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Pinal Point, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,670 feet
Elevation Gain 572 feet
Accumulated Gain 700 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.1
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
13  2010-01-10 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,501 map ( 7,603 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:09am - 7:30pm
0 Alternative

You've been warned
by PrestonSands

Overview: Pinal Point, at 7242 feet, looms mightily above upper Chase Creek Canyon, in the mountains north of Morenci, Arizona. Judging from its location and prominence, one would guess that there is a great view to be had from Pinal Point. There is, but Pinal Point demands blood. Although the hike itself is short, one faces a savage bushwhack. Is the view worth the effort? That's for you to decide, but I'd say no. If you choose to attempt Pinal Point, bring a topo map and wear pants.

Hike: From the Granville Campground trailhead, begin hiking up the Granville Trail #572, which departs from the highpoint of the campground loop road, near some cabins. The start of the trail is marked by a simple "trail" signpost, but no name is given. A few hundred yards up the Granville Trail, one passes through an opening in a barbed wire fence, where there is a second vertical brown signpost with the word "trail". There is a wooden sign nailed to a tree on your right identifying this as the junction with the Pinal Trail #713. Turn right to follow the Pinal Trail.

The Pinal Trail immediately doubles back to the south to follow a barbed wire fence. Before long it begins a steady climb out of Chase Creek Canyon, up a mountainside densely wooded in pinyon, scrub oak and juniper. The trail gradually curves east, then north to traverse a side canyon of Chase Creek, where the purplish rocks of Pinal Point first come into view. Soon after, the trail reaches a broad saddle, at around the one mile point.

Leave the Pinal Trail at the saddle, and head uphill, to the southeast. Tangled thickets of thorny New Mexican locust and mountain mahogany clog every possible route through an already overcrowded woody disaster of pinyon pines, oak, juniper, and cane cholla. There is no route, so just accept the fact that you are going to be torn to pieces, and push through it toward Pinal Point.

Once you reach the 7223' mesa, you can fight your way to the rocky southwestern edge of the mesa for a slightly less painful bushwhack. A few views of the peaks to the west may encourage you to keep going.

Reaching the south edge of the mesa, Pinal Point again comes into view. With the enchanted forest and its eye gouging, skin ripping delights now behind, it's time to cross the narrow ridge connecting the 7223' mesa with Pinal Point. A nearly impenetrable, waist high hedge of manzanita, which at this point might seem downright pleasant, runs up to the summit of Pinal Point. Smash through it and conquer Pinal Point.

The summit of Pinal Point indeed affords a 360 degree view of most of eastern central Arizona. A bewildering network of canyons, ridges, and peaks surround your vantage point. Two Forest Service boundary markers are the only signs of recent human visitation to this lonely perch.

Enjoy Pinal Point. Hopefully, it was worth it.

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2010-01-11 PrestonSands
    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 hike
    From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a highway junction known as 3-Way (old drive-in movie theater and store). Turn left to remain on Highway 191. From the 3-Way junction, head north for approximately 29.5 miles to the Granville Campground, near milepost 178. Turn right at the "Granville Cir" sign, and follow the road into the campground. Where the road forks to form a loop around the campground, stay right and follow the loop (marked as Forest Road 506A) to its highest point. Here there will be an old side road heading uphill to the right, marked by a fiberglass signpost with the word "trail". This is the start of the Granville Trail. There are no signs specifically identifying this as the "Granville Trail". There is additional parking at the far end of the campground loop, next to the corral.
    page created by PrestonSands on Jan 11 2010 12:07 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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