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Timber Mesa is a good trail of moderate difficulty just a short drive from Lakeside Ranger Station. The six mile trail has just a few steep climbs. The natural surface of the trail is volcanic rock, which makes for interesting bike riding.

The trail begins with a short climb to the top of Timber Mesa. The first half meanders along the edge of Timber Mesa, with good views of the meadows and Jaques Marsh below. The trail then drops off of the mesa and returns to the trailhead along an old fire road. As you are approaching the trailhead on the fire road, watch for the twin chimneys on your right. The chimneys and foundations are all that remain of the Jaques Ranch.

One of the interesting things about this trail is that it passes through several distinct ecotypes. On top of the mesa it moves in and out of ponderosa pine and manzanita scrub. Below the mesa one mainly finds pinon-juniper woodland. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water as there is little shade in the pinon-juniper. The trail is moderate for hiking and horses, while it is difficult for bikes.

Directions: From Lakeside, Drive on State Highway 260 towards McNary. Turn left on Porter Mountain Road (Forest Road 45). Drive 2.2 miles. Turn left at the cattle guard. Drive 75 yards to the cindered trailhead on the right.

Elevation: 6,640 feet

Ending Elevation: 6,960 feet

Elevation Gain: 320 feet

Distance: 6 miles

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Moderate

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Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.