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Pine Butte, AZ

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
no permit
63 7 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,390 feet
Elevation Gain 1,030 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,335 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.28
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
24  2020-04-01
Two Peaks and a Swingset
11  2019-12-05 LJW
14  2019-08-23 david_allen_3
3  2015-11-13 david_allen_3
9  2013-07-19 BobP
2  2011-03-18 mazatzal
Author DixieFlyer
author avatar Guides 58
Routes 528
Photos 7,311
Trips 481 map ( 5,935 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → Any
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  5:36am - 7:27pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 Willow 2004117.2 mi*
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k
🔥 2012 Sunflower Fire16.1k
🔥 2004 Willow Fire120k
🔥 2004 Willow117.2 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

On Cloud Pine
by DixieFlyer

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Pine Butte is a somewhat obscure peak in the Mazatzal Mountains on the Maricopa County/Gila County line.

From the trailhead, you will see FR 201 going off to your left; FR 191 going off to your right; and an old jeep/OHV road in front of you that heads straight uphill. Take the jeep road, which is very rocky and very steep. You will gain 500 feet of elevation in about 0.4 miles.

You will then be atop the first of 3 false summits that you will be on before getting to the Pine Butte summit. Pine Butte is to your north, and the best thing to do is to follow a ridgeline to the southeast of Pine Butte.

Once at the first false summit, the hike is totally off-trail. The vegetation is mostly manzanita, chaparral, and wolfberry, although other assorted prickly bushes are not very friendly to humans. Fortunately, there is no catclaw, cholla, or cactus to deal with. Until you make the final ascent to the summit, the vegetation is not very dense. For the most part, you can walk around the vegetation rather than having to plow through it, which makes bushwhacking relatively easy.

There are some ups and downs when going across the three false summits, but it is not very steep, and the bushwhacking continues to be relatively easy. However, in the last 0.2 miles to the summit, you'll gain about 325 feet in elevation, and the vegetation is a bit thick in places -- this is the most challenging part of the hike.

Once atop the summit, you'll be able to enjoy some lovely 360-degree views of the Mazatzal Mountains and beyond.

At an elevation of 6,420 feet above sea level, Pine Butte is the 10th highest peak in Maricopa County.

This hike is primarily of interest to peak baggers, but there are old mines and prospects in Pine Butte's vicinity that might be of interest to some hikers. Once back at the trailhead, some might wish to hike on FR 191 for a couple of miles or so to see the Mazzie Swingset. After hiking up to Pine Butte, peak baggers among us might also wish to drive to the Mount Peeley TH at the terminus of FR 201 and do the excellent Mount Peeley Summit hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2020-04-02 DixieFlyer
    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
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, head north on Highway 87, aka the Beeline Highway, toward Payson. At the signed turnoff to Mount Ord, instead of going east on FR 626 toward Mount Ord, go west on FR 627 toward Sycamore Creek. FR 627 is a paved road, and after about 1.3 miles, turn on FR 201, which is an unpaved road. Travel on FR 201 about 4.5 miles or so and park at the junction with FR 201 and FR 191. The GPS coordinates are 33.97721, -111.4424.

    When dry, a decent high clearance vehicle should be able to make it to the trailhead, although 4WD would be better. Those in a passenger car may wish to park on FR 201 near the point where FR 201A goes to the left, and FR 1683 goes to the right. The GPS coordinates are 33.96995, -111.44916. From here, you'd have to walk 0.8 miles on FR 201 to get to the trailhead at the junction of FR 201 and FR 191.
    page created by mazatzal on Apr 02 2020 8:38 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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