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Hike #34 – Greer - Butler Nature Trail

Butler Nature Trail
Butler Nature Trail

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

  • Drive 32.4 miles east on 260 past the Hon-Dah casino, past 473 and 273 east, down the hill to SR 373 that goes south into Greer.
  • Turn right and drive 4.3 miles on the paved road. Just before the road dives down the hill into Greer, turn left on CR 1121, a gravel road that runs along the hillside southeast of Greer.
  • Go only 0.1 mile and park in the downhill dirt lot on the right.

Trail: Dirt trail that crosses the creek twice over rocks and part way on a gravel road.

Trailhead and Directions: The trailhead is next to the kiosk/bulletin board on the south side of the road opposite the parking area. Walk up the hill and follow the trail keeping right at the fork, on up the hill slowly bending left, cross the stream on the small rocks, go past a water spout on the right, and end up on a gravel road. The main trail continues across the road up and around the back side of the large hill, then down on the north side returning to the gravel road. Cross the gravel road and walk a few feet up hill and look for a gravel side path with rock cairns that leads to the creek. Go down this short path and jump to the stone and across the creek to the trail. The trail continues north and joins with the trail you took going up hill earlier.

Access: Hiking, bicycles, horses, but no motorized vehicles. Not handicapped accessible except on the gravel road, but that would be rough and on a hill.

Distance: There are two options:

  • Option 1 is a short hike: Walk up the trail, cross the creek, and continue to the gravel road. Turn left and walk down the gravel road until you find the gravel turn off to the left to cross the creek the second time. From there you walk along the dirt trail and back to the parking area. This distance is only 1.1 miles.
  • Option 2 is the long hike: After walking up the hill and crossing the creek, cross the gravel road, and walk the trail around the hill and return as described under Trailhead & Directions. This distance is 1.42 miles. Two maps are attached for option 1 and option 2.

Difficulty: Easy, except the uphill hike and crossing the stream the first time over the rocks. Then making the jump to the stone and trail in the second crossing.

Features: This trail is excellent for both birding and wildflowers. The large Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs were burned in the Wallow fire of 2011 and have supported many woodpeckers including American Three-toed, but as of 2015, many of the burned trees have fallen down. Warblers, flycatchers, nuthatches, chickadees, wrens, juncos, and other species are easily seen. Often there are several Clark’s Nutcrackers in the tree tops or on the ridge to the west of the trail. Sometimes they come down into the canyon for water and around the buildings in Greer. One interesting plant is Giant Lousewort whose leaves look like a fern, but there is a tall stalk with interesting flowers in mid summer. New Quaking Aspen trees line the right side of the trail all of which have sprung up after the fire. Bracken Fern, Indian Paintbrush, New Mexico Groundsel, Fivenerve Helianthella, Manyflowered Stoneseed, Purple Loco, Silverleaf, Monk’s Hood, Larkspur, Checkermallow, Owl’s Claw, Cut-leaf Coneflower, Scorpionweed, Sanddune Wallflower, Winged Eriogonum, Giant Hyssop, Franciscan Bluebells, Bluebell Bellflower, and many other flowers are common in season.

Connections: None.

Option 1

Greer – Butler Nature Trail Option 1
Download Map

Option 2

Greer – Butler Nature Trail Option 2
Download Map

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