Government Trail - # 119



The Escudilla Wilderness has been severely affected by the Wallow Fire of June 2011. The area is currently open to public use and entry, HOWEVER - The trails may not yet been assessed or maintained for hazards associated with the fire.  The Government Trail was severely affected by the Wallow Fire and may be indistinct and difficult to follow in heavily burned areas. The Escudilla Lookout was severely damaged by the fire, and there are overhead hazards to being in the area below - the lookout and the fenced area below it are closed to all public entry due to safety concerns.

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.

For those who want to get to know Escudilla Mountain from the bottom to the top, hiking the Government Trail (# 119) is the way to do it. Click here for printable information and map. 

This trail is open to hiking and horseback riding - like all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, motorized and mechanized travel is prohibited.

This trail's steep, talus covered switchbacks once provided Forest Service workers an access route to man the lookout on the mountain summit as well as to fight fires and manage the forest. Today those same obstacles help the trail live up to its strenuous rating.

The Government Trail ascends Escudilla's western slopes. Because of its steepness and exposure, this route offers excellent views off to the west for most of the hike. Mount Baldy (Arizona's second highest peak), Mt. Ord, and the Black River drainage form some of the more prominent landmarks in the panorama.

On Profanity Ridge, Government Trail joins the Escudilla Trail (# 308) for the last one mile or so of the hike to the top. 

Trail Log:

  • 0.0 Road Closure, park here.
  • 0.4 Take right fork.
  • 1.3 Continue straight at the fork.
  • 1.9 Sharp left in road, trail begins here and goes straight.
  • 2.9 Junction with Escudilla Trail (# 308) - follow Escudilla Trail an additional 1.1 miles to summit.

USGS Maps: Nutrioso

At a Glance

Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: May through October
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information


Drive north from Alpine approximately 6 miles to Forest Road 8056. Turn right (east) and continue up this dirt road for 1.6 miles to a road which branches to the left and is closed by a “Wildlife Area” sign. Park here and follow the closed road 1.9 miles to the point where Government Trail branches off and heads up the mountain.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.5 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,200 feet - 10,877 feet