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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Ferndell Trail #204, AZ

no permit
605 61 3
Guide 61 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Globe S
3.3 of 5 by 18
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,800 feet
Elevation Gain -280 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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5  2019-09-02 ehuffstetler
6  2019-07-21
Pinal Loop
13  2019-06-08 kenandjude
15  2019-06-05
Pioneer Ferndell & Middle Trails
12  2019-04-24
Pinal Peak - Signal Peak
13  2019-04-14
Signal & Pinal Peaks
8  2019-04-14
Icehouse - Sixshooter loop - Pinal Mtns
23  2018-11-09
Six Shooter - Pinal Peak - Telephone
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, May → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
21 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
pleasant Pinal Peak pinery
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
The Ferndell Trail #204 is a short connector trail that runs between the Sixshooter Trail #197 and the Squaw Spring Trail #196 near the top of 7848 foot Pinal Peak, in the Pinal Mountains near Globe. This trail doesn't appear to see much traffic, but it is maintained and relatively easy to follow. Although short, it is a great trail to see fall colors on, and would be easy enough for children to hike.

Beginning at the Pinal Peak Trailhead at the end of forest road 651F, the Ferndell Trail leaves the north side of the parking lot, and enters a small burned area of short locust trees and gambel oaks. The trail begins to descend past rounded boulders of lichen covered granite as it leaves the burned area, and soon comes to the first aspen grove on the left side of the trail. Beyond the aspen grove, the trail continues north and west through a forest of rocky mountain maple, gambel oak, and fir, with a fair amount of aspen. A few short breaks in the forest cover offer some glimpses down Sixshooter Canyon. At the 0.25 mile point, the Ferndell Trail encounters a side trail on the left that heads uphill to the Upper Pinal Campground. Now on the north side of Pinal Peak, the fern shrouded Ferndell Trail makes a short downhill drop before leveling out. As the trail contours along through the shady forest, it becomes an old road, and passes another grove of tall aspens, mixed with maple trees. Keep going straight where an old road crosses a short distance later. Soon you will arrive at the junction with the scenic Sixshooter Trail. Just past the Sixshooter junction, the trail passes an old rock foundation, and then a locked gate, before coming to an end at the parking area of the Ferndell Trailhead (0.8 miles one way). Somewhere in this area is Ferndell Spring. There is a open meadow like area on the south side of the trailhead here, where new aspen shoots abound.

Return the way you came, or create a loop by taking one of the branches of road 651 back to the Pinal Peak Trailhead.

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.

2006-10-30 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.

    Most recent of 25 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Wanted to take a drive and get some scenery in while escaping the heat. Decided on Ferndell. It's changed since the fire a couple years ago and with all the rain we had over the spring, there was lots of growth. At the end of the trail, went to the big boulder and climbed up for the view. On the way back, we took FR651 back to the Sixshooter and made a loop back to the car. I wish I knew the history of the area. You can tell there were a couple of settlements back in the day with power/water lines. Almost appears as there was major cattle herding back in the day. Great day to be out.
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    East Pinals Loop
    East Mountain Trail #214
    The lower access isn't winning any awards. The upper trailhead and top quarter mile are blah. The core delivers. Fabulous distant views through tall pines. Low expectations transitioned to wows throughout. Per usual @PrestonSands wrote a nice description. Apparently this trail has received well deserved maintenance since 2006. If hiking the Pinals out of Autumn foliage, this will be on my radar.

    Pioneer Trail #196
    This trail has received serious trail maintenance since 2013. Great trail. Signage still says Squaw Spring 196. FS website still calling it Pioneer Trail 196.

    Ferndell Trail #204
    Year 'round winner, worthy for any loop.

    Icehouse Canyon Trail #198
    Bruce noticed the upper end was remarkably groomed and cut well into the slope. He's always correct. We passed a group of 9 ACE workers tackling multiple areas. New large aluminum water trough built to last installed over a half mile north of Telephone junction. No fire damage in the top mile or so. The torching builds down to Telephone junction. All traveled fine. No trees to climb over on any of our loop today, just easily stepped over a couple.

    Telephone Trail #192 - Pinal
    Icehouse side is torched for the most part. Views over to Kellner and down Icehouse are torched. Sixshooter side pines are mostly intact with some mixed burn. Trail itself is in decent condition.

    Six Shooter Trail #197
    Always a winner. We thought the 3/4 mile to Ferndale sign was missing a solid mile. Perhap a quarter mile short, the steep grade just feels like an extra

    Better than anticipated multiple loop. We lucked out on temps averaging 5 degrees cooler than normal. 5k loops this close to the Sonoran Skillet in late June are likely not this nice.
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Pinal Signal Peak Loop
    My hiking pals Gallydoll and Dan decided to join me on this loop I put together to beat the PHX heat. Drove out to Globe and then up to Pioneer Pass, the trailhead location. We passed through the NF campground en route and it was over flowing with tents and trucks. With all the people nearby, I was thinking we might not have the solitude I was expecting, but we saw no one on the trail.

    We started up Pioneer Trail (signed as Squaw Spring #196) about 7:30am. Very pleasant ascent passing through thick manzanita groves and tall pines. Checked out a fenced off spring near the top of the trail. After reaching the end of trail #196, we worked our way over to Ferndale Trail #204. Standing at the trail sign, Ferndale didn't look too promising, but once we were on it, we were rewarded with a nice stroll through more tall pines. Just before reaching the intersection of Six Shooter and the end of Ferndale, we spied a whitetail deer tracking our movements along the trail.

    We turned left onto Six Shooter trail #197 for a short jaunt up to the road and then followed the road out to Signal Peak. I was very disappointed to find that the Fire Lookout Tower is closed to visitors.

    We took in the views and returned on the road to Pipeline Trail #193. Pipeline was easy enough to follow, but starting to grow in here and there. After climbing over to a ridgeline, the trail looked like it passed through an engineered break in the fenceline, however, a faint trail, which turned out to be Middle Trail #202, headed east which was more in the direction I was interested in going. Well, faint was the best this trail got. We passed the terminus of Six Shooter and climbed over a bunch of fallen trees to get out to the road.

    We followed the road up to Pinal Peak proper, enjoyed the views for a bit and returned the way we came back down Squaw Spring trail. Temps were probably in the 70s on the top, and just over 80 at the trailhead. Sure beats 100+ back in Phoenix. Welcome to summer!
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Up the Icehouse, over on roads through the developed area of cabins, on to Pinal Peak, which was a little of a let down and the best views were either on the road heading over, or on the middle Six Shooter later on, then descended a little to the 204, and took that to the Six Shooter. Used Linda's edited GPS route for AEG, guessed on the miles.

    Fire changes were about what I expected in the lower elevations, with a little more pine and oak mortality in the lower forest area, with almost no mortality or damage in the maple and aspen on the Icehouse. Steeper north facing slopes seemed to have the most affects on the Six Shooter. Most of the Pinals didn't look like they should have, or would have 150 years ago, so if nothing else, things may eventually return to prior conditions, if there are continued lower intensity fires.

    Probably earlier than ideal for this hike, as the leaves aren't out, and due to the wind there didn't appear to be bird calls. Lower level dust or wind blown filth hazed out the longer distance and even middle distance views. It was still nice.

    The 2 main peaks here gave me more of an appreciation for the Mazatzals, as these are covered in trees and or microwave towers, where as Mazatzal Peak and north peak, are not, neither is Brown's. Aztec is nice, too, but pretty far from home for me, and trees and the flat nature of that summit make it less of a peak than a plateau. Just a thought.
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Icehouse-Sixshooter Loop
    We decided to check out the Pinals today to see what the effects from the fire. We headed over to Icehouse Canyon and up. A lot of the manzanita burned on the lower parts--fine by me, I hate manzanita--but there was still generally a lot more green than black or brown. All the deadfall on Icehouse has been cleared, and the trail was in good shape. The higher we climbed, the less we saw evidence of fire, and the upper half of Icehouse looked almost completely normal. Very green right now, and last night's downpour on the mountain made for very nice conditions. We saw one other hiker on the way up, and when he told us what his planned hike was for the day, I almost too happily told him that he was not on the trail he thought he was on. His car was not at the trailhead when we finished, so he must have survived the day.

    At the top of Icehouse, we headed over to Signal Peak. The views were hazy in all directions, but we had a quick snack break then headed over towards Ferndell. I forgot how green Ferndell is, and it was a pleasant walk up to Pinal Peak. I turned up the wrong road to the summit, so it was a short, but very overgrown, bushwhack up to where we wanted to be. Then we headed to the boulders at the east end of the peak and climbed the ladder up to the top rock and enjoyed the views for a few minutes, then headed back down for a lunch break.

    We then headed back down Ferndell and then down Sixshooter. Again, the upper part of Sixshooter showed little fire evidence, but increased as we descended. There's one small section that has a few washouts. Most are easy to get across, but one was difficult for me. Other than that one spot, the rest of the trail is pretty much fine. I've never cared much for the lower half of Sixshooter, but I still like it more than Telephone. The last mile or two went by quickly, but it was finally warming up by the time we finished. Great weather today, cloudy and cool almost the entire time. And we only saw the one other hiker near the beginning of the hike. Nice day, and it was good to see that the fire damage really isn't that bad. Fall colors on Icehouse won't be affected by the fire at all.
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    In Search of Autumn Color

    Randy (rwstorm) contacted me Tuesday morning to see if I wanted to accompany him into the Pinals to look for some Autumn color. I had never been into the Pinal Mountains and I had just finished reading Prestion's account of his recent hike up there, so I readily accepted Randy's offer. We met in Globe Wednesday am and drove up into the mountains under a sunny, warm, cloudless morning.

    I was a bit apprehensive when he stopped and locked in the front wheel drive on his pickup, but he assured me that it was only to help on the bumpy road. I followed Randy up the rough road and was more concerned about all the dust that the vehicles raised. When the sun was shining in my eyes, it was very difficult to see the curves and, with no guard rails, it was a long ways down there :scared: We finally began seeing pockets of color on the sides of the mountain and had to make a couple of stops to take shots of the bright yellow of the Aspen groves.

    We stopped at roads end, by the antenna towers, grabbed the cameras and headed down the Ferndell Trail (204). As we hiked down the trail, we came across small pockets of colorful Maple, Aspen and Oak. Most of the Maple had shed the bulk of their leaves already so the trail was a leafy carpet of crispy autumn color. The Oaks and Aspen were holding onto their leaves yet but most of the color was at the tops so that meant lots of vertical shots up at the canopy high above us. The colorful pockets were quite small and the forest thick so it was difficult to get good shots of the trees in sunlight sooo we had to settle for shooting in the shade.

    We made a turn around at Ferndell Spring and retraced our trail back through the steep mountain side to the parking lot. The day was warming up and we were getting sweaty so.... how bout a cool brew to cool off before driving off to our next trail. Now refreshed, we stopped and parked at the head of the Icehouse Trail and slipped & slidded down the steep trail until we came across more isolated pockets of color. After more vertical shots and shaded trails, we headed back to the trucks and decided to drive to Globe and finish off the day with some Mexican cooking.

    It was a fun day but the color was elusive, it was there, but only in small isolated pockets and we had to admit that we probably were at the tail end of the best color in this area. Thanks for the intro to the Pinal Mountains Randy, we'll have to keep an eye out next year and see if we can catch those darn Maples before they shed all their leaves... :D

    Had to get out and look for the color, but it's fading fast.
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Took the day off of work to heed the call of the Pinals and adventure. Did a bit of antiquing in Globe and then made my way up to Pioneer Pass. It had been ten years since I had last hiked this trail, and the good memories came flooding back as I started climbing the mountain side. The trail was in great shape, and recently groomed. I spooked a few deer along the way, and made it to the top in an hour. Next up was Ferndell Trail, which did not disappoint, with plenty of aspen gold and fiery maples. The fall colors drew me down the Sixshooter Trail a bit as well. Dozens of photos later, I made my way back up Sixshooter in the growing, late afternoon chill, and then turned onto the Middle Trail to complete my mountain top excursion. Admired the views to the south, and then made a quick return down the Pioneer Trail. Transmission trouble plagued my thoughts on the way home, but otherwise a perfect day. Adventures like these are far too few for me these days.

    All of these trails were in good shape. Only saw one fallen tree across the very upper end of Sixshooter. Good job trail crews!
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Telephone - Pinal - Signal Pk - Icehouse Loop
    This is another Fall Favorite. Based on the mixed colors, this one should be good for a couple of weeks.
    Perfect weather all around on this one.

    We tried to be quiet and not wake the Camp host at our 6:30 start. I think we were successful.

    The lower reaches of all of these trails in the area, for me, are just a means to get to the beauty once you hit the trees. The Manzanita does get rather large in most areas up heree.

    This was the first time up the entire Telephone Trail #192 to Six Shooter. I've always done the Telephone Ridgeline, which is just a steep climb with out the beauty. It hits 651 right at Icehouse Canyon I like this MUCH better.

    At the upper end of the Telephone trail, where it intersects Six Shooter, Joe spotted a large 8+ point Whitetail, that stared at us for a while.

    The closer to the Ferndell Spring area we got, the better the color got. The Ferndell area never disappoints.

    We all followed Joe to the first of 2 peaks, Pinal Peak, where we took a break. It actually got a bit cool up there. A brief trip to Ladder Rock and then we hit the Ferndell Trail.

    Next we followed Joe over to Signal Peak for some lunch.

    Icehouse Canyon Trail, is a tunnel of color. It's on this trail that we saw our only other hiker of the day.
    "I kinda thought I'd run into some of you HAZ guys today"
    It was HAZ celebrity, TODDAK on day 3 of his Fall Color tour. Great to meet you!

    This one should be good for the next couple of weeks. Get out there if ya like some color
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Telephone - Pinal - Signal Pk - Icehouse Loop
    Around Sept 24th a large swath of central AZ had one overnight low uncharacteristically low. jj photographed color on Sept 28th. Pinal Mtn usually hits mid to late Oct.

    Telephone seemed better received by the group as a whole. Probably since we didn't rush up the ridiculous steep grade. Into Six Shooter there was good color. 35% still green. Ferndell Spring was nice. It appears the foliage is being dragged out for a longer period. On the bright side, more hikers will get to experience this year. Likewise it's a tad low key.

    Believe this was my first trip including Ferndell. It felt like a gem for it's entire length. ( we descended )

    After the nonsense peaks we headed down Icehouse. Once again it was very nice, just not a power punch. This area is so intense on maples the leaves can really accumulate deep. Not this year, more of an even cover along the ground. Very pretty no matter how you slice it. Met toddak along the way! Mind boggling the only other hiker we crossed paths with on trail.

    Fun hike, fun group!
    Ferndell Trail #204
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    Six Shooter / Icehouse Loop
    We wanted a moderate hike closer to town & this loop fit the bill. We met off Country Club & the US 60 at 6am and headed for Globe & hit the trail around 7:40am. We started with the Six Shooter Trail and made steady progress as the trail climbs elevation. The first few miles are typical desert and then turn to forest a few miles in. From there we continued climbing into the cool air with plenty of tree cover shading us from the sun.

    Once up top we turned to the southeast and headed for Pinal Peak where we had a quick look around and then turned west for Signal Peak. Along the way we followed the Middle Trail & the Pipeline Trail. The views were nice & it was easy going. We took our lunch break on Signal Peak and then cruised down the Icehouse Canyon Trail. The top mile was very scenic and smooth sailing. As we descended we left forest and returned to typical desert conditions. It grew warm & sunny but not too bad on the descent. We got back to the trailhead a little before 2pm and headed back to Phoenix.

    This was my first time in The Pinals and I was pleasantly surprised. The trails are in great condition and the upper sections are very scenic. I plan on returning another time to check out the Telephone Trail and Kellner Trail.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Ferndell Trailhead
    For best results use this Upper Pinal Trailheads

    At the junction of highways 60 & 188 in Claypool, turn right (south) onto Russell Road

    Odometer 0.0
    - South on Russell Road for 0.35 miles
    - DO NOT continue on Golden Hill, Russell turns right
    - Continue to 0.65 miles
    - DO NOT continue on Rose Mofford Way, Russell turns left
    - At 6.3 miles you reach FR 651

    Odometer 0.0
    - Turn right (south) on FR 651 ( dirt road )
    - Continue to 10.25 mi with FR 651C junction

    - Left on FR 651C 0.3 miles to Ferndell Trail ( lower )

    - Continue on FR 651 to 11.2 miles
    - Right on FR 651F, just 0.7 miles to the Pinal Peak Trailhead at the end

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 2 h 19 min without traffic
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 49 min without traffic
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 3 h 59 min without traffic
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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