The Maverick Motorized Trail spans almost 50 miles through the diverse habitats of the Lakeside Ranger District. From flat, open grasslands to hilly and rocky terrain, the trail winds through mostly cool and green ponderosa pine forest and some piñon-juniper woodland, with breathtaking views of the White Mountains. Starting from the Sky Hi Trailhead north of Pinetop-Lakeside, the trail runs through mostly ponderosa pine forested areas and some aspen can also be seen. Just past the Panorama Trailhead, the rider has the option to continue on the Maverick Trail or loop around Porter Mountain for about 11 additional miles, making the total riding experience right at 60 miles when arriving at the west end of the trail at the Clay Springs Trailhead. The entire trail and loop is marked with orange diamond-shaped markers. Another trailhead provides direct access to the Porter Mountain Loop; it is located at the Timber Mesa Trailhead, just off Porter Mountain Road. An intermediate trailhead on the main Maverick Trail is located at the intersection of Burton Road and Lone Pine Dam Road. Camping is not allowed at the trailheads; however, there are dispersed camping opportunities along the trail, provided users bring their own water.
Future plans for the trail include extensions east to the Springerville area and west to the Heber-Overgaard area, with loops into the towns along the route. Ask the local ranger district for the status of these extensions. Construction and maintenance of the Maverick Trail is a joint effort between the Forest Service and volunteers from the White Mountain Open Trails Association. Volunteers also assist in educating the public about safe and ethical use of OHV trails.
Directions to Sky-Hi Trailhead: From State Highway 260 in Pinetop-Lakeside, turn east onto Buck Springs Road. Travel about 0.5 miles and turn north (left) onto Sky Hi Road. Travel about 2 miles to the trailhead.