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Signal & Pinal via Icehouse/Six Shooter, AZ
mini location map2012-10-27
16 by photographer avatarsouthpawaz
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Signal & Pinal via Icehouse/Six Shooter, AZ 
Signal & Pinal via Icehouse/Six Shooter, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2012
southpawaz
Hiking12.70 Miles 3,833 AEG
Hiking12.70 Miles
3,833 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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cindyl
Cindyl thought of this area when we were trying to decide on a fall color hike, and we made a weekend of it camping two nights at Pioneer Pass, where we had a five site cluster all to ourselves. We didn't pick our specific route in advance, and after consulting the map we decided to start at the CCC trailhead and go up Icehouse and then come down Six Shooter with a shuttle vehicle left where the latter crosses FR 112 to free up a little mileage for us to wander around on top.

The lower part of the Icehouse Trail was a pretty mundane walk up a jeep track, but at least we stayed warm in the bright sun. Once got to the halfway point, onto single track and into the forest we enjoyed the trail much more, especially as we started passing some red maples and other trees in color.

We saw only one other hiker all day, and he passed us just as we were about to reach FR 651 and start our mountain top wandering. We first visited the Lookout Tower on Signal Peak, then followed FR 651 through the Lower Pinal CG (at least one hardy couple was spending the night there) and up to Pinal Peak, former site of another Lookout Tower. Along the last stretch of road up, we startled a deer about 3 feet off the road, the only wildlife we saw all day. We took our summit break here, resting for a bit on the footings of one of the radio towers near the reference mark survey monument and summit register.

A little bit of backtracking, a zig, and a zag brought us to the junction of the Six Shooter Trail and FR 651C, and we started down. Color along this trail was more prevalent than along the Icehouse, and a couple springs along the way provided additional points of interest. We were glad we had chosen to hike the loop in this direction, as it seemed like sections of the Six Shooter were much steeper than anything we had gone up on Icehouse. Towards the end of a long day, we were glad finally reach the spot where the trail hit Six Shooter Canyon for the pretty much straight shot down to the shuttle vehicle.

I'd driven up to the summit previously, but it was much more satisfying to have hiked up this time with good company and the trails to ourselves.
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
Named place
Named place
Signal Peak Lookout Tower
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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