Easy water hike near Greer
Posted by Arizona Hiking
at July 5th
Squirrel Spring Recreation Area
Fed by three gurgling mountain streams and located adjacent to several campgrounds, Squirrel Spring Recreation Area is a popular, year-round playground with ample parking, picnic tables and restrooms. With over 14 miles of multi-use trails, this destination offers easy hiking among gigantic Ponderosa pines, bramble-choked creeks and glades. A good introduction to this trail system is the Ponderosa Trail #2.
Like a walk through the mythical earthly paradise of Shangri-La, the path wanders through a grassy-green valley enveloped by rolling hillsides and abrupt, stony escarpments. The route is somewhat befuddling, so, here’s the plan: From behind the trailhead kiosk, walk a quarter-mile on the wide, old road to a large metal gate. Pass through the gate and continue uphill to a junction at roughly the 1.5 mile point. Stay on trail #2. The trickiest intersection comes at mile 1.7 where there’s a small “#2” sign posted on a tree on the left. Here’s where you’ll leave the wide road and use the blue diamond symbols as your guide to complete the loop.
HIGHLIGHTS: easy hiking with lots of greenery and nearby campgrounds
LENGTH: 3.5-mile loop
ELEVATION: 8,300 – 8,700 feet
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 237 miles
From the stoplight in Eagar, go west on AZ260 for 9.6 miles to AZ373. Go south (left) on 373 and continue 2.2 miles to the Squirrel Spring Recreation Area on the right.