The Escudilla Trail near Alpine, Arizona has the unique distinction of being a National Recreation Trail. There are about 1,150 of these trails in the United States, and they were given such a title for contributing to health, recreation, and conservation goals in the country. The Escudilla Trail is rated as moderately difficult, and its out-and-back path spans 3.3 miles each way. Arizonian hikers looking to get a good hike in with their pet will appreciate that this path is dog-friendly as long as your pet remains on a leash. In addition to hikers, the trail is open to horseback riders, but motorized and mechanized vehicles of any kind are forbidden.
You'll begin your hike in an aspen grove that experienced a massive forest fire in 1951. To this day, you'll see Douglas fir stumps that were killed in the flames. Now, those stumps are working their way back into the eco-system, and all sorts of new trees and plants are growing around them. Once you leave this area, you'll begin your climb through open meadows and forested areas. Along the way, you'll start to get astounding views of the countryside. One mile into your hike you'll reach a place called Tool Box Draw, and from here, you can get panoramic views of the area.
As excellent as the views are on your hike to the summit, nothing compares to what you'll see from the top. The Escudilla Trail takes you to the top of the third-highest mountain in Arizona, and the Escudilla Lookout at the summit is sure to take your breath away! Many hikers choose to hang out at the top for a while, and it's the pawfect place to stop for lunch with your pup.
You'll head back down the same way you came, and complete your hike with a happy and tired pup by your side.