Thompson Trail #629

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

The Thompson Trail follows the course of the West Fork of the Black River and passes through some of the most striking country to be seen on the District. Click here for printable information and map.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Open , with advisory TRAIL NOT CLEARED OF HAZARDS, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Usage: Medium
Best Season: April through May depending upon snowpack.
Restrictions: The trail is open to foot travel only.
Water: Bring drinking water or a purification system. The stream water is not treated.
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Springerville Ranger District
(928) 333-6200
TTY: (928) 333-5397

General Information

Directions:

From the stoplight in Eagar, travel west on AZ Highway 260 for 2.8 miles to AZ Highway 261. Turn left (south) on AZ Highway 261 for 16.3 miles to AZ Highway 273. Turn right (north) for 2.1 miles to FR 116. Turn left (south) on FR 116 for 3.5 miles. The trailhead is on the right.


General Notes:
  • This trail connects with the West Fork Trail #628 and loop trail #628A. The trail is open to foot travel only.
  • If you wish to ride a bicycle or horse, you may use the old railroad bed which runs parallel to the trail and is located upslope from the trail. Horses are prohibited on Trail #628.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted. Stay on the trail and avoid making shortcuts.
  •  The Thompson Trail was built with a grant from the Heritage Fund in cooperation with the US Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The trail was constructed with help from many volunteer organizations.

Parking:

Limited (5-6 cars)


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Hiking

Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

The Thompson Trail follows the course of the West Fork of the Black River and passes through some of the most striking country to be seen on the District.

This is high country, snowed in for nearly half the year and characterized by steep, timbered canyons and frequent meadows. The Thompson Trail takes you through this and more. Add a shallow, fast-moving stream that is a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon fishery and you have an idea of what awaits you on trail #629.

The trail begins just off Forest Road 116 near Thompson Ranch. Because it travels alongside of the West Fork of the Black River, the trail is generally level. Some stretches of the trail pass through boggy grounds. For this reason, horses and bicycles are not allowed, but foot travel is. When the water is high expect to get your feet wet while traversing these sections.

An old railroad bed is located upslope from the trail and the river. Feel free to hike, bicycle or ride a horse on the cindered railroad bed. The railroad bed generally follows the route of the trail and offers the same great scenery.

As you walk along the first mile or so, you will notice large piles of rocks secured in wire that span the width of the creek. Known as gabions, these fish barriers are designed to allow fish to swim downstream but not upstream. Thus the upper reaches of the river and its tributaries are free of exotic, non-native trout.

USGS Maps: 280NW, Big Lake, AZ; 280SW, Big Lake, AZ.

Elevation desc8,600 feet to 8,840 feet
Best Season: April through May depending upon snowpack.
Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
6.5 miles, round trip

  Latitude : 
33.88280278

  Longitude : 
-109.4704917

  Elevation : 
8,600 feet - 8,840

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/asnf/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=45147&actid=50