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Hike #27 – BIA 59 – Paradise Creek Road

Paradise Creek Road
Paradise Creek Road

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260 (map):

  • From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260, drive east on 260 for 20.3 miles and find the dirt road with many signs labeled B59 or BIA 59 or 620 on some maps. This road makes a loop running south then west and then north around the back of Horseshoe Cienega Lake and paralleling the North Fork of the White River. About 1/3 of the way around, it crosses Paradise Creek. At its western end, it joins SR 463 only half a mile from where 463 exits SR 260.
  • Read the directions to the Paradise Creek hike #25 to find the western end of this road.

Trail: The trail is a dirt road that is hard-packed but with many rocks and cinders, but good in all weather. The road is rarely used on weekdays and we have walked sections of it for several hours and never see another vehicle. However, on weekends it can be popular with fishermen.

Paradise Creek Road
Paradise Creek Road

Trailhead and Directions: There is no trailhead. Just drive along the road, stop, and park out of the way, and walk along the road as far as you wish. It is often best to drive the whole road and find sections that appeal to you. There are many hills you may wish to avoid and there are many meadows with access to the river that you might enjoy.

Access: All motorized vehicles, horses, bicycles, and hikers. However, we have only seen a few cars on this road, no horses, rarely a bicycle, rarely a four-wheeler, and very rarely other hikers. A day-use permit is required from the Apache Reservation to hike the road.

Distance: As far as you wish. The road is at least 8 miles long.

Difficulty: Easy except for the hills.

Features: The wooded sections of the trail support the expected resident forest birds that occupy pine, fir, and spruce habitats. The meadows and areas along the river are excellent for open country birds and especially flowers in season. You will note several logging roads on the western and southern areas of the trail that have signs nailed to the trees saying “No Entry.” Please do not walk up these roads that lead to a sacred area of the Apache. Logging roads on the “inner” or river side of the loop can be hiked.

Connectors: None.

BIA 59 – Paradise Creek Road Trail Map
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