South Fork Shuttle

Eagar, Arizona

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While Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside rule the western face of the White Mountains, the eastern face is Eagar’s domain. Eagar, a small town south of Springerville, is becoming a hotbed of mountain biking (read about the Valle Redondo Fat Tire Fiesta in the sidebar). The South Fork Shuttle, about 13 miles south of Eager in the Apache National Forest, is a favorite trail for bikers and hikers in the eastern half of the White Mountains. At the top of the trail, the beginning of the ride skirts Mexican Hay Lake, one of many shallow fishing holes atop the White Mountains. The tall reeds that give the lake its name make it a magnet for waterfowl. The lake is surrounded by meadow on one side and an aspen/conifer forest on the other. Ducks and Canada geese can be seen throughout most of the year and bald eagles winter here. Elk, deer, beaver, and turkey are all common sights along the trail. The singletrack runs down to the South Fork Campground from Mexican Hay Lake.

South Fork Shuttle Professional Review and Guide

"While Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside rule the western face of the White Mountains, the eastern face is Eagar’s domain. Eagar, a small town south of Springerville, is becoming a hotbed of mountain biking (read about the Valle Redondo Fat Tire Fiesta in the sidebar). The South Fork Shuttle, about 13 miles south of Eager in the Apache National Forest, is a favorite trail for bikers and hikers in the eastern half of the White Mountains.

At the top of the trail, the beginning of the ride skirts Mexican Hay Lake, one of many shallow fishing holes atop the White Mountains. The tall reeds that give the lake its name make it a magnet for waterfowl. The lake is surrounded by meadow on one side and an aspen/conifer forest on the other. Ducks and Canada geese can be seen throughout most of the year and bald eagles winter here. Elk, deer, beaver, and turkey are all common sights along the trail. The singletrack runs down to the South Fork Campground from Mexican Hay Lake."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Eagar
Elevation Gain: 459 feet
Trail Type: Several options
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: varies
Season: Year-round; winters are extremely snowy
Trailhead Elevation: 8,900 feet
Top Elevation: 9,000 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Springerville Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Greer, Eagar
Driving Directions: Directions to South Fork Shuttle

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May 2018