Horse Ridge Trail - # 38

Area Status: Open
This area is Open


The Northwest portion of the Blue Range Primitive Area where this trail is located has been severely affected by the Wallow Fire of June 2011. The area is currently open to public use and entry - HOWEVER trails may not have been recently assessed or maintained for hazards associated with the fire, so plan your trip accordingly.

Please keep in mind that any area affected by the wildfire can be prone to hazards such as falling trees, flooding and burned out stump holes. The environment you are entering is highly susceptible to rainstorms and wind events. Any time you enter the forest, you should be aware of your environment and changing weather conditions. You are responsible for your own safety! Always look up, look down, and look all around.

The Horse Ridge Trail # 38 is 4.0 miles long, begining at the Horse Ridge Trailhead on US 191 and ends at the junction with Foote Creek Trail # 76.

Castle Rock, one of the most visible and dramatic landmarks in the Blue Range Primitive Area, can be seen from just about anywhere in the lower reaches of the Blue, but you can see it best from  the Horse Ridge Trail # 38.

That rocky butte figures so prominently in attracting hikers to this well-work path that when you hear people talking about their walk on “Castle Rock Trail”, you know they’ve been to Horse Ridge. The towering monolith does indeed present an impressive sight as it looms over this trail, but even so it’s not the only star of this show. There are plenty of other sights to see along this extremely scenic trail.

Bell Rock is another major rock formation which you can get a good view of from this trail, and while you’re enjoying all the interesting formations in the foreground (and puzzling over whether or not they look like what they’re named after) don’t miss the excellent panorama of the Blue Range and Blue River Canyon that stretches to the horizon. Bear Mountain, Whiterocks Mountain, and the Mogollon Range are some of the landmarks that stand out most in this scenic view.

From its high perspective, the trail also offers great overlooks into the red rock canyons of Foote Creek and Fishook Creek. These views added to all the others we’ve already listed will have you agreeing that this trail may be the best in the Blue when comes to breathtaking panoramas.

Horse Ridge Trail then drops down into Foote Creek down a slope that has received extensive trail work over the decades. This scenic pathway ends at its junction with the Foote Creek Trail # 76 along the floor of the canyon it is named for. The surrounding here are typical of Blue Range riparian areas, with mature ponderosa pines scattered among canyon species such as box elders and Arizona ash.

Water can occasionally be found in this area of Foote Creek, and in a nearby spring, but there are more reliable sources about a mile further both up-and-downstream.


No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) are permitted in the Primitive Area.

Trail Log:

  • 0.0 Trailhead off of Highway US 191
  • 1.0 Gate on ridge top at the primitive area boundary, trail begins descending
  • 2.4 Saddle on a narrow, bald ridge
  • 4.0 Trail crosse a rocky point then begins descending a series of switchbacks blasted into the bedrock face
  • 4.0 Trail terminus at the junction with Foote Creek Trail # 76

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Restrictions: This trail, like all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, is open for hiking and horseback riding only - any type of motorized or mechanized travel is prohibited. The maximum group size in the Blue Range Primitive Area is 25 persons.and 35 head of livestock 
Closest Towns: Alpine, AZ is 15 miles north on US 191
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information


From Alpine, AZ drive south on Highway US 191 for 15 miles, trailhead is on the east side of the highway marked by signs one half-mile past the junction of Forest Roads 567 and 26 at Beaverhead.

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  Area/Length : 
4.0 miles

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