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Location: In Apache National Forest at Escudilla Mountain, southeast of Eager.
Follow FR 8056 for 3.6 miles from US 191/180 to Terry Flat. Take the left fork at the sign for the Escudilla Trailhead an additional 0.5 miles.
The Escudilla Wilderness encompasses the upper reaches of the mountain, which at 10,912 feet is the third highest in the state of Arizona. It was this mountain that Aldo Leopold referred to in his article "Thinking Like a Mountain" where he arrived at the side of a wolf he had shot "in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes," an experience that he grew to regret and which forever changed his life. The last known grizzly bear in Arizona was killed here, and Leopold wrote: "Somehow it seems that the spirit of the bear is still there, prowling the huge meadows, lurking in the thick stands of aspen and spruce, wandering the steep slopes that looking down from is like looking out of the window of an airplane."
Two trails give access to Escudilla Wilderness. The three-mile, maintained Escudilla National Recreation Trail #308, approaches the summit from the Terry Flat Loop Road and leads to a fire lookout tower, the highest tower in the state. The Government Trail #119 starts at the base of the mountain and also climbs to the summit as it ascends Profanity Ridge. You will find little water along these trails, but views that reach to Flagstaff 100 miles away.
The Escudilla Wilderness has been severely affected by the Wallow Fire of June 2011. The area is currently open to public use and entry, but trails may not be assessed or maintained for hazards associated with the fire. The Escudilla Lookout was severely damaged by the fire and is closed to all public entry due to safety concerns.
Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1978
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: USFS Trail Details
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
P.O. Box 640
Springerville, AZ 85938
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