Burnt Stump Trail #366

Current Trail Conditions

The entire length of this trail was maintained in April 2013, and the upper half again in April 2014. The uppermost bend in the trail before it climbs to meet the Horseshoe Ridge Trail is often prone to getting overgrown with willow and other vegetation and has significant deadfall as of July 2020.

The lower half, from the junction with the South Fork Trail to Burnt Stump Spring, has numerous trees down across it and ceanothus, locust and oak growth encroaching in places but otherwise still has good quality tread as of May 2017. Plan to climb over a lot of logs.

The springbox at Burnt Stump Spring was narrowly missed by 5 fallen logs as of July 2020 but is still a reliable source of water.

Length: 0.48 mi

Difficulty: moderate

Condition: moderate

Elevation range: 7680 ft – 8010 ft

Elevation gain/loss: 325 ft ↑

Average slope: 12.9%


The Burnt Stump Trail is accessible from two locations.

The lower elevation northern terminus (31.81839, -109.23700) leaves the South Fork Trail shortly after it begins climbing out of the canyon bottom for the final time and ascends towards its southwestern terminus at the Crest Trail. At a switchback marked by a sign bolted to a tree, the Burnt Stump Trail heads left while the South Fork Trail continues through the switchback to the right.

The higher elevation southern terminus (31.81407, -109.23488) occurs along the upper end of the Horseshoe Ridge Trail, nearly 0.6 miles northeast of its own upper terminus. This junction is marked by two separate signs.

Trail Description

South Fork Trail to Burnt Stump Spring

The Burnt Stump Trail is a short connector between the South Fork Trail and the Horseshoe Ridge Trail, with access to a reliable water source midway along its length. Formerly characterized by bad erosion, downed trees, and overgrowth by thorny plants, this trail's worst parts were cleared and repaired in the spring of 2013. As the trail is within an area affected by the 2011 Horseshoe 2 fire, however, expect more trees to fall across it and overgrowth to recur during wet seasons.

From the junction with the South Fork Trail, the Burnt Stump Trail heads south, contouring with the terrain. At a small drainage crossing, stone steps have been built to assist climbing the somewhat steep opposite side. There are several additional short steep sections along this trail, but they are not especially difficult to pass if you've managed to make it this far.

Burnt Stump Spring lies nearly exactly halfway along the trail's length at the end of one of these steep stretches, nestled into a small drainage. (31.81542, -109.23684) Its springbox is built out of metal and set into the ground, one corner open for water to flow out. It is located directly off the trail on the uphill side and is impossible to miss if you are on the trail itself unless it has been buried by debris from the slope above, which has happened in the past. The box holds quite a lot of water.

Burnt Stump Spring to Horseshoe Ridge Trail

From here the trail becomes very nice, the final nearly quarter mile having been entirely rebuilt. After approximately 150 feet, the trail beginning to curve around to the right, you will pass over a pair of small seeps where, especially early in the morning, water may sometimes puddle on the trail. A little over 300 feet beyond, a once very problematic steep and narrow drainage crossing has been rebuilt and widened, and from there it's just a few more curves and a comparatively gradual climb to the end of the trail. The final 400 feet have had a problem with plants encroaching on the trail and becoming a thicket that's difficult to push through, but these have been cut back and dug out from the path and should temporarily be less of a problem.

Upon reaching the Horseshoe Ridge Trail, (31.81407, -109.23488) its junction marked by two signs, you can turn left to loop around to Horseshoe Saddle and the Burro Trail and drop back down into South Fork at Maple Camp, or turn right in the direction of Sentinel Peak, the Jones Ridge Trail, Baker Canyon Trail and Crest Trail, the last of which can be followed back to the upper terminus of the South Fork Trail for a different loop.


Topographic map of Burnt Stump Trail #366

Last updated July 8, 2020.