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Name: Los Burros Trail (northern loop) Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating:(based on three votes)
Type: Bike Difficulty: (Medium). Although this trail isn’t technically challenging, the altitude, climbs and length can be difficult for some
Time: 2 - 4 hours Region: NW Arizona
Length: 10.5 miles (roundtrip) Elevation gain/loss/change: +1060 / -1060 ft / +0 ft (loop)
Type: Loop Avg Elevation: 8000 ft
Best time to go: fall, summer, spring Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: October, 2009
Short Description: Awesome singletrack in the White Mountains that shouldn't be missed!
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Country Club Forest; Los Burros Cache
References / Contact Information: White Mountain Trail System: one of the best resources for biking in the White Mountains
Points of interest: Gorgeous scenery. Cool air. Trees. Great singletrack!
Special Considerations: Watch the altitude. It can be difficult for flatlanders like me.
How to get there: From Pinetop, take 260 east until you reach the small reservation town of McNary (be careful, the speed limit slows to 35 mph through the town). About half way through the town (which isn’t far), take Vernon Rd (FR 224). There is a very small green sign at the intersection pointing toward Vernon and is easy to miss. The road quickly turns into a well-maintained dirt road. From the intersection, drive 7.5 until you reach the turnoff to Los Burros Campground on the right. Drive to the end of the small campground. There’s a large information sign at the trailhead. This trailhead is referred to as Trailhead #1 on some signs. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is an awesome trail in the cool White Mountains near Show Low and Pinetop. It has tons of singletrack winding through dense stands of pine trees and shouldn’t be missed. At roughly 8000 feet in elevation and long climbs, it can get your heart pounding, but it isn’t too technical and the ripping fast downhills make the climbs worth it.

General Information and History

The full Los Burros Trail is about 13.5 miles long. In 1999 the forest service created a shortcut that splits the northern half from the southern half. This ride is the longer northern loop (10 miles). I haven’t done the southern loop yet, but hope to ride it next spring. This trail is part of the White Mountain Trail System which connects a bunch of trails in the Show Low and Pinetop region. These trails are well maintained and marked. They have a great system for marking the trails. Blue diamond signs mark the main trails. Ones with yellow dots mark shortcuts, while those with green dots mark connector trails (trails which connect to other main trails on the system). The signs are attached to trees on posts every few hundred yards and you almost have to try to get lost on these trails. If you’ve gone for longer than a quarter mile without seeing a blue diamond sign, you’re not on the right trail.

For the most part, it’s a fairly easy trail which isn’t too technical or rocky. I can ride about 99.9% of it. Even so, at this altitude, the long climbs will have you sucking the thin air pretty hard. I have to stop and catch my breath a few times making my way to the top of the hills.

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The Trail

From the starting point (Waypoint LB01), head southeast and up a somewhat rocky hill. Don’t worry, it’s not all this rocky and the trail soon smoothes out. Just before LB02, you’ll go through a gate. LB02 is an intersection of the northern loop, southern loop and the shortcut at a power line road. Go straight ahead on the singletrack (following the blue diamonds with yellow dots) to make a CCW trip around the northern loop, while a left on the power line road will take you on a CW trip. A right here (also on the power line road) will take you through the southern loop.

The next mile is a tough, but doable climb of about 400 ft in elevation. The trail mostly levels out in the saddle here. At LB05, you’ll cross a dirt road. LB06 is the junction of the southern, northern and shortcut trails. Take a left here to go on the northern loop. Now, since you’re on the main trail, the markers will be just blue diamonds (without the yellow dots). Just after LB06 you’ll start a half-mile fun downhill section that ends at a sharp right turn at LB07. Then it’s another mile and a half climb up to about 8300 ft. On the way, you’ll go through another gate at LB08, take a left on an old road until you reach LB09. At LB10, you’ll cross the road again.

Now comes the really fun part. Almost two miles of downhill!!! This part is a blast and you can scream along the old road, but I liked going through the winding singletrack among the pine trees the best. At LB12, you’ll cross the power line road again. Take the jumps going down the steep hill if you dare! Keep going on the singletrack. At LB13, you’ll cross Vernon Rd. again. This is the trail’s lowest point. Get ready for another climb.

After a few hundred yards, you’ll pass the old corral on the right. Don’t try to jump off the ramp :-) At LB14 and LB15 you’ll cross more dirt roads. Keep going on the singletrack.

At LB16 you’ll cross Vernon Rd. again, and for the last time. There’s a small parking lot and another trailhead at this location with more maps and information. Keep going on the singletrack, past LB17 until you reach LB02. There is an old post and small sign at this intersection, but it can be easily missed if you’re going real fast. Just remember, once you get on the power line road, LB02 is just a few hundred yards. Go back through the gate and ride the rocky trail back to Trailhead #1 (Waypoint LB01).

Wasn’t that an awesome ride?!

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