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Country Club Trail #632, AZ

Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.2 of 5 
no permit
39 12 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,204 feet
Elevation Gain 137 feet
Accumulated Gain 214 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5-2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.57
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
1  2021-07-17 BobP
3  2021-04-17 Sun_Ray
2  2017-09-10 fricknaley
3  2015-10-03 cw50must
16  2015-08-22 cw50must
2  2010-05-08 azbackpackr
12  2010-02-27 writelots
Author writelots
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 40
Photos 5,602
Trips 339 map ( 3,914 miles )
Age 48 Female Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Sun  5:31am - 7:20pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

A Walk in the Park or a Tromp in the Snow...
by writelots

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From the White Mountain Trail System:
Attractions and Considerations: Country Club is a moderate to easy trail just a short distance from Pinetop-Lakeside. The trail loops three and 1/2 miles through ponderosa pine, juniper, and oak woodland.

The half-mile spur trail to the top of Pat Mullen mountain is well worth the extra time and effort, even if you are pedaling a bike. Take the time to notice the surrounding forest's views, the very old and impressive examples of alligator juniper, and the signs of past forest fires. Let them be a reminder to us to be extremely cautious with fire in the forest.

Snowshoeing: This trail was an excellent opportunity for snowshoeing during the heavy snows of winter 2010. Because it is well marked for Alpine use (blue diamonds nailed high on trees at regular intervals), well signed (thanks to the White Mountain Trail System), and relatively easy-going for those of us who were not accustomed to the weight and gait of snowshoes.

Hike: The trail begins (if you're hiking it counter-clockwise) along a fence line adjacent to the various high-end developments, providing access from popular country clubs to the trail system (hence the name of the trail). However, after less than a mile, the fence falls away, and the country opens up. Country Club Trail #632 is a relatively flat hike through beautiful ponderosa and juniper forest, with several open meadows for views, wildlife, and snow play. When we visited this February, there were recent tracks on the first mile of the trail, but we were blazing our way after that.

The loop passes two connector trails, both of which are signed. The Los Burros connector leads south 6.5 miles to the 13-mile Los Burros Loop Trail #631, and the Iron Horse connector leads approximately 1 mile south to The Springs Loop Trail #633. After the Los Burros Connector, the trail crosses Forest Road 185, which was closed to motor vehicles on our visit and was heavily used by cross-country skiers (snowshoers should try to stay out of the ski tracks). The trail passes through several gates as it meanders in and out of cattle grazing areas.

The trail then begins a very gentle climb north toward Pat Mullen Mountain. An information connector trail branches off where the trail bends back west, the spur heading north to an old cinder pit, which acts as a top-class sledding hill in the winter. The forest road behind the cinder pit leads back to Sky Hi Road the and Ski Hi Retreat subdivision. If you find yourself heading sharply downhill on the eastern slope of Pat Mullen Mountain - then you're on this spur trail. You should backtrack to find the junction near the last gate and head west. (This is probably not a big problem in the summer, but winter use patterns seem to favor the sledding hill as a destination.)

The trail continues to climb the southern slope of Pat Mullen Mountain, coming shortly to another spur, this one signed, for the Vista Point at the hill's peak. The Country Club trail continues roughly west, heading down from the low saddle, through changing pine and juniper foothills. Passing through yet another gate, the trail turns south to return to the trailhead on Sky Hi Road. The trailhead is also at the gate for Forest Road 185, providing another opportunity for a variation on this pretty little trail.

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.

2010-03-02 writelots
    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Lakeside Ranger Station
    Drive south on AZ 260 towards McNary. Turn left on Buck Springs Road. Drive 0.6 miles. Turn left on FR 182 (road to Sky Hi Retreat). Drive 2 miles. You will pass the Springs Trailhead on the left. FR 182 veers to the left and proceeds straight on to FR 185 (past Sierra Springs Ranch entrance). Trailhead is on the right 100 yards down FR 185.
    page created by writelots on Mar 02 2010 2:14 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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