Buck Spring Ridge begins at the scenic Mogollon Rim and the iconic Rim Road, one of Arizona's best trails. Running through the eastern portion of the vast Coconino National Forest, the trail first traverses an alpine woodland of spruce, fir, and Ponderosa pines. As the trail descends northward, the spruce and fir fall away, and the pines become smaller because of the rain shadow caused by the Mogollon Rim's massive uplift. Take the time to visit the historic Buck Springs Cabin via the spur trails at Waypoints 5 and 6. These remote cabins, first used by ranchers almost 100 years ago, were summer quarters for fireguards who battled wildfires in this massive forest. The cabins sit on a picturesque mountain meadow that hosts the springs that give this area its name. Deer and elk often graze nearby in the mornings and later afternoons. Descending northward, the trail gets a bit rougher and enters an area burned in the 2018 Tinder Fire. The forest is slowly recovering from the fire, but the new openness allows quick views down into the deep East Clear Creek gorge giving explores a real feel for the true scope and ruggedness of this diverse landscape.
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