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Hike #17 - Trail 633 Trailhead to below Arizona Game and Fish

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260, drive 1.4 miles East on 260 to Hill Road, just past the old auto repair shop. Turn left and drive down the one-lane dirt road and swing right at the bottom. Go 100 yards to a parking lot on the right. Leave one car here. Drive back up to 260 and turn left (east) and go 1.4 miles to the traffic light. Turn left on Buck Springs Road, drive 0.6 miles, and turn left on Sky Hi Road. Drive 1.0 miles on Sky Hi and turn left into the large parking lot for the trailhead for the Springs Trail 633.

Trail: The trail is well-worn, dirt, and rocky. There are many big rocks along the trail and smaller loose rocks in the trail. The trail is mostly flat, but has a few steeper descents down to the creeks and a slight climbs.

Trailhead and Directions: From the parking lot on Sky Hi Road, walk west by the kiosk/bulletin board and through the gate. Keep right at the Y and follow the trail down and across Thompson Creek that is usually almost dry. Continue along the hillside and then cross the creek again. You will come to a sign and trail on the right at 0.8 miles. This is the Little Bear Connector that leads to the Blue Ridge Trail #107. Continue straight ahead on Trail 633, cross the creek again, and walk up the hill, under the power lines, until you find the sign for the Old Hatchery trail on the right. You will have walked 1.88 miles. Turn right and take this trail through two gates (please close them) and along the creek down a steep rocky trail to your car.

Access: Hikers, bicycles, and horses. No motorized vehicles. Not handicap accessible.

Distance: A total of 2.18 miles back to the first car parking area.

Difficulty: Easy, but be careful of loose stones along the way, especially at the end where you go down a steep area to the first car. You have to cross creeks three times, but usually they are mostly dry and have stones to step across.

Features: The trail first crosses a Ponderosa Pine forest where there are bluebirds, warblers, swallows, and other birds of the pine forest. As you walk along the creek, look for Red-faced and Yellow-rumped Warblers, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, Chipping Sparrows, Red-backed Dark-eyed Juncos, siskins, goldfinches, maybe a kingfisher, and other common species. At the end of the trail, look for Yellow and MacGillivray’s Warblers. There are many Broad-tailed Hummingbirds here also. The wet areas can be covered with golden pea in spring and lots of Prairie Smoke flowers in early summer. The yellow composites in spring are New Mexico groundsel. In summer, Butterfly Milkweed is at the end of the trail.

Connections: At 0.8 miles you can connect with the middle of the Blue Ridge Trail that runs in an 8.7 mile loop up over the Blue Ridge. By continuing straight ahead on the Springs Trail and do not turn right on the Old Hatchery trail, you would walk about 1.8 miles back to your car at the 633 Springs trailhead on Ski Hi Road. Since the Springs trail is a loop, you could choose to take the left fork at the Y and walk about 1.8 miles to the Old Hatchery trail junction.

Trail 633 to Game and Fish
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