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Picketpost Circumference, AZ

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Guide 59 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Superior SW
3.5 of 5 by 19
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,401 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 906 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.53
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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19  2019-02-16 hikerdw
13  2018-12-17 Daytripper
12  2017-03-06 Daytripper
34  2017-03-04
AZT Spring Break 2017
10  2017-01-29 syoung
5  2016-12-10 hikerdw
7  2016-12-03
Picketpost Summit & Circumference
7  2016-11-20 jtaylor
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author sventre
author avatar Guides 13
Routes 67
Photos 403
Trips 61 map ( 272 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Dec → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:20pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
History, Views & your LOST
by sventre

This mostly on-trail hike is packed with history, great views and a modicum of good exercise. Following the route described below will certainly get you LOST as you start at a point near the beginning of the trail by the same name. You may also begin the loop at a number of other points along the route, but be certain to complete the full circle if you want all of the benefits.

Beginning at the Picketpost Trailhead you will proceed northerly across US 60 (keep your eyes up and away from that GPS as you carefully cross the highway). Your goal is to reach the intersection of FR357 and the Legends of Superior Trail. From this point proceed easterly along the LOST trail and parallel to the old railroad line until you reach interpretative sign #10 which explains the purpose of the Magma RR line. From here you can either continue along the LOST using the culvert to cross beneath the highway, or simply head due south directly across US 60 to the intersection with Perlite Road. Follow Perlite Road south to interpretative signs #8 and #7. (A short side excursion east will take you to interpretive sign #6 and the terraced hillside site of an old Mill. After visiting the Mill site, continue south and bushwhack your way east along Queen Creek back to Perlite Road.)

Here we leave the LOST and continue south along Perlite Road, across Queen Creek, where you will soon encounter the remnants of the Town of Pinal. There isn't much to see today, but imagine the buildings that once stood upon the footings and foundations still visible among the grasses. As you continue passed old Pinal the jeep road begins the first increase in elevation of this hike. At the top of the hill take the left fork in the road, passing the barricade and head south east along the footpath. Soon you will encounter the first of a number of "digs" that once comprised the Apache Tears Mine. If you're old enough to remember, you may have once long ago come here with your parents to dig for those black glass-like gems hidden amongst the perlite walls of the caves. Then you would have been provided with a tiny bucket and metal scoop for scraping loose those jewels. Though much of the mine is now fenced off, there are still a number of places where you might find a trinket or two.

As you approach the first section of the mine you begin to view the horseshoe-shaped contours of the trail as it proceeds east, then south, and finally west until it reaches a cattle guard and the long descent down into Arnett Creek. With the historical portion of the hike now behind, you drop along an abandoned jeep trail into the creek and follow its course along and into Telegraph Canyon. If you are not in the mood for some serious bushwhacking that soon follows I suggest you continue along Arnett Creek until you reach the intersection with Telegraph Canyon Road. Following TCR will reconnect you with the GPS route provided at a point farther along the route.

If you decide to handle Telegraph Canyon, proceed along the wash to a fence, follow the fence to your right (North) until you reach a gate and proceed through the gate. Soon you will encounter a jungle of vegetation - some friendly, some not - and you will spend prolonged period hacking your way along as you try to stay in the wash (flowing water in January). At one point I chose to exit the wash and climb to the south. By contouring on the ridge overlooking the wash I was able to find an arch as well as a pleasant alternative to the bushwhacking. Drop back into the wash as you near Telegraph Canyon Road.

Shortly thereafter the route will leave the roadway on a horse trail. The trail increases in elevation once again bringing you to the intersection with the Arizona Trail. From here is it a pleasant hike back to your vehicle as your course once more heads north through Alamo Canyon.

Check out the Official Route and 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.

2012-01-27 sventre
    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.

    Most recent of 28 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Picketpost Circumference
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    A nice slightly extended Picketpost Circumference hike. Saw 2 deer and a herd of livestock with bells a ringing :D Made the detour to check out Picket Mill and saw lots of yellow in Telegraph and Arnett canyons but only one tree sporting red. Temps warmed up quick. Nice hike.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    Picketpost Summit & Circumference
    Chumley organized a group of seven of us to take on the Summit & Circumference Trail. We hit the trail around 9am and headed for the Summit. This was my third time up and I forget how fun the trail is. It’s a rugged climb and makes you work as you zig zag your way up. We topped out and took a break on the summit. From there we dropped back down and hit the Circumference Trail. I dragged a bit as I was still getting over being sick the past week. We took a lunch near Arnett Creek and then completed the loop. Falls colors were nice but I’d guess we were 1-2 weeks away from prime. This was a solid hike with a great group. Thanks Chumley for organizing and thanks Linda for driving.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    Picketpost Summit & Circumference
    This was my first time doing this summit. I enjoyed the little bits of scrambling you get to do, and the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the route. It's as easy or hard as you want to make it.

    The summit itself is pretty cool too. On a clear day like we had, you can see a lot of the prominent peaks of Southern Arizona. At the top I discovered I had left my camera in my truck, which was a bummer, but I recovered. :)

    There were a few spots along the circumference trail I really wish I had my camera. The creeks along the circumference trail are some great spots. Sycamore and Cottonwood islands in a sea of Saguaro and low Sonoran cacti. Same concept and feel as Whisky Springs, Cottonwood Springs, ect... in the Supes.

    A great hike, with great company!
    Picketpost Circumference
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    Picketpost Summit & Circumference
    I love Christmas! :y:

    But I'm not a real fan of Camelback. :-$

    So I decided that the the only way I could resolve this contradiction of interests would be to celebrate the season on another peak nearby.

    After recruiting a handful of reliable hiker friends Friday night, I went to Home Depot and got a great tree for $39 :y:

    The morning weather was great. Kyle even dressed for the occasion! :D A cool breeze made the trip up the mountain amazingly pleasant despite the extra cargo! The climb took longer than usual, but wasn't too bad.

    We spent time on the summit getting everything set up and looking good before heading down for the real mileage on our day via the circumference. Must be the warm fall this year, but Arnett is at least a week ahead of best colors. Next weekend should be nice, but two weekends from now might be even better!

    Moderate for Arnett. At least a week to prime. Two weeks should be nice too. Sycamores 90% green. Cottonwoods just starting to turn with spotty bright yellow.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    Picketpost Summit & Circumference
    Great hike today with a big crew. We did the summit first because we figured no one would want to do it if we did the circumference first. I was a little slow getting down. I had to find a couple alternate routes for Lily. There were a lot of people doing the summit today. Not too many on the circumference, though.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    AZT 17b hike in for Trail Maintenance by ABC
    Met up with Wendy and some of the AZT work crew plus a Four-Wheeling support group at Picketpost TH. I was running a tad late because I couldn't find a sandwich and then I wasn't sure I had my boots. The Four-Wheeling group besides carrying tools and food and water in for us also carried my tent and clothes so this event started out pretty good that morning.

    We had one beginner backpacker with us and another beginner trail worker along with Corwin and Roger and Mike as we headed to FR4 where our campsite would be. It was a nice morning as we hiked in the shade of Picketpost. Apparently I was the only one of our group that had been up Picketpost so we had to stop a couple times as they wanted to know the way up.

    The trail goes up and down and around various drainages along the way. The usual suspects of bad trail were still giving trouble and we documented some of those for the 17b trail steward. Wendy is a co-steward on this part of the passage too. There was also trimming that needed to be done but for the most part, the trail was in pretty good shape.

    I forgot how long the one hill is but it's so gradual you hardly notice. We had to wait up a few times for the beginner but I remember those days myself... only 6 years ago. You hike your way around that mountain and then contour around a couple more including a false saddle before the last saddle above the campsite. The horse back riders caught up below the first false saddle. Yes, we even had some horse support for this 17a Trail Maintenance event.

    As I came up the last hill toward camp I encountered a dozen horse back riders going the opposite way so I had to step aside. The four-wheelers had come and gone. Mike and Adam and Corwin had their tents already set up. Me, I just wanted my beer and sandwich so I plopped myself down in the shade and proceeded to enjoy. Pretty soon Wendy and Sandy came back as they had been out marking the trail already. It took the 4-wheel trucks about an hour and 1/2 to get to the site. I still prefer hiking to it. Would have been here sooner myself but I hung back with Roger as he helped Jocelyn make the hike.

    Once I finished up, Wendy gathered everyone for a tool lesson and then we went out on the trail to do some trimming and grubbing for about an hour before returning. We all had separate dinners and enjoyed the Super Moon rising over the mountain. That darn moon stayed out late too.

    Part 1 -
    Part 2 -
    Part 3 - (finishing hike in and afternoon work session and at camp including Super Moon)
    Picketpost Circumference
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    Was here about 10 days ago, no colors, decided to go out again and see if anything changed...alas, nothing changed :o No Colors, did I miss them, or are they not here yet, no colorful leaves lining the trail, so maybe I'm just to early :-k . As we were coming out of Arnett Creek, heard some voices ahead, and then came up on another gate that was just being completed. The voices were the young workers putting the gates up to keep the cattle out of the creek area. Evidently the State is going to restock the creek and don't want the cattle to disturb the environment. Couldn't find anything on the net ? This is a nice hike with glimpses of everything AZ has to offer. Followed the horse trail out of Arboretum Tank and back to the TH.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    I was watching last night's storms passing through the areas just West of Superior so this morning I wanted to see if there was any signs of a flow past Picketpost in the wash but apparently there wasn't as much rain as I thought there was. As I was walking around, I kept hearing a dog barking and it sounded as if it was distressed so I cautiously, headed over in that direction. As I got closer, the barking came from the top of a small rock wall, so I climbed to the top but now the barking was coming from below me. I got close to the edge and looked down :scared: There was a large red Coon Hound (with a collar) and when it saw me, it really started barking, but I was able to clam it down.

    When the big red hound stopped barking, I saw a second dog that had climbed about five feet up into a small Mesquite tree :? I'm trying to figure out why those hounds are so interested in that tree when I saw some fur in the upper branches of the tree. I was on the same level as the fur ball and finally could tell that it was what appeared to be a very small Fox. While I was getting some photos of the Fox, the big red hound left for parts unknown. I tried to convince the second hound to do the same, but his interest was fixed on the Fox.

    There was nothing I could do so I just decided to leave. With the big hound gone now, the fox had a way to get through the tree branches and onto the rocks while the other dog would be trying to get itself untangled from the lower branches. Hope it turned out well for the little Kit Fox :(
    Picketpost Circumference
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    On Friday, I led a group of seven (counting myself) on a hike around Picketpost Mountain. I had done this hike late last month (in February) too. There was less water, but more flowers and cows this time around. We had more time to work with, so we were able to stop and look around more than on my first visit.

    Shortly after entering the canyon with Arnett Creek (after leaving Telegraph canyon), we encountered a road / path leading upwards to the northeast. This provided a view of Queen Creek and perhaps Boyce Thompson Arboretum too. (I thought that it was the arboretum at the time, but now that I look at the map again, I'm less sure of this.) We were able to also able to get a view of Apache Leap.
    Picketpost Circumference
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    My wife and I hiked the Picketpost Circumference on Sunday.

    I used the 2015-02-21 track from pasman. It worked well until perhaps a mile before the end when that track deviated from the very good trail we were on. (I didn't notice at first because I was distracted by the cows.) We continued on that good trail which dumped us onto the Arizona Trail.

    This is an excellent hike! The scenery far surpassed my expectations. We had a number of water crossings, but were able to do them without getting our feet that wet.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take US 60 to the Picketpost Trailhead about 3 miles west of the town of Superior. The trailhead is approximately 1 mile after you leave the highway and follow a graded dirt/asphalt mix road. There are facilities at the trailhead.
    page created by sventre on Jan 27 2012 4:03 pm
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