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Pinal City Search, AZ
mini location map2016-02-24
12 by photographer avatarblack_toes
photographer avatar
 
Pinal City Search, AZ 
Pinal City Search, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2016
black_toes
Hiking4.54 Miles 556 AEG
Hiking4.54 Miles   3 Hrs   39 Mns   1.95 mph
556 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Pinal City captured my interest many years ago. In researching the history of an 1880s mining project in the Bradshaws, I came across the name of noted geologist William Phipps Blake, Yale educated and nephew of the inventor, Eli Whitney. Wall Street investors hired Blake to examine the Arizona claims. In March of 1886, Blake took ore samples to Pinal City where his son, Frank, worked as an engineer for the Silver King mine. The elder Blake stayed in Pinal City from March 29 to April 7 where he assayed the ore, wrote a report to take back to New York and examined another mine in the area. Frank later that summer joined his father in another Arizona mining project. Pinal's post office was closed in 1891 and it soon became a ghost town.

I picked up a sandwich and a bottle of water in nearby Superior, drove to the municipal airport on the west side of town and started off in search of Pinal by foot. You can actually drive a dirt road to get close to old Pinal but I wanted to see the country. The trail is brightly marked with sign posts leading to the Arizona Trail about 5 miles W, on the other side of Picketpost Mountain. Prickly Pear, Jumping Cholla and Palo Verde dominate the first part. Lots of noise. Heavy construction on U.S. 60 to the north and, occasionally, helicopters landing at the airport. Approaching Queen Creek, you pass through ranchland. Saw a horse and disturbed some black cows but thankfully eluded a bull. Queen Creek was not running but had large pools of stagnant water. And as luck would have it, I walked right by old Pinal without seeing it. Too bad, yes, but not devastating. I'll try it again later in the spring with MJ and also visit the old Pinal cemetery on the other side of 60. Enjoyed walking off-trail. On a hilltop, I found the largest clusters of Blue Dick I've ever seen. Not much else in wildflower world and certainly no poppies. Got back to the car about 6 o'clock just as two helicopters landed. Other than the noise, a nice afternoon in the boonies.
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