This section of the AZ trail offers easy singletrack with big views of the peaks and no crowds. It starts in the aspens and quickly enters wide open, sparsely treed prairie. The trail is continually slightly downhill south to north, which, combined with the generally non-technical nature of the trail, makes for a fast fun ride.
The FR 418 trailhead is 2.8 miles from Hwy 180, and is also the northern end of the Arizona Trail (Aspen Corner to FR 418)
Heading north from this point, there is a AZ trail sign about 20 ft west of the parking spots, or directly across the road from the southern section of the AZ trail. The trail winds through the aspens and then joins an old forest road for a bit before breaking away onto more singletrack headed north. You'll then cross FR 514 at a pair of gates (make sure to close these). The trail parallels 514 until eventually leaving it to cross FR 523 at the 523/416 junction. There is parking at this junction as well.