Copper Colored Country
Round Mountain Park is Globe's hiking park (sort of a small version of Phoenix's South Mountain Park). Even though the trail is right next to a city, it does have some nice desert scenery and colorful rocks. It features four short, easy trails that all loop together: West Round Mountain, East Round Mountain, Boulder Canyon, and Box Canyon. Conveniently spaced native juniper trees provide some shade on the hike. Round Mountain Park is open from sunrise to sunset. Take a look at the trail map posted on the visitor's center wall at the beginning of the hike. By taking all four trails you can complete a 3 mile loop around Round Mountain, which I'll describe here.
At the visitor's center ramada, begin heading downhill on the East Round Mountain Trail (the trail sign says "East Trail"; most of the brown and white trail signs at the park are abbreviated). It crosses a wash, then begins climbing a low ridge. At the top of the little ridge, take the right fork. Now you're on the Boulder Canyon Trail. The Boulder Canyon Trail lives up to its name, and crosses over a canyon full of copper colored boulders of volcanic tuff. The trail soon meets up with the Box Canyon Trail (turn right). Head south on the Box Canyon Trail for a quarter mile or so through more boulders. Where the trail bends east, you'll come to an overlook of Box Canyon. Lots of boulders here, and an old railroad grade at the bottom. Beyond the Box Canyon, the trail heads northeast and drops into a mesquite lined desert wash. After a half mile walk up the wash, the Box Canyon Trail arrives back at the Boulder Trail. Take the right branch of the Boulder trail as it climbs over a boulder covered ridge. The trail crosses and climbs out of a small canyon, then comes to an end by meeting the East Trail in a little saddle just south of Round Mountain. Turn right on the East Trail, and follow it as it ascends a slope covered in orange and white quartzite rock. The East Trail soon comes to an end in another saddle, where it meets the West Trail.
Before heading down the West Trail, take a left and climb up a short side trail to the summit of Round Mountain. On the rocky summit you are greeted with 360 degree views of the area, including the Pinal Mountains, Four Peaks, and the city of Globe. Head back to the saddle when you are done, and start downhill on the West Trail. The West Trail passes some old mines on the way down, and the rocks along the trail change from orange to red to white. The West Trail drops into a shallow canyon at the base of Round Mountain for its last quarter mile, and soon comes to an end at the visitor's center ramada, where the loop began.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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