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The Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests have hundreds of miles of trails for hikers. From a smooth path through the deep forest to a challenging ascents. There are opportunities for most experience levels.
Hiking as a means of recreation enjoyment is a modern day development. Walking used to be the primary mode of transportation for the majority of people in this country, and trails were designed to get from one place to another. These early day trails often went straight uphill because a straight line was the quickest way between two points.
Today trails are built to provide a variety of users a chance to experience the unique settings that are offered in a forest environment. It's the journey as much as the destination that counts. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests offer almost 1,000 miles of trails across a variety of terrain. These trails are built to different standards depending upon who is the intended user and the difficulty level.
Opportunities abound for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Trails within the wilderness and primitive areas are designed for hikers and horses. Trails outside these areas can include a broad spectrum of users.
The Forest has four National Recreation Trails: Eagle, Blue Ridge, Escudilla, and General George Crook. Additionally, many of the forest trails are part of the White Mountain Trail System which is managed in partnership with the Pinetop-Lakeside TRACKS volunteers. The Forest does offer several barrier free trails, including; Mogollon Rim Interpretative Trail and Pintail Lake Wetland.
The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests provides a four season recreational experience with settings ranging from low elevation desert to high elevation mixed conifer stands. A word of caution, because of the dramatic differences in elevation across the Forest, there are chances for sudden storms and changes in weather.
Season of use varies depending on elevation and exposure. You can expect cool nights in the higher elevations even during the summer. Periodic thunderstorms are also common during July and August. Snow may completely cover some trails and access points through the month of May at higher elevations.