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Hike #47 – Forest Road (FR) 187

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260, 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 Sky Hi Road. Drive 2.0 miles on Sky Hi Road and turn right and immediately left on to FR 187 (signed 185). Continue another 1.5 miles on 187 past the corral on the left and up the hill. Park off the side of the road anywhere here.

Trail: The trail is the road. FR 187 is wide, flat with little gradient, hard, with a fine gravel surface ideal for biking and running. Good for walking as well! The old 187 road runs south from the corral, but it is not maintained and serves in part as a connector to the Los Burros trail system.

Trailhead and Directions: Park in any open wide spot and walk or run to the east as far as you wish. The road eventually connects with another road and ends at the McNary-Vernon Road. That road is heavily used and not ideal for foot travel.

Access: Hiking, bicycling, horses, running, motorized vehicles, even possible for motorized handicapped vehicles if desired.

Distance: As far as you wish.

Difficulty: Easy as it is almost all level. There are some cattle guard crossings to watch out for if biking or running. Traffic is very low in the early morning on weekdays. In two hours on our last walk we were passed by two vehicles and a group of bicyclers.

Features: Most of the roadside is open Ponderosa Pine forest with new growth of Gambel Oak. Thinning was done several years ago so the grasses and flowers are starting to come back. Thistles are abundant. The farther you go east, the less thinning has been done. In places you can see that there are stands of young pines that must have been planted. The common forest birds are present, with bluebirds, sparrows, juncos, nuthatches, and a few woodpeckers all the time and warblers in summer.

Connections: If you travel to the Vernon-McNary Road, there are several Tracks Trail System hikes off of that road like the Los Burros Trail #631 and Land of the Pioneers Trail #629.

Forest Road (FR) 187
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