The Aeroplane Mesa Trail is a 4 mile long trail that begins at the Aeroplane Mesa Campground and ends at the Middle Fork Trail – Trail #157.
Trail Condition: Good
From the trailhead, hike uphill along the Aeroplane Mesa Trail – Trail #705 to the small ridge above the trailhead/campground. There’s a fence, but no sign at the top of this ridge to mark the boundary of the Gila Wilderness. In addition to the sprawling mesa below, the Middle Fork canyon and Lilley Mountain are both visible.
The trail leads slowly downhill through the wide open mesa. Most of this landscape is grasslands with pinyon and juniper interspersed. The hiking is easy and the trail is straightforward to follow, although it is intensely braided throughout much of this section.
Just before dropping down to the Middle Fork, the trail reaches a small overlook slightly shy of 4 miles. This offers a splendid little view of Trotter Meadow. The stream is lined with cottonwoods and willows and looks positively charming. The switchbacks here are steep, but this section of trail is short and before you know, you will be along the banks of the Middle Fork. The junction with the Middle Fork Trail – Trail #157 is not marked.
For more information, see the trip report for Aeroplane Mesa-White Creek Loop.