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Six Shooter - Kellner Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-09-06
24 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Six Shooter - Kellner Loop, AZ 
Six Shooter - Kellner Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2014
Hiking13.37 Miles 3,909 AEG
Hiking13.37 Miles   6 Hrs   13 Mns   2.30 mph
3,909 ft AEG      24 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Of the four major trails that ascend Pinal Mountain from the CCC Day Use area, I had not hiked Kellner and I've only descended Six Shooter. So up Six Shooter, across FR 651 to Kellner and down Kellner.

I left the trailhead at CCC day use at 7:00, an hour later than I wanted to, but I decided to stop at Judy's Cookhouse at 60/188 junction for some eggs and fruit. The eggs were perfect. It was pleasant outside, but humid from rainfall the previous night and the promise of more to come. By the time I reached the flat section near the top of Six Shooter, I needed a new shirt; it was sopping wet. It was nice and cool along the flat section, made cooler by my wet shirt.

Near the junction with Telephone, I came across a young black rattler resting alongside the trail. I must have startled it because it popped up like a jack in the box and was ready to strike as I approached. It wasn't big, but it sure tried to look big! Picture time.

I continued on past Ferndell Spring, took a right and headed up to FR651. About halfway across 651 I found a nice flat rock to sit on, so I stopped for a snack and a rest before heading down Kellner. I saw another man not far away, sitting alongside a section of road overlooking Icehouse Canyon, enjoying the views. He was the only other person I saw during my hike.

It had been a bright sunny day up to that point, but rain clouds were forming so it was time to get off the mountain. The upper section of the Kellner Canyon trail was quite a contrast to Icehouse, Telephone and Six Shooter. Fewer trees, more exposure to the sun, lots of rocky sections. Oh, it also had an unmistakable bovine influence. With lots of patties along the trail and not enough breeze to carry away the smell, it felt like I was back on the farm. What I did like about the trail is there are no steep sections to speak of, so you can make pretty good time on the way down.

This was a fun hike. I will be back next month for the autumn foliage.
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