Escudilla Mountain - Terry Flat Loop
|Description: This 15-mile driving route along the eastern edge of the White Mountains loops around the high meadows of Escudilla Mountain, the third highest peak in Arizona at 10,877 feet. There are old-growth stands of Engleman spruce, aspen, and Douglas and white fir in the nearby Escudilla Wilderness Area. Extensive groves of aspen provide magnificent fall colors around the first week in October. Sego lily, Indian paintbrush, cinquefoil, and wild onions are among the abundant wildflowers here in July and August. The Escudilla Wilderness Area encompasses a hiking trail on top of Escudilla Mountain.|
Wildlife to Watch: Wildlife can be viewed along the entire length of the drive or from the hiking trail. Elk, mule deer, Merriam’s turkey, blue grouse, black bear, long-tailed weasel, and Abert’s and red squirrel are commonly seen, along with many songbirds. Look for broad-tailed and rufous hummingbirds, Williamson’s and red-naped sapsucker, Cordilleran flycatcher, and plumbeous vireo. Mountain bluebird, western tanager, hermit thrush, Clark’s nutcracker, golden-crowned kinglet, dark-eyed junco, and northern goshawk are among the many birds seen here.
Special Tips: Terry Flat is a fairly reliable place to find an American three-toed woodpecker. Take the right fork of the loop and listen for the three-toed woodpecker’s drumming, especially near the Paddy Creek area.
Other Activities: The 6-mile Terry Flat loop can be driven or walked. Escudilla National Recreation Trail #308 is 3 miles in length with a moderate difficulty rating, traversing the wilderness area from the loop road to the fire tower on the mountain summit. Once topping out from the highway, take the left fork of the loop road about 0.3 mile to the trailhead parking area.
Ownership: U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Apache Sitgreaves National Forests
Size: 15-mile loop drive
Closest Town: Alpine
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: