Pristine wilderness, alpine meadows.
Near: Alpine, AZ
Distance: 6.1 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1415 ft
Hike Time: 3.5 hours
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
Hike Type: Out and Back
This trail takes you to the summit of Escudilla Mountain, a huge ancient volcano and the third highest mountain in Arizona. The trail starts out from Terry Flat at 9600 feet and climbs 1276 feet to a 45 ft tall lookout tower in just over three miles – the 10,912-foot summit lies a half mile to the north and is 36 feet higher, but trees there completely block the views.
Along the way to the summit, you will pass through Aspen forests, open grassy meadows, and old-growth stands of fir and Englemann spruce. At the summit, the view is spectacular, especially if seen from the cab of the lookout tower. Escudilla Mountains trail is such an outstanding trail that it has been given the status of a National Recreational Trail by Congress.
From Alpine, follow US 191 north approximately 5.5 miles. On the right-hand side of the road, between Mileposts 420 and 421, is a Forest Service sign marking FS Road 56. Follow FS 56 east for about 5 miles to the parking lot and trailhead for Escudilla Mountain Trail #308. (Lat:33.93333 Lon:-109.11667)