a cool stand of Douglas-fir trees and offers a perfect spot for a break. The trail continues through a checkerboard of forest and meadows. Deer are often seen browsing at the forest edge.

Just a quarter of a mile from Sheep's Crossing, the trail crosses the gravel portion of AZ 273. Cross this section of road with care, as people tend to drive very fast. The trail follows an old railroad bed before dropping down to Sheep's Crossing. From Sheep's Crossing the trail becomes the West Fork Trail to Mt. Baldy, which is in a wilderness area.

Attractions and Considerations: Hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders are welcome, but not motorized vehicles. Please be considerate of other trail users. Carry your own water or purification equipment and do not drink untreated water. Mountain bikes are not allowed on the second leg of this trail, which is located in the Mt. Baldy Wilderness Area on the west side of Sheep's Crossing. The wilderness portion of this trail is covered on the West Baldy Trail #94 page.

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For more information, please feel free to contact the USDA Forest Service, Springerville Ranger District at 928.333.4372 or you may write us at 309 S. Mountain Avenue, Springerville, Arizona 85938
White Mountains Online wishes to express our appreciation to the USDA Forest Service, Springerville District for providing this information! Page Design & Graphics by White Mountains Online. Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.