The geography of central Arizona’s eastern mountains looks nothing like what most people imagine for the state. In lieu of dry desert, here tall Spruce, Pine and Aspen covered mountains rise above cold blue lakes and perennial streams. Roads are often closed during winter, due to deep snowfall. But in spring and summer the area is wonderfully cool, lush and green. And fall brings in a blast of autumn color. Hikes southeast of Pinetop (or outside the tiny ranching towns of Alpine, Greer and Nutrioso) wander through the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, White Mountains or stunningly rugged Blue Range Primitive Area. Expect an abundance of summer wildflowers and potential wildlife sightings, including deer, fox, turkey, trout or an occasional bear or wolf.
Scroll down to explore Pinetop area hikes by difficulty. Click hike names for full details.
Easy Pinetop Area Hikes
★★★★★ Thompson Hiking Trail / South of Greer / 3.25 miles
This lush, riverside hike is one of Arizona’s most beautiful! In spring and summer it overflows with colorful wildflowers and bright green marsh grass.
Moderate Pinetop Area Hikes
★★★★☆ Escudillo Hiking Trail / North of Alpine / 3 miles
Cross Aspen groves, butterfly dotted meadows and “wailing” forests. This trail ascends Arizona’s 3rd highest peak to an abandoned watchtower. It passes healthy forests and ones burned in the 2011 Wallow fire.