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.
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).