White Mountains Online

Williams Valley Mountain Biking


Mountain BikingArizona's White Mountains

Elevation: 8,600'

Season: May through October

5 miles of marked trail

Tall trees, big meadows, great views
Non-motorized use only
Riding for all skill levels
Watchable Wildlife

5 miles of marked trail
2 parking lots
Nearest food and lodging in Alpine

Attractions: When Williams Valley is covered with snow it is known as one of the premier winter recreation locations in the White Mountains. After the snow melts the trails that were marked for cross country skiing become excellent routes for enjoying one of the fastest growing sports on America's National Forest - mountain biking. In 1991 the Alpine District designated a large portion of this scenic area of wide meadows and lush forests to be managed year round for non-motorized recreation. As a result over 4.5 miles of trails provide opportunities for forest visitors to enjoy their favorite non-motorized recreation in an area designed to avoid any contact with motorized recreationists. The result is one of the most promising endeavors the District has undertaken in its efforts to increase recreational access to the forest while minimizing conflicts between user groups.

In Williams Valley the non-motorized trail system is well developed with established trailheads and parking, well-marked trails and mini-cattle guards at fence crossings. Trails generally skirt the edge of the area's picturesque meadows or wind their way through the trees that rim those meadows. These open grassy expanses seasonally sprinkled with flowers not only serve as a picturesque setting for the combination mountain bike and cross-country ski trails, they also provide important grazing habitat from the area's resident elk population. Mule deer frequent this area too, but they spend more of their time in the trees. You'll have a better chance of seeing all of these critters and others as well if you ride the trails slowly and quietly especially toward evening. You'll disturb them less too.

The trails here lend themselves to this quiet treatment. They're gently rolling, wide, and smooth (as mountain bike trails go), with plenty of scenic surroundings to catch your interest. There area a few hills but no lung-busters. This area is excellent for riders of all skill levels.

Access: Drive 1.5 miles northwest of Alpine on US highway 191 (formerly US 666) and turn west 4.5 miles on FR 249 to Williams Valley. There are two parking lots here, one at the crest of the hill that marks the divide between the San Francisco and Black River drainages, the other at the west end of the valley on the south side of the road.

Notes: Ride safe and be considerate of other trail users
Ranchers graze cattle in this area. Please don't disturb their livestock or facilities.

For current information of trail conditions, contact the Alpine Ranger District: P.O. Box 469, Alpine AZ 85920, (928) 339-4384. For more information, please feel free to contact the USDA Forest Service, Alpine Ranger District.