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Hike # 8 – Show Low Trail Loop

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

  • Drive west on 260 about 9.7 miles past the traffic light on Woolford to a dirt road on the right.
  • Turn right and go down the hill and park by the fence. You can see the trailhead kiosk/bulletin board from 260 as you approach the turn.

Trail: All dirt and gravel trail with rocks, except for the initial 200 yards of pavement.

Trailhead and Directions: The trailhead is on the left side of the parking area. A paved “road” heads straight east between fences to a bridge over Show Low Creek. At the eastern end of the bridge, take the dirt trail to the right. At the fork in the trail, stay left and walk up the long hill. The trail weaves through a recently installed Frisbee golf course and there are narrow trails that lead to “tees” and baskets for that game. Stay on the wider main trail that has occasional blue diamonds. Towards the top of the hill after a 0.58 mile climb, there is a sign that says Woolford Trail Head to the left. You can ignore this turn and continue straight ahead. But there are more flowers in the open juniper forest on the ridge if you turn left and walk up to the bulletin board, a distance of only 0.13 miles. A road (Ridgeline Drive) will eventually be constructed to allow you to park at that trailhead, but not as of fall 2015. Go back down the trail 0.13 miles and turn left to take the main trail in a loop back down the hill to the fence line bordering the large pasture to the west. Continue along the fence line back to the bridge and to your car. You can walk out in the pasture west of the fence if you wish. And you can walk down to the stream and cross on the rocks. This is good for dogs who need a drink after the hike.

Access: Hiking, bicycling (but very rough), no motorized vehicles. The first portion of the hike to and over the bridge on the pavement is handicapped accessible.

Distance: If you walk the full loop including the side trail to the Woolford trailhead, the distance is only 1.1 miles.

Difficulty: Easy except the elevation gain might make it moderately difficult. Also the trail has many large rocks to step around.

Features: The first section of the trail has pastures on either side where horses and cattle graze. Meadowlarks are common and other open country birds like blackbirds, cowbirds, and American Kestrel are present. Some of the disturbed ground is covered with Field Bindweed, Cutleaf Nightshade, Filaree, and Common Mallow among other plants. The open field on the right (south side of the initial walk) may have wild horses grazing among the large stands of Hairy False Golden Aster (Heterotheca villosa) in late summer. Along the fence bordering the pasture may have large stands of Spreading Four O’Clock. The hilly portion of the trail is a mature pine forest with scattered juniper, Gambel Oaks, and yucca. The upper section is very rocky with junipers, cholla, Sego Lily, Yellow Flax, and Indian Paintbrush. The usual forest birds are present but not abundant.

Connections: None.

Show Low Trail Loop
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