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Rose Spring Trail - # 309

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You'll enjoy some of Alpine District's most outstanding vistas as you travel this relatively easy walk with its moderate gradient and pleasantly forested surroundings. Click here for printable information and map.

Like all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, Rose Spring Trail  (# 309) is open to hiking and horse use, but all types of motorized and mechanized travel are prohibited.

The magnificent views are yours courtesy of the Mogollon Rim, a 1500 foot drop-off that forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau and provides the high perspective for the panorama. This prodigious escarpment towers over the forested canyons of the Eagle Creek, Rose Peak, Maple Mountain, and far in the distance, Mount Graham and the Pinalenos. The Rose Spring Trail, also called the Rim Trail, follows a fence line along the southern boundary of the Bear Wallow Wilderness as it hugs the rim. About 3 miles from the trailhead, the Schell Canyon Trail (# 316) branches off on a course that leads to the South Fork of Bear Wallow Creek and into the heart of the wilderness.

From the junction with Schell Trail, the Rose Spring Trail continues through another mile and a half of conifers and ponderosa to the boundary of the San Carlos Indian Reservation. That boundary is marked by a standard stock fence. At this point, a road from the reservation side of the fence crosses on to the Forest side and cuts back to Rose Springs, an intermittent water source.

Trail Log:

  • 0.0 Trailhead, trail proceeds through a gate in the fence 50 yards below (north) of the parking lot.
  • 0.9 Open saddle. Good view to the south.
  • 1.8 Trail goes through second gate.
  • 2.7 More good views.
  • 3.4 Schell Canyon Trail #316.
  • 4.1 Old trail to right through fence, continue left
  • 4.5 Unsigned junction with Highline Trail to left, continue straight.
  • 4.9 San Carlos Apache Reservation boundary fence. Turn sharp right and proceed on road to Rose Spring.
  • 5.2 Rose Spring.

USGS Maps: Baldy Bill

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: May through October
  • No motorized or mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) are permitted in Wilderness.
  • A special use permit from the tribe is required for entry onto the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.
Information Center: Alpine Ranger District
(928) 339-5000
TTY: (928) 339-4566

General Information

Latitude: 33.56910833

Longitude: -109.4327028

Length: 4.5 miles

Elevation: 6,700 feet - 8,700 feet


Drive south on Hwy. 191 approximately 29 miles to Forest Road (FR) 54. Head west on FR 54 approximately 6 miles to a fork in the road. Proceed through the gate along the right fork about 0.6 mile to the end of the road. The trail begins 50 yards below the parking area at a signed gate on the fence.

General Info:

Elevation desc 8,700 feet to 6,700 feet
Best Season: May through October
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult


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