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Arizona: Mt. Baldy Backpack (8/1-8/3)

August 1

Join Trail Ambassador Dave “Lucky” Brunstein to  explore the Mt. Baldy Wilderness in Eastern Arizona where cool sparkling streams run through long, green meadows, and a soft trail cushioned by pine needles twists through tall spruce, fir, and aspen.

Those of us who can will leave around noon for the 4 ½ hour drive to the East Fork Trailhead (9,200 feet).  We’ll hike in around 2 miles to an established campsite near the creek.  A second group will head up after work Friday, car camp Friday evening at Winn CG Site # 39, and start the hike early Saturday morning meeting the other group at their campsite.

On Saturday morning we’ll take the East Baldy Trail #95 the remaining 5 miles to the Mt. Baldy summit.  Let’s keep our eyes peeled at around mile 5.5 (10,990 feet) to find off to the right for the site of an Army plane that crashed back in the 1940’s or 50’s.  We’ll reach the junction with the West Fork Trail (5.9 miles, 11,180 feet) but continue left up to the Mt. Baldy summit.  (6.7 miles, 11,403 feet).  The actual peak is .4 miles away.

After enjoying the pretty views, we’ll back track a short ways and stay left at the junction and begin descending on the West Fork Trail.  We’ll camp just after the switchbacks at the start of the large meadow and creek.  On Sunday, we’ll continue down the West trail and take the Crosscut Trail back to our cars for a total loop over the 2 days of 16.5 miles.

With that mileage and the 2,200 foot elevation gain, this is an intermediate level hike.  And if all that wilderness beauty is not enough to entice you, nearby Greer sports average highs of 73 and  lows of 45 in August whereas Tempe reports average highs of 105 and lows of 75.  Join us!

Here’s a great write-up of the hike (from which I borrowed heavily) athttp://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Arizona/East/East1.htm

No dogs or kids please.

Venue

Apache / Sitgreaves National Forest
Springerville, AZ 85938 United States
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Website:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf