This section of the AZ Trail was only recently completed, hence it doesn't yet appear in most maps or guidebooks. It is inconspicuously marked by trail signs along Snowbowl Road, and parking is unmarked. The trail, however, is top-notch - it offers a great workout as it climbs up the lower slopes of the San Francisco Peaks, and a fantastic cruise on the descent!
From Snowbowl Road the trail winds through pines, gaining elevation steadily along the way. Kudos to the trail engineers for building an incredibly smooth and never-too-steep trail through some pretty tough terrain! As the trail gets higher it starts to get more difficult, or maybe its just the altitude. Regardless, the forest turns to aspen and mixed conifer, and its downright beautiful.
This segment of the AZ Trail tops out in an aspen glade out at the intersection with the short connector trail to the parking at Aspen Corner.