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Hike #18 – Corral on Country Club Trail 632 to 632 Trailhead

An open meadow often filled with flowers in mid to late summer
An open meadow often filled with flowers in mid to late summer

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

  • Drive east on 260 for 2.2 miles and turn left at the traffic light onto Buck Springs Road.
  • Drive 0.5 miles on Buck Springs and turn left on Ski Hi Road.
  • Drive 2.0 miles on Ski Hi Road and turn right and immediately left on to FR 187 (signed 185) and park one car here. This is the trailhead for the Country Club Trail #632.
  • Continue with the second car 1.2 miles east on this rough dirt road FR 187 until you see a corral on the left. Park next to the corral.

Trail: The trail is dirt with many rocks.

Trailhead and Directions: The trail is marked with blue diamonds. Find the trail on the north side of the road only 25 feet west of the corral fencing. Follow the trail south. You will come to some signs indicating you were on the Chipmunk Connector that goes about 8 miles to the Los Burros trail system. If you turn left here, you will go back to the 632 trailhead on flat ground to where your first car is parked. For this hike, continue straight ahead to the north and through one gate and then around a low pasture area, continuing south through another gate, and then west and up the hill. You will have walked 0.88 miles when you reach the top of the hill. There is a well-marked side trail named Pat Mullen trail on the right. You can take this switch-back trail up to the vista for 0.5 miles and return. Continue down the main trail to the west. The trail slowly turns south goes through another gate and comes to the 632 trailhead and your first car.

Access: Hikers, bicycles, and horses. No motorized vehicles. It is not recommended to walk this trail after a rain as the dirt trail is composed of volcanic clay that sticks to your shoes like glue.

Distance: The hike is 2.04 miles. If you take the Pat Mullen side trail, the total is about 3.0 miles.

Difficulty: Moderate as the trail makes a slight climb and then descends over loose rocks. Parts of the trail are rutted from frequent use.

Features: The trail crosses and climbs through a mature Ponderosa Pine forest with Gambel Oaks. Some areas have been severely thinned. Fendler’s Ceanothus, Hill’s Lupine, Deer Vetch, New Mexico Groundsel, Milk Vetch, Alpine Cancerroot, Ragleaf Bahia, Showy Goldeneye, and many other species of plants can be found. The large pasture at the beginning of the hike on the right (east) can look all violet from large stands of Apache Lobelia. Grace’s and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Western Bluebirds, jays, chickadees, nuthatches, Western Bluebirds, robins, and some woodpeckers should be here. Hermit Thrush and Black-throated Gray Warblers may be on the hillside near the Pat Mullen side trail. Cattle free range the area. Elk are unlikely. Abert’s Squirrels are abundant.

Connections: The southern half of the Country Club Trail #632 branches to the left at the beginning of this hike, crosses FR 187 and continues back to the 632 trailhead. You make the complete loop using only one car parked either at the trailhead or by the corral that is about 3.5 miles long. The Chipmunk Connector will take you some 8 miles to the east to the Los Burrows trails.

Corral on Country Club Trail 632 to 632 Trailhead
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