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Hike #14 – Billy Creek Loop

Billy Creek
Billy Creek

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

  • Drive 0.4 miles west on 260 and turn right just past the Best Western motel, on Pinecrest Drive.
  • Drive to the end of the road, 3 tenths of a mile.
  • Park at the end but don’t block driveways.

Trail: Dirt trail, no elevation gradient, easy but several short climbs and descents.

Trailhead and Directions: Enter through the swinging gate. Walk past the kiosk with bulletin board, walk east and turn left at the T. Continue to and along the bank that overlooks Billy Creek. Where you first see the creek at a right turn on the trail, you can walk down the hill and bird around the open area by the creek. The trail continues east along the edge of the bank until it drops to a stream crossing that leads to the Blue Ridge trail (#107) a few feet up the hill on the other side of the creek. To return, go around the large fallen log and up the hill to the south and follow the old logging road for about one mile. The road veers to the left and dies out, but bear right (actually continue almost straight). Soon you will see an arrow pointing to a trail to the north. If you go this way, you will have to find the trail you walked when you walked past the kiosk, and turn left back to your car. Or if you continue straight another 30 yards, then follow the trail that bends right, the trail will lead you back to the swinging gate.

Access: Hikers, Bicycles. No motorized vehicles. Not handicap accessible.

Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy, somewhat rocky.

Features: The section from the kiosk with bulletin board to the stream crossing is marked with blue diamonds with a green washer on one nail. There are many large Ponderosa Pines in this forest. A good spot for flowers and birds. Many warblers are here in spring; some nest such as Yellow-rumped, Grace’s, and Red-faced. Woodpeckers, flycatchers, chickadees, nuthatches, vireos, etc. are often abundant. Northern Goshawks have nested here and across the creek. Golden Pea and Hill’s Lupine flowers are abundant in spring. A small Milkvetch blankets the logging road. Elk are rare. Black bears have been seen here.

Connections: At the stream crossing, you can connect with the Blue Ridge Trail #107, an 8.7 mile loop over the Blue Ridge. Cross the creek and walk up the logging road 30 yards and find the trail that goes east and west from here. See maps of the Tracks trail system. There are a few side trails that lead south to roads and gates in the Pinetop community.

Billy Creek Trail Map
Download Map

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