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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Sixshooter-Telephone Ridge Loop, AZ

Guide 29 Triplogs  4 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
no permit
296 29 4
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,520 feet
Elevation Gain -1,180 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,430 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.15
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2018-05-30 JuanJaimeiii
20  2017-10-28
Pinal Mountains 4X Super Loop
3  2017-09-25 JuanJaimeiii
5  2017-04-07 JuanJaimeiii
7  2016-09-28 JuanJaimeiii
20  2015-09-27 Mick
20  2015-03-26 jameslcox44
14  2014-10-18
4th Annual Spooky Festive Rendezvous Pinal 4X
Page 1,  2,  3
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,617
Trips 1,516 map ( 7,711 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Co-Author Chapman
co-author avatarGuides 2
Routes 0
Photos 65
Trips 17 map (90 Miles)
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Jun, Aug → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:35am - 7:24pm
8 Alternative

the Pinals are calling...
by PrestonSands & Chapman

Likely In-Season!
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This loop hike in the upper Pinal Mountains makes use of an old utility line road, the Telephone Trail, and the Sixshooter Trail. The utility line road (which is more of a trail) marks an underground phone and power line route.

With a minimum elevation of 6400 feet and plentiful shade, this loop makes a good summer hike. Good boots are helpful for the numerous steep and rocky sections.

Although we did this hike clockwise, this description is of a counter-clockwise loop. The hike will be easier to complete if you do it counterclockwise due to the Telephone Trail being poorly marked where it departs the eastern side of Telephone Ridge. If you want to do this hike clockwise, it would be wise to bring a GPS unit.

Starting at the Ferndell Trailhead, walk past the vehicle barrier gate at the beginning of the Ferndell Trail #204. You'll immediately come to the signed junction with the Sixshooter Trail #197. Turn left and head downhill on Sixshooter.

After 0.15 miles, the Sixshooter Trail passes through a gate and joins up with an old road. Turn left and head downhill again. This abandoned road, which is now the Sixshooter Trail, makes a steep drop into the densely forested depths of Sixshooter Canyon.

Around 0.9 miles, the steep descent eases up, and the Sixshooter Trail meets up with the Telephone Trail #192, at a signed junction, in a little flat area in the canyon bottom. Follow the Telephone Trail, and you'll soon come to a clearing on the left. A pile of rotted timbers and a scattering of rusty nails mark the site of a sawmill that was once located here.

After crossing a side drainage of Sixshooter Creek, the Telephone Trail begins a long traverse of the forested western wall of Sixshooter Canyon. The trail descends gradually as it works its way northeastward.

Interestingly, this section of the Telephone Trail was a road at one time. Perhaps lumber from the sawmill was shipped down to Globe via this route.

Beautiful fir forest gradually gives way to massive manzanita, as the Telephone Trail nears the spine of Telephone Ridge.

Around the 6400 foot contour, the Telephone Trail suddenly emerges from a trench that was chopped through giant manzanita bushes and lands on the ridge top, where it meets the utility line road. This junction's GPS coordinates: 33.30840 N, -110.81488 W. From this point, the Telephone Trail heads northeast along the top of the ridge while sharing its route with the underground utility line. To continue on this hike, though, leave the Telephone Trail behind and begin following the utility line road (trail) southwest, as it climbs straight up Telephone Ridge.

As you climb up the steep, exposed, manzanita-lined ridge, be sure to turn around and check out the lovely panoramic views of the Globe area and eastern Arizona. Once you hit the 7000-foot level, the forest closes in, and the views disappear. The ascent is a little less brutal now, and shade from the pine-fir forest offers relief.

A couple of small campsites are passed before the utility line road/trail comes to a locked vehicle barrier gate (not that a sane person would take their vehicle down this treacherous pseudo-road, anyway). The utility line road now becomes forest road 651M. Follow road 651M for another 0.37 miles until it dumps you back onto forest road 651, at the start of the Icehouse Canyon Trail.

Turn left and follow forest road 651 for 0.4 miles to where the road forks. A sign indicates Ferndell or Pinal Peak. Take the left fork (road 651C) towards Ferndell. After a third of a mile hike down road 651C, there is a sign indicating trails 204 and 197. Turn left at the sign, and you'll arrive back at the Ferndell Trailhead where you started.

Check out the Triplogs.

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-09-07 PrestonSands & Chapman
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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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Ferndell Trailhead
For best results use this Upper Pinal Trailheads

At the junction of highways 60 & 188 in Claypool, turn right (south) onto Russell Road

Odometer 0.0
- South on Russell Road for 0.35 miles
- DO NOT continue on Golden Hill, Russell turns right
- Continue to 0.65 miles
- DO NOT continue on Rose Mofford Way, Russell turns left
- At 6.3 miles you reach FR 651

Odometer 0.0
- Turn right (south) on FR 651 ( dirt road )
- Continue to 10.25 mi with FR 651C junction

- Left on FR 651C 0.3 miles to Ferndell Trail ( lower )

- Continue on FR 651 to 11.2 miles
- Right on FR 651F, just 0.7 miles to the Pinal Peak Trailhead at the end

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 2 h 19 min without traffic
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 49 min without traffic
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 3 h 59 min without traffic
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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