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Hike #10 – BIA 65J Upper Corduroy Creek

BIA 65J Upper Corduroy Creek
BIA 65J Upper Corduroy Creek

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

  • Drive east on 260 to the Hon-Dah casino 4.7 miles and turn right on SR 73.
  • Drive 2.5 miles down 73 and turn right on Bootleg Lake Road.
  • Drive this often rough gravel/cinder road for 3.8 miles and find a sharp right turn, hard to see, but signed, downhill on BIA 65J.
  • Drive across the rocky wash and up the hill. The road forks after 50 yards, so park out of the way here.

Trail: Rough gravel road going uphill, and across the meadow returning.

Trailhead and Directions: The road leading east, not the one heading uphill to the left, should be walked as far as you wish. After about 0.8 miles, the road forks. The left fork leads up the hill and heads northwest back up to the Rim Road after several miles. Take the right fork and walk as far as you wish. Eventually this road will come to the back side of Bootleg Lake. We walked this once coming down from Bootleg Lake and then hiked across the meadow, the creek, and up the hill to Bootleg Lake Road and back to the lake and our car. This is a difficult hike and not recommended. When you decide to come back to the car, you can walk across the meadow to the upper reaches of Corduroy Creek and walk along the rim of the creek back to the car. Sometimes the creek is almost dry but after the monsoons, it can be flowing nicely.

Access: The rough gravel road can be driven in a high clearance car. Bicycle or horseback is possible, but four-wheelers are not permitted on the Apache Reservation Roads. Check with the Sporting Goods on 260 to be sure. Not handicapped accessible. A day-use permit is required for hiking on Apache Reservation lands.

Distance: As far as you wish to walk. If you walk up to the fork at about 0.8 miles, and return via the meadow, the distance is less than 2 miles.

Difficulty: The outgoing road trail is slightly up hill all the way. The return is over rocky meadowlands. Be careful going down into the creek as the rocks can be slippery and the banks are steep in most places.

Features: The trail goes through an open pine-oak forest with scattered junipers. Before the monsoons, the area is very dry, but after, the area has many flowers like Globe Mallow of several species, Indian Paintbrush, beggarsticks, fleabanes, peas, vetches, Crested Anoda, roses, thistles, clover, deer vetch, and many others. Cattle may be in the meadow and deer and elk could be present. Wild Turkey are often seen in early morning. The usual forest birds are present, the species dependent on season.

Connections: None. There is another hike on the south side of the road about 100 yards to the west on Bootleg Lake Road: BIA 69. The Amos RV Park trail is another 2 miles to the west on Bootleg Lake Road. Hike #11 BIA 69 and the Amos RV Park trail #12.

BIA 65J Upper Corduroy Creek
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