For a pleasant stroll in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests with your pooch, hit the Eagle Trail in the Clifton Ranger District! While there are nearly 1,000 miles of trails to explore on this extensive site, the Eagle Trail is not as steep as the other paths in the area, making it pawfectly suited for a leisurely day hike.
Officially known as East Eagle Trail #33, the Eagle Trail spans 12.6 miles and is one of the four National Recreation Trails in the Apache-Sitgreaves. You and Fido will find the trailhead off Highway 191 at the end of a dirt road, 67 miles north of Clifton. Prior to reaching the trailhead, you will pass by a former sawmill camp, where only a few vehicles and pieces of machinery remain. The Eagle Trail travels alongside Eagle Creek as a point-to-point route, but connects to other trails along the way, so you and your pooch can turn it into a loop hike. From the Eagle Trail, you can access the Crabtree, Salt House, Hot Air, and Dry Prong Trails.
At the 7.5-mile mark, you and your pup will come across the Sawmill Cabin, which is open to the public. The canyon widens out from here, but you'll have to navigate your own way through rocks, as much of the trail has been washed away by previous floods. The Apache-Sitgreaves is home to over 400 species of wildlife, so you might see deer, bighorn sheep, elk, and turkey during your hike. Keep your ears open for the calls of various songbirds, too!
The Eagle Trail can be enjoyed year-round, though it's recommended to visit from April through December. Be sure to keep your pup on a leash at all times and carry clean-up bags and plenty of water! Canine and human outdoor enthusiasts alike will surely have a fun hike on the Eagle Trail!
Beware of black bears, mountain lions, and Mexican wolves.