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Sevenmile Mountain is a rugged cross-country route. No trail exists, and bushwhacking is light to moderate. Sufficient knowledge of topographical map reading and off-trail route finding is required for completing this hike.
Sevenmile Mountain is located northeast of Globe within the Tonto National Forest. This mountain has one main summit and one slightly lower secondary summit to the southeast. The main summit tops out at an elevation of 6,409 and offers epic 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Near the southeastern edge of the mountain range is the San Carlos Indian Reservation Boundary. Steep and rugged cliffs protect much of the entire western edge of the mountain just below the summit. Sevenmile Mountain begs to be explored. Vegetation primarily consists of pinyon pine, scrub oak, isolated manzanita, isolated juniper, various cacti, and catclaw along the lower elevations. Much of this hike has minimal shade, except occasional pinyon pines along the route. For this reason, it is not recommended to attempt this hike during the hot mid-summer months. The hike stats within this description, are "one-way" from the designated trailhead to the 6,409 summit.
Approximately 3.5 miles southwest of the trailhead along US60 is the Jones Water campground. Jones Water is a unique developed campground with 12 small private tent sites along a mature and lush riparian area at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Jones Water is a "non-fee" primitive campground and offers only basic amenities. Use is typically light.
Durable pants are recommended for this hike. Bushwhacking is light to moderate. However, your legs will still take a beating along much of the route. Utilize extensive existing game trails as much as possible to ease progress. Animals always know the best way through a tricky area. Don't fight the terrain, slow down, and use it to your advantage. Don't let the "2 miles to the summit" stats fool you. In those 2 miles, you will be climbing about 1,600 vertical feet with no trail. Unless you're in killer shape, it's going to be a while before you see the top. The best way to tackle this hike is to pace yourself. Initially push straight to the summit, take a much-needed break, and finish up by exploring all of the tasty treats that Sevenmile Mountain has to offer.
The designated trailhead is located at a large gravel pull-off along US60 ("TH" Lat. 33 degrees/37'/01.74"/N & Long. 110 degrees/36'/11.39"/W). You will need to cross a barbed-wire fence from the trailhead and walk a short distance southeast to a recognizable open sand wash. Follow this sand wash slightly northeast for about a quarter-mile ("Mark 1" Lat. 33 degrees/37'/01.65"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/48.94"/W) and then head mostly south towards the summit of a small hill ("Mark 2" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/40.67"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/44.73"/W). Near this location is an abandoned roadbed that happens to head where you need to go. The roadbed will head south towards a saddle and then bend to the east where it ends near a ridge ("Mark 3" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/39.95"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/35.89"/W). Head up the ridge to the south. Along this ridge is another old roadbed that heads up to a flat bench ("Mark 4" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/28.31"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/30.86"/W). From this bench, you will leave the road and start heading southeast up the Sevenmile Mountain approach. Things start to get a little brushier, but if you keep your eyes open, it seemed like there were always openings to pick your way through. Just take your time and pay attention to the terrain. You will initially be heading southeast and somewhat cross-slope to the main ridge that leads to the summit ("Mark 5" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/21.99"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/12.88"/W). From this point, you will now be climbing straight to the summit following a distinct ridge crest ("Summit" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/05.93"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/09.31"/W). The slope is steep. However, the ground is soft with good footing, and there is an obvious heavily used game trail heading up through the brush. Follow the trail as much as possible to ease progress. The remaining distance to the summit is less steep. However, the brush becomes thicker. Reaching the summit is always such a relief and gives a feeling of accomplishment. Soak in the views and take a much-needed break.
The real treasures of Sevenmile Mountain are the rugged cliffs that line the western slope just below the summit. Start by hiking across to the lower secondary summit for views of the remaining ridgeline and San Carlos Indian Reservation boundary, which is just below the summit. The views looking to the southeastern segments of the mountain range are very cool. If you have extra time, it would be worth the effort to explore the narrow ridge that heads to the far edge of the mountain.
Now for the icing on the cake. Head back down from the secondary summit and work your way northwest to a jaw-dropping cliff overlook that forms a distinct point coming out from the mountain ("Mark 6" Lat. 33 degrees/36'/01.07"/N & Long. 110 degrees/35'/13.75"/W). The views are killer, and the severity of the drop-off is downright scary. This is a "no brainer" lunch spot. Be very cautious of the wide splits and gaping holes between the enormous boulders. They seem innocent while stepping over them until you look down and see just how deep they are. This is a very serious location that demands respect.
After lunch, head back by following a bench that works its way along the remaining cliffs. The walk is pleasant with light brush and the elevation contour that you are following wraps around back to the ridgeline used to head back down the mountain. See maps for locations of waypoints described in the text and for further clarification.
Sevenmile Mountain is a very manageable and rewarding off-trail summit hike that genuinely delivers from start to finish. Although somewhat frustrating in places, the challenges are never enough to distract from a great day of backcountry hiking. This is a unique location. The views are epic, and the cliffs that line the western slope are extraordinary. If you love summit hikes, Sevenmile Mountain NEEDS to be on your list. Count on having it all to yourself if you go.
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This hike is listed as One-Way.
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