Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail - Kaibab National Forest - Arizona (AZ)

Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail

Kaibab National Forest
Located 13.7 miles from Williams, Arizona (AZ)
4 Stars
4,044 Steps 1  (1.9 mi)
Robert Bennett

The Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail is accessible at Laws Spring in the Kaibab National Forest — this rare water supply was used by the prehistoric Cohonina people from AD 700 to 1100. The rock walls surrounding the spring have several petroglyphs dating from this time as well as many names inscribed of unknown immigrants who passed by the area during the 1800's.

Beale Wagon Road Historic TrailLaws Spring at Beale Wagon Road Historic TrailCamel Sign at Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail

The trail is named after Edward Fitzgerald Beale who was a retired navy lieutenant hired by congress during 1857 to chart and build a transcontinental wagon road. The road provided pioneers with access to new territories gained after the 1848 Mexican-American war. With a team of 50 men, 22 camels and supplies of food and water, Beale endeavored to build a modest road that stretched 1,240 miles from Fort Smith, Arkansas to the Colorado River of Southern California.

Major W.L. Laws was a member of the military that escorted Lt. Beale and his men across the new land. As a sign of respect for the major, Lt. Beale named the spring after him in July 1859. The letters for "Laws Spring" were etched by Peachy Breckenridge, a tombstone carver who was also traveling with Beale's team. Peachy was the son of the then Vice President John C. Breckenridge who served under President Buchanan.

Laws Spring was listed on the National Register of Historical Places on July 5th, 1984. The spring has changed very little since Lt. Beale and the unknown immigrants passed by the area in the 1800's — the remains of the old wagon road are still faintly visible.

Please respect the area and do not deface the rocks — all artifacts on public lands are protected by federal and state laws. Note, trail metrics on this page cover a 2 mile section of the trail beginning at Laws Spring.


The Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail has a maximum elevation of 6,945 ft., a minimum elevation of 6,807 ft. and an elevation range of 138 ft.


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4Range 5
1.9 mi6,807 ft6,945 ft138 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 6Floors 7Gain 8Loss 9
44 min11.2134 ft0 ft
[ B to A ]
41 min0.00 ft134 ft
Data Accuracy
5 Stars
Data Reliability
5 Stars


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the trail while hiking in both directions. The chart is based on data derived from a statistical model of energy expenditure that relates gross weight, typical speed and trail topography.

Topo Maps

Download the free Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail topo map and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) topographic maps.

Adjoining 7.5' Quadrangle Legend

  1. Northwest Topo Map: Howard Lake, AZ
  2. North Topo Map: Hobble Tank, AZ
  3. Northeast Topo Map: Ebert Mountain, AZ
  4. West Topo Map: Howard Mesa, AZ
  5. Topo Map: Squaw Mountain, AZ
  6. East Topo Map: Moritz Ridge, AZ
  7. Southwest Topo Map: Williams North, AZ
  8. South Topo Map: Sitgreaves Mountain, AZ
  9. Southeast Topo Map: Parks, AZ


The following chart illustrates the difficulty of hiking the Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail compared to two other trails. The x-axis is cumulative elevation gain and the y-axis is maximum elevation. The length of the trail is reflected in the size of the bubble.

  • Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail


What is the length of the Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail?

The length of the trail is 1.9 miles (3.0 km) or 4,044 steps.

How long does it take to hike the Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 44 minutes in one direction and in 41 minutes in the opposite direction.

Is there a Beale Wagon Road Historic trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail is located on the Squaw Mountain topo map.


Prevent tick bites: Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. (


  1. Steps is a unit of distance equal to the sum of stride lengths that vary with the terrain.
  2. Length is the distance of the trail between the two trailheads, measured on the trail.
  3. Min Ele is the minimum elevation on the trail.
  4. Max Ele is the maximum elevation on the trail.
  5. Range is the difference between maximum and minimum elevation.
  6. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  7. Floors is the gain divided by twelve feet, the height of one floor.
  8. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  9. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.

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