Railroad Grade Trail (AZ)

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The entire route of the Railroad Grade Trail follows a historic railroad corridor, offering gentle climbs and stunning views. The railroad formerly hauled logs from various parts of the Apache National Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation and later hauled tourists from McNary on a tour of the White Mountains.

A unique feature of the trail is an 80-foot-long trestle bridge that was reconstructed in 1998. The trail also features trailheads at 4 locations, giving users the option to enjoy the entire trail or separate the visit into more manageable portions.

Parking and Trail Access

Each of the 4 trailheads has a vault toilet and a parking capacity for at least 10 vehicles. The trailheads are located at Railroad Cove at Big Lake, Lightning Ridge, Sheep Crossing and at the northern endpoint on State Route 260 (northeast of SR 273).


Unrealized potential

   March, 2011 by az pete

My wife and I have riden the entire trail on Mt. Bikes a couple of times. We have not encountered other riders on the trail. I suspect that the main reason is the tread is loose cinders, which are coarse in texture. The water crossings are commonly plated ...read more


   November, 2007 by RTCKC

The photos on this page are not from the Railroad Trail near Big lake in eastern Arizona. The photos are from Canyon Lake outside Phoenix. read more

ApacheTrail: NOT for mountain biking

   October, 2005 by John Sharrock

"Last week we rode the Apache Rail Trail from Rt260 to FR87. The scenary in mid-October is beautiful, but the trail was a BIG disappointment. It is very rough and unpleasant for biking. I won't ride the trail again until it is improved and I don't recommend ...read more