Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail #61

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

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 (2,117 m), a minimum elevation of 6,807 ft (2,075 m), and an elevation range of 138 ft (42 m).


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Steps 1Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4
4,0441.9 mi6,807 ft6,945 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
44 min11.2134 ft0 ft
[ B to A ]
41 min0.00 ft134 ft

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

The length of the trail is 1.9 mi (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 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 41 min in the [ B to A ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.

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) Kaibab National Forest topographic maps. Do you want full-sheet outdoor recreation JPEG Topo 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

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. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.



  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. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  6. Floors is the gain divided by twelve, the height of one floor.
  7. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  8. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.