Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Springerville Ranger District
A complex of hiking trails surround Pole Knoll, totaling almost 30 miles in length and doubling as cross-country ski trails in the winter. The shortest loop is about one mile, and the longest is six miles, with trail ratings from easy to moderate.
This knoll is typical of those found in the White Mountains area. The north slope is heavily timbered with spruce, fir and aspen.
The east slope is a mix of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer, while the west and south aspects are mainly high-elevation grassland.
Hiking the trails in early morning or late evening offers the best chance to see many wildlife species. Elk, mule deer, Merriam’s turkey, Abert’s and red squirrel, blue grouse and a variety of songbirds can be found here.
Bird species include western and mountain bluebird, horned lark, rufous and broad-tailed hummingbird, western tanager, and Bewick’s and winter wren.
Habitat: Ponderosa pine forest, mixed conifer, high-elevation grassland
Seasons: All year. Primarily spring, summer and fall for wildlife viewing.
Location: From the traffic light in Eagar, drive west on State Highway 260 about 13 miles to milepost 383. Turn left into the trailhead parking area on the south side of highway. The trailhead is at 9,000-feet elevation.
Access: Sunrise to sunset. Parking is at designated sites only.
Near: Eagar or Springerville
What You Might See
- Spruce-fir forest birds
- Ponderosa pine forest birds
- Pronghorn antelope
- Mule deer
- Medium-sized mammals
- Small mammals