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Pineline Trail to Signal Peak, AZ
Description 12 Triplogs 0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Globe - South
Difficulty 2    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 3.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,720 feet
Elevation Gain 290 feet
Accumulated Gain 464 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.72
Interest Peak
Author Preston Sands
Descriptions 166
Routes 149
Photos 5,486
Trips 1,126 map ( 5,816 miles )
Age 37
Location Tucson, AZ
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
14  2014-10-18
Pinal Mountains 4X Super
5  2014-08-08
Ferndell Trail #204
10  2013-10-27
Pinal 1/2 4X Not So Super
22  2011-10-30 Randal Schulhaus
6  2010-10-28
Kellner Canyon Trail #242
Preston Sands
45  2010-07-30
Six Shooter Trail #197
Jim Lyding
26  2010-07-30
Six Shooter Trail #197
The Eagle
22  2009-08-21
Telephone Trail #192 - Pi
Jim Lyding
14  2009-08-21 Jim Lyding
14  2009-06-21
Bobtail Ridge Trail #194
Darth Stiller
20  2007-05-11 Preston Sands
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Tonto
Backpack - Possible & Connecting
Seasons - Early Spring to Late Autumn
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Bobtail Ridge Trail #194
0.3  Ferndell Trail #204
0.3  Sixshooter-Telephone Ridge Loop
0.4  Middle Trail #202
0.4  Pipeline Trail #193 - Pinal
1.8  Pioneer Pass Campground
[ View More! ]
   Rufous Hummingbird
     Bigtooth Maple*
     Ponderosa Pine
     Southwestern White Pine
     Unidentified Lupine
     White Fir

more sky island fun
by Preston Sands

The Pineline Trail #193 is one of several short trails on the top of Pinal Peak. The Pineline, Middle, and Ferndell Trails serve as connectors between the three major trails that climb Pinal Peak itself. With elevations in the mid 7000's and a beautiful forest mix of pine, fir, and aspen, these trails, although short, offer a cool retreat in summer, and vivid color in the fall.

This hike describes a trek along the Pineline Trail from the Bobtail Ridge Trailhead to the top of 7812 foot Signal Peak. Much of the hike along the Pineline Trail requires some route finding skills, due to damage from 2000's Peak Fire. Those who are not looking for a route finding challenge can bypass the Pineline Trail completely, and just hike up the fire road to the top of Signal Peak.

Starting at the Bobtail Ridge Trailhead, begin heading downhill on the Bobtail Trail #194. The Bobtail Trail switchbacks down for a quarter mile or so, before arriving in a flat saddle area, where the trail disappears. Just before reaching a lone group of tall, surviving ponderosa pines, there is an unsigned trail junction (33.28317 N, 110.83095 W) for the Pineline Trail. I built a modest sized cairn here; hopefully it won't collapse. The Pineline Trail turns north here, and immediately begins climbing a little, as it heads for a west facing slope. Within a short distance, the trail becomes a bit more defined, and easier to follow. There are some nice views to the west here, down Mill Creek canyon, as the Pineline Trail contours along through the burned forest. Wild flowers and new growth bring some hope for this area. Continuing on, the trail zigzags down an open, grassy ridge with views of Signal Peak. At 0.5 miles, the Pineline Trail arrives at the signed junction (33.28516 N, 110.83060 W) with the Middle Trail, then switchbacks off of the ridge, into unburned forest and plentiful greenery. The Pineline Trail briefly becomes a little faint once again, as it passes along the west side of the Pinal Recreation Area. At the one mile point, the Pineline Trail comes to an end at forest road 651 (33.28919 N, 110.83100 W). A sign indicating Trail #193 marks the junction.

To reach the top of Signal Peak, turn left onto forest road 651, and follow it a short distance (0.1 miles) to a gated side road on the left. Hop over the gate and head northwest up the side road. Thick firs and bigtooth maples provide ample shade, as the road climbs along the tops of Sixshooter and Icehouse Canyons, on the north face of Signal Peak. After 0.6 miles, the road comes to an end at the fire lookout tower on top of Signal Peak. During the mid 1880's, the U.S. Army used Signal Peak as a link in its chain of mountain top heliographs, that stretched across central and southeastern Arizona (a heliograph was a mirror that could communicate morse-code messages over long distances by reflecting sunlight). For some awesome views, climb the fire tower, or head over to the overlook a couple of hundred feet west of the summit, where there is an interpretive sign. Four Peaks, Superstition Mountain, Mt. Lemmon, and other peaks can be seen from Signal Peak.

Head back the way you came, or take the 651 road back to your vehicle for an easier return trip.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.


    Directions Preferred Months May Jun Oct
    Water / Source:None
    Preferred Start8 AM Cell Phone SignalHigh Points Sunrise6:15am Sunset6:41pm
    Road / VehicleFR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay
    Fees / Permit

    Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.

    To Bobtail Trailhead
    At the junction of highways 60 & 188 in Globe, turn south onto Russel Road. Continue south along Russel Road for about 0.3 miles. The main road will bend to the left becoming Golden Hill/Central Avenue. Russel Road will branch to the right. Remain on Russel Road! When the pavement ends, Forest Road 55 begins. Stay on FR 55 until you reach the junction with FR 651 (the distance from highway 60 to FR 651 junction is about 6.3 miles). Reset your odometer and turn right (south) on FR 651, and follow it up the mountain towards Pinal Peak. At 10.25 miles, the road forks; go right towards Pinal Peak. At 10.95 miles, there is a sign for Dead End Road/FR 651E. Turn right, and follow FR 651E for 0.1 miles to its end, at the Bobtail Ridge Trailhead. There is a wooden trail sign here for the Bobtail Trail.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 93.9 mi - about 2 hours 2 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - about 3 hours 4 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - about 4 hours 7 mins
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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