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2017-09-08  
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2015-09-05  
East Mountain Loop - Pinals, AZ
mini location map2017-09-08
40 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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East Mountain Loop - Pinals, AZ 
East Mountain Loop - Pinals, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2017
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.70 Miles 1,509 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.01 mph
1,509 ft AEG      15 Mns Break27 LBS Pack
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trixiec
Now that the Pinal Mountains are 'open for business' again we decided it was time to head back out there for a relatively 'cool' hike. Which hike should we do? We chose East Mountain for a number of reasons... it wasn't hit by the July 2017 fire but it WAS hit by fire back in May 2009.

I first hiked this trail in June 2009, less than a month after a fire on East Mountain, revisited it a year later to see the changes, and now over 8 years since the fire we decided to see the recovery.

The road up to Pioneer Pass is in GREAT shape... a ton of work was done on it to repair the extensive erosion damage and erosion will be above somewhat above normal for many years to come, so right now it's likely it is as good as it will be for a long time.

Unfortunately I neglected to look at my photos from 2009 before this hike so my 'comparison' photos aren't in the exact same spots, but with some careful cropping I was able to come pretty close for comparison sake.

The hike itself was pretty much uneventful and for the most part the trail is in good shape, with the exception of some dead-fall for a few hundred yards along the ridge just north of East Mountain summit.

Off and on we had views of Pinal Peak so we were able to see the damage from the fire over there. As we approached our parking spot near Pioneer Pass campground we encountered a pair of mule deer... the only wildlife encounters other than a few squirrels and a red-tailed hawk.

We started at 77 degrees with a high of 91, but with the hazy sky and nice breeze Tracey had no complaints about heat. (Two days earlier I dealt with high humidity and a high of 106 so she already knew any complaint would fall on deaf ears.) :-$
Named place
Named place
Arrastra Canyon Pinal Peak
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