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mini location map2016-04-15
20 by photographer avatarmj3
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CirclestoneGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2016
mj3
Hiking14.20 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   1.65 mph
2,800 ft AEG      45 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Well, after getting help from hikearizona.com for several past hikes, I finally decided to sign up. I was searching for a description for a day hike to Circlestone, but was unable to find one, so I took information from several sources and took off on my own this past tax day, Friday, April 15th. The nearest trailhead that I could determine was the Campaign Trailhead. Todd's Hiking Guide had the best description of how to get to the trailhead (http://www.toddshiking...).
The Campaign Trail #256 heads south/southwest and follows the Campaign Creek drainage, gradually increasing in elevation. The route finding is typical of route finding in desert washes - look for cairns, look for trails across the stream bed, make mistakes, go off trail, rediscover the trail, etc. Scenery was great along the way and the views kept getting better as elevation increased. I heard several large animals in the brush, but never got a peak at one. There was lots of bear scat on the trail, so I imagine it was best I didn't encounter any of those large animals I heard. The Campaign Trail eventually intersects with the Fireline Trail at between 4 and 5 miles (my phone app showed 4.93 miles, but I think it was not quite that far). There is a beautiful camp spot here for those that would like to make this an easier overnight trip. The Fireline Trail #118 (there's a sign at the junction) heads west/northwest and climbs steeply (over 1000 feet in about 1.5 miles to the Circlestone cutoff). There is a large cairn and a well worn path headed south and uphill to Circlestone at this point (I think the unofficial name of the trail is the Allen Blackman Trail). This trail climbs another 600 feet or so in about a mile. Unlike many rock piles in Arizona, you know immediately when you've arrived here. Large rock walls 5-6 feet high along with other knocked down piles, arranged in a large (around 100+ feet) circle. I guess folks are still figuring out what this Circlestone site was used for; ancient native american weather station?, alien landing spot?, livestock corral? There are several online articles about it. Whatever the reason, the location is spectacular - incredible vistas in all directions. I'll try to post some photos once I figure out how....The hike back was nice as I was more able to enjoy the views without the lung busting climb up. I didn't see a single person on the trail until I got back near the trailhead where a couple of young women were starting out on a short backpacking trip. Overall it's a pretty tough, but doable dayhike for those in good shape and with some experience in route finding. Somewhere between 14-15 miles with around 3,000 feet elevation gain - half of it gradually and half of it in a 1.5-2 mile stretch approaching the ruin. I drove to the trailhead via Globe and SR188 and came back via the Apache Trail. Got some nice shots of Canyon Lake as the sun was setting - Much more enjoyable driving the Apache Trail after a hike like that than fighting traffic on US60 from Globe.

Mike
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of wildflowers blooming; sage, cactus, iris, and several others whose names escape me...
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  2016-04-15
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