- Theodore Roosevelt Lake to Lone Pine Saddle
Southern Trailhead: Theodore Roosevelt Lake
This is near Theodore Roosevelt Dam, where AZ 88 and AZ 188 meet. The parking area is at the north end of the suspension bridge, on the east side of the highway.
Northern Trailhead: Pigeon Spring/Lone Pine Saddle Trailhead
From the suspension bridge near Roosevelt Dam, drive north on AZ 188 for 11 miles and turn left (west) at mile marker 255 onto El Oso Road. At 4.4 miles from the highway, the road appears to fork. Take the sharp right turn and follow the road as it climbs. Continue another 4.2 miles to an intersection with FR 422, which is the path of the AZT to the north. The AZT arrives from the southeast (left) on FR 143. Drive 1 mile on FR 143 to an intersection, bear left onto FR 648, and continue almost another mile to Pigeon Spring Trailhead on the left.
Alternatively, to reach a larger, more developed parking area and trailhead at Lone Pine Saddle, continue 0.5 miles ahead. Parking here allows you to hike on singletrack into the Four Peaks Wilderness and meet the AZT in about 2 miles.
Trail Route Description
This passage begins on the north side of the Roosevelt Lake Bridge at the Vineyard Trailhead on Highway 188. The trail climbs immediately along Inspiration Point, passes the radio towers and then passes north of Vineyard Mountain. It climbs up to the Mills Ridge Trailhead and from here a trail (#130) continues up and reaches the Four Peaks Wilderness boundary. The trail drops into Buckhorn Creek and then goes up again, passing Hackberry Creek and finally reaching Granite Spring. From here a new section of #130 heads north and then west, skirting around Buckhorn Peak. Heading north again the trail intersects with the Alder Creek Trail (#82) and then the Oak Flat Trail (#123) where it turns left and soon reaches Shake Spring. From here the trail works its way north and west to Pigeon Spring, climbs southwest on an old roadbed, and finally comes to the Pigeon Spring Trailhead on FR 648.
All year. Snow can be present at higher elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in summer
Water can be found at Roosevelt Lake and usually at Shake Spring and Pigeon Spring. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.
- All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
- Mountain bikes are prohibited in the Four Peaks Wilderness.
- USGS Topographic Maps: Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Four Peaks
- Tonto National Forest map.
- Four Peaks Wilderness map.
- BLM Information Center maps.
For more information
Current Passage Info
July 2, 2021
World Atlas (July 1, 2021) Arizona is located in the southwestern region of the United States. The State has diverse geography featuring volcanoes, mountains, canyons, plateaus, and deserts. Situated in the central part of the US State of Arizona, mostly within Gila County is the majestic Theodore Roosevelt Lake. This large lake is located in the Salt River Valley about 130km to the northeast of Phoenix – the State’s capital city, and 6km upstream from Apache Lake. The Theodore Roosevelt Lake was formed as a result of the construction of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River, as a part of the Salt River Project. Geography The Theodore Roosevelt Lake occupies an area of 21,493 acres and is considered the largest lake that is situated fully within the boundaries of the US State of Arizona. It is also the largest among the four lakes that were created as a part of the Salt River Project. The Lake has a length of 35.8km and has a maximum width of 3.2km. The Lake is situated at an elevation of 638m and reaches a maximum depth of 106m. The Lake receives its primary water inflows from the Salt River and the Tonto Creek....
February 9, 2021
Payson Roundup (February 9, 2021) by Michele Nelson Call it a silver lining, the lack of a monsoon and little winter precipitation has given the Forest Service the confidence to open up the Four Peaks recreation area less than a year after the Bush Fire. The Arizona Trail Association has already spread the news on its website. As of Feb. 5, the Forest Service will lift the closure that shut down passages 20 and 21. Those passages represent 5% of the 800-mile-long trail that runs from Arizona’s border with Mexico to its border with Utah. The Rim Country hosts about 20% of the National Scenic Trail, from the base of Roosevelt Lake to the Mogollon Rim at Washington Park. The Bush Fire burned almost 200,000 acres of the Four Peaks recreation area between the Bush Highway near Phoenix and Tonto Basin near Roosevelt Lake. After the fire, the Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response team conducted tests to monitor the conditions. After an intense wildfire like the Bush Fire, the BAER team calculates the risk for mudflows as a result of exposed dirt on steep hillsides. The BAER team found the risk too great to the public, so it closed...
February 3, 2021
On Friday, February 5 the Tonto National Forest rescinded the Bush Fire Closure Order that has affected over 32 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail's Passages 20 (Four Peaks) and 21 (Pine Mountain) since the Bush Fire started in June of 2020. Thanks to the hard work of the Arizona Trail Association, Arizona Conservation Corps and Conservation Corps New Mexico, some of the hillsides impacted by the Bush Fire have been stabilized and deadfall has been removed. However, hikers should exercise extreme caution within severely burned areas with steep side slopes. Falling trees, sloughing hillsides, unstable soils, debris traveling downhill, and the possibility of flash floods during storms are all very real hazards. Consider postponing your adventure or taking a zero day if rain is in the forecast, especially within Four Peaks Wilderness of Passage 20 and the Boulder Canyon area of Passage 21. Kudos to our partners at the Tonto National Forest for securing funds necessary to address emergency stabilization of the Arizona Trail, and for trusting the ATA with trail conditions assessments within the burn zone. Routine maintenance will be needed throughout the Bush Fire burn scar for many years into the future, but working together we...
August 24, 2020
The Tonto National Forest recently released a burn severity map of the Bush Fire. To view the map, click here. During the summer of 2020, the Bush Fire burned 193,455 acres and forced a closure of the Arizona National Scenic Trail that will likely last until Spring of 2021. The Arizona Trail Association plans to conduct an on-the-ground trail conditions assessment as soon as it's safe to do so.
July 28, 2020
Summertime is when hundreds of hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians are planning the logistics of a long-distance trip on the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT). Especially since many individuals canceled their springtime AZT adventures due to COVID-19, the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) has been anticipating the busiest autumn in history. However, Arizona’s intense wildfire season – with three major wildfires burning more than 100 miles of the AZT – and a recent spike in Arizona’s COVID-19 cases has led the ATA to discourage thru-hiking and thru-riding this year. We know how disappointing this is going to be for so many people. A southbound hike or ride from Utah to Mexico along the AZT is the adventure of a lifetime, and normally we would be encouraging everyone to use these uncertain times to hit the trail. But widespread trail closures with no safe or reasonable detours combined with Arizona becoming a global hot spot for the novel coronavirus has created an unsafe situation for “thrus” in 2020. In southern Arizona, the Bighorn Fire burned 120,000 acres on the Coronado National Forest, including AZT Passages 10, 11 and 12 through the Santa Catalina Mountains, as well as the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass....
Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.