The Apache Creek Loop is comprised of Graver Wash Trail #9904, Apache Creek Trail #9905, Upper Graver Wash Trail #9906, and a portion of FR 95A. The loop begins at Trail #9904, which travels north through pinyon-juniper woodland. Here, as well as farther along the loop, are some extraordinary alligator junipers that are centuries old and several feet in diameter. The nearby Juniper Mesa Wilderness comes in and out of view as the trail traverses a series of gentle hills. After crossing Apache Creek, Trail #9904 and Trail #9905 junction in a wide open meadow studded with shade trees. Trail #9905 proceeds southwest, crosses the creek, and then climbs sandy hills flanked on either side by higher terrain. This portion of the loop weaves in and out of the creek bed, which is home to a diverse riparian plant community. The lush vegetation and availability of water, along with the overall remoteness of the area, support plenty of wildlife, including deer, jackrabbit, mountain lion, and bear. Trail #9905 meets Trail #9906 a couple hundred meters past an old corral alongside a grassy floodplain ringed by ponderosa pine forest. Trail #9906 begins uphill, traveling southwest along a significant drainage. The southern end of this trail provides an interesting look at fire history. The charred bodies of trees stand over a blanket of shrubs that have begun to reclaim the burned area. Trail #9906 ends at FR 95A, which provides a route back to the trailhead for Trail #9904.
• This loop is open to hikers and horseback riders. Portions of Trail #9905 lie within the Apache Creek Wilderness. Motor vehicles and the use of any mechanized equipment, including bicycles, are prohibited. Wilderness is an important resource and national heritage—please, leave no trace.
At a Glance
||Approximately 1 hour from Chino Valley, AZ
||Not available. Surface water should be treated.
From the intersection of Hwy 89 and Outer Loop Road, take Outer Loop Road for 6 miles to Williamson Valley Road (also County Road 5). Turn right and continue on Williamson Valley Road for 27 miles to County Road 125. Turn left and travel 1.7 miles to the junction of Forest Road 95. Turn left onto FR 95 and go 1.2 miles to FR 95A, on the right. Turn onto FR 95A and go 1.2 miles to the trailhead for TR 9904 on the right (you will pass through a stretch gate). There is no defined parking at the trailhead. You may wish to park at the gate and walk 0.2 miles to the trailhead. High clearance 4WD is recommended on FR 95A.
USGS Map: 7.5’ quads for Camp Wood, Indian Peak, and Juniper Mountains
Prescott National Forest Map, west half
Average hiking time: 3 hours