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Timber Mesa Trail #636

Hikers on the Timber mesa trail
Timber mesa trail
Hiker on the Timber mesa trail
Look for the blue diamonds on the trees to stay on the Timber mesa trail
map: Timber mesa trail
Elevation plot: Timber mesa trail


How to Get There
This hike is located near Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ.

To the Trailhead: From the Pinetop-Lakeside area, head on HWY-260 south towards the Lakeside Ranger station. Just past the ranger station, turn left on signed Porter Mountain Road (FR45). Take this paved road for 2.2 miles and look for a signed dirt road to the Timber Mesa Trail #636 that goes off to the left. A short drive ends at the trailhead and parking area.
Porter Mountain Road
White Mountains and Eastern Arizona

Hike details

7.50 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
7.5 miles for the loop hike.
3.50 [Hours]
3.5 hours
Elevation Change
600 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Gain
300 Total Elevation Gain [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 300 ft of gradual gain.
Hike Trail Type


Best Season
  • June
  • July
  • August
Worst Season
  • January
  • February
  • December
Season Details
Date Hike completed
September 19, 2010


Solitude Details
Very good. We only had to share this hike with one other hiker.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
The loop hike is great exercise and the views along the ridgeline keep you company. This is a moderate difficulty hike because of the length.


Be Aware of
Minor route finding, mountain bikers, and horseback riders

Hike the Timber Mesa trail in Eastern Arizona.

From the signed trailhead, take the easy to follow trail (not the road) climbing gently up the mesa. After about 0.4 miles, you'll reach a fork. You can take this loop hike in either direction, but we chose clockwise, so the hike write up reflects this.

This section of the trail hugs the West ridgeline of the mesa, providing periodic unhindered views of the Pinetop-Lakeside area lakes and forest. The trail is easy to follow. To stay on this loop hike, follow the pine trees with the blue diamond markers. All major trail junctions are signed to help you stay on the loop.

After 3.1 total miles of hiking, you'll begin to leave the ridge and head deeper into the pine forest. Although you are losing the views, you'll gain some heavier shade for the remainder of the hike. After 3.6 miles of hiking, you'll reach the signed junction with the Sawmill trail (JCT 1R on map). Stay right to continue on the Timber Mesa trail.

After 5.6 miles of hiking, you'll reach the signed junction with the Flume trail (JCT 2R on map). Stay right again to continue on the loop hike. From this point it is 0.8 miles of hiking to the point where the loop starts and a final 0.4 miles back to the trailhead parking.

Keep an eye out for elk on this trail. We spotted at least six of them during this hike. The most impressive was a huge male that we could hear before we spotted. It sounded like a car crashing through the trees... he was definitely not trying to sneak up on us!


Swap Start/End
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