How far to a hike with some pine trees?

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Pennyroyalty
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Joined: Dec 02 2014 2:35 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by Pennyroyalty » Dec 03 2014 12:04 pm

I've been in the valley for a few years and recently took up hiking as a hobby, having a blast in our beautiful state. I'm feeling a bit homesick recently, I was wondering how far I would have to drive to do some hiking in a pine forest like the Mountains in Southern California. I'm located in Mesa.

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Jim_H
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Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by Jim_H » Dec 03 2014 12:10 pm

Well, since the systems of southern California and far NW Mexico are unique to that area, as they are Mediterranean Conifer forests, you would have to go there. Jeffrey Pine, and the provenance of Ponderosa Pine is different than the Rocky Mountain Ponderosa and Arizona Pine. Also, rare conifers like Coulter do not exist in the interior, nor do the Digger and other foothill pines. We do have 2 somewhat rare-in the USA- pines, Apache or western longleaf pine, and Chihuahua, as well as Arizona Pine, which is an interesting 4 and 5 leaved variety or sub-species, or distinct species (depending on your source) of yellow pine.

However, to simply access Ponderosa Pine and or Pinyon/ Juniper forests, you don't have to go as far. From Mesa, US 60 can get you to Show Low, or head up to the Pinal Mountains above Globe, AZ. Payson, is close, as is the Rim, and you might like a drive up Mount Lemmon to the pines over a lot of white granite, which is reminiscent of the coastal and Sierra Nevada Granite batholith in southern California. The granite in the coastal ranges and Sierra, is basically the same batholith, I have read.
Last edited by Jim_H on Dec 03 2014 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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azbackpackr
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Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by azbackpackr » Dec 03 2014 12:12 pm

Payson or Globe, can do day trips. Payson is right up the hill from you.
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chumley
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Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by chumley » Dec 03 2014 12:13 pm

:welcome:

From Mesa, I'd recommend heading up the Beeline (Hwy 87) to Payson. A great option is the Horton Creek Trail.

It should take less than 90 minutes to drive there from Mesa. The Payson area is easy to get to from the east valley and has plenty of hiking options.

Keep in mind that tall pines grow at higher elevations -- and it can be much colder than in the desert. Horton Creek today is slated only to warm to about 55 degrees, with a low in the mid 30s.
Profound observer

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Nighthiker
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Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by Nighthiker » Dec 03 2014 2:04 pm

Hike Horton in the morning and See Canyon in the afternoon.
jk

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PLC92084
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City, State: Vista, CA

Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by PLC92084 » Dec 03 2014 9:11 pm

There are plenty of Pines in the Pinal Mountain area... The experience isn't exactly the same as the CA trails we're used to (I'm from there...) but they're definitely not the desert you've been experiencing... Come up to Globe and I'll show you the trails (PM for details and contact info).

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ALMAL
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Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by ALMAL » Dec 04 2014 4:34 pm

@PLC92084
I agree with Chumley and Nighthiker, Horton and / or See Canyon are not only close, but require no special vehicle type to access. Both may have more water than you're used to seeing in southern CA...
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Pennyroyalty
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: How far to a hike with some pine trees?

Post by Pennyroyalty » Dec 08 2014 3:23 pm

Thank you so much for the replies everyone, I'm going to plan a trip up to Horton.

HAZ is awesome.

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