Apache has many different surfaces and conditions across its nearly 44 miles, traveling through the Rio Grande and Carson National Forests along the edge of the Cruces Basin Wilderness. The trail is easy and well-maintained for roughly 25 miles from Highway 285 to the Lagunitas Creek Fishing area. After that point, the trail roughens considerably with rockier surfaces, areas of ruts, and even a large mud pit at roughly mile 29. See the Hardest Part photo. Trail conditions vary from the Lagunitas Creek Fishing area to the Colorado state line, where FR87 becomes FR117 and returns to a well-maintained dirt road.
Dispersed camping is plentiful along this trail, with most campsites being large enough for multiple vehicles. This area is popular among hunters in the Fall. Do not be surprised to see camper trailers, SxSs, and ATVs during this time. The trail on the Colorado side (FR117) is a seasonal road open 05/17-02/29. It is closed in the spring for elk calving season.
On the Highway 285 side, your nearest services are the tiny town of Tres Piedras with the Tres Piedras Ranger Station, post office, and Chili Line Depot restaurant, but no fuel station. At the northern end, travel east on Highway 17 to Horca, CO, and visit the Red Bear Haus for a general store, food and beer, and other services. Overall, your nearest fuel is Antonito, CO, or Chama, NM.
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