Franz Spring Trail - # 43

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This eastern Blue Range trail is an old route for moving livestock that serves as another link in the maze of interconnecting trails presently used by cattlemen and recreationists alike.

Like all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, Franz Spring Trail is open to hiking and horseback riding, but all motorized and mechanized travel is prohibited.

Trail # 43 provides a connecting route between the Cow Flat Trail (# 55) and the WS Lake Trail (# 54), both of which are major travelways providing access to extensive areas of forage for livestock and scores of miles of trails for forest recreationists.

About a quarter mile from the point at which the Franz Spring Trail branches off from the Cow Flat Trail, an old cabin stands as a testament to the area's long grazing history. Cowboys still take up residence here while they keep the herd grazing in this area. The shallow drainage that the trail cuts just before intersecting the WS Lake Trail has a name that also adds a bit of western ambience to the area. It is named Whoa Canyon for the steep gorge it becomes just a short distance downstream - a very good place to say, "Whoa".

The Franz Spring Trail traverses some of the higher country in the East Blue. There is even a stand of aspen near the point where it joins the WS Lake Trail. This trail adds a number of possibilities for loop hikes or shortcuts to just about any trip in this area, or it's worth a visit for its own merits.

The Franz Spring Trail continues into Bear Canyon in New Mexico after leaving Arizona and the Alpine District.

Trail Log:

  • 0.0 Junction of Franz Spring Trail (# 43) and Cow Flat Trail (# 55).
  • 0.2 Franz Spring on right, old cabin.
  • 1.1 Springs and/or running water intermittently.
  • 2.0 Junction with WS Lake Trail (# 54) and Bonanza Bill Trail (# 23).
  • 3.0 New Mexico/Arizona state line, trail descends Bear Canyon to the east.

USGS Maps: Blue SE

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Best Season: April through October
Restrictions: No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area.
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information


There is no direct road to this trail. Backcountry Access: Franz Spring Trail is accessible via the Bonanza Bill Trail #23, the WS Lake Trail #54, and the Lanphier Trail #52. For further information see those pages of the Guide.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Elevation desc7,360 feet to 8,400 feet
Best Season: April through October
Difficulty Level: Intermediate


Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
3 miles (to forest boundary)

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,360 feet - 8,400 feet