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2017-10-14  
Pinals 2x Wussy Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-10-14
14 by photographer avatarchumley
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Pinals 2x Wussy Loop, AZ 
Pinals 2x Wussy Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2017
chumley
Hiking14.40 Miles 4,301 AEG
Hiking14.40 Miles   6 Hrs   22 Mns   2.45 mph
4,301 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I have no idea what kind of people think that the [ Pinal Mountains 4X Super Loop ] would be fun. That's just crazy talk! :sweat:

Looking at photos from previous years I thought colors would be pretty nice in the Pinals on this weekend, but we were definitely a little early. There was some color above 7000 feet, and even some pockets you might consider to be "prime" at the top, but there was a ton of green even high up and no sign of maples even starting to turn at their lower locations.

So next weekend should be pretty damn good, and two weeks should also be good, though the top will have certainly be past prime by then.

The fire damage was minimal on Sixshooter. Healthy burn with some dead trees surrounded by plenty that look healthy. There was some erosion along the trail but nothing that proved difficult to get by. A little maintenance next year would be good though.

Icehouse was an autumn wonderland up top, but turned green in the lower stretches and farther down entered the severe burn zone. The road at the bottom was a steep, rocky, miserable mess with absoutely no redeeming qualities. Despite the burn, I looked over and saw the singletrack trail cut of the lower Telephone trail and wondered if it wouldn't be a better option to take that trail down from the Doghouse Spring area instead of the Icehouse road. The mileage difference is only 1/10th a mile.

It was a nice day. Good to get back into the Pinals and happy to see the fire didn't get too crazy up in the higher elevation sweet spots.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Above 7000 feet it was great, but between 5000-7000 there was so much green that it will be better in a week, and probably still nice in two weeks. By then the higher elevations will be past prime though. This is the 2nd weekend in October. I think the 3rd weekend would be best here based on this year's conditions.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dog House Spring Dripping Dripping
No water at the spring, but just down canyon, there was some light flow and shallow pools

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ferndell Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Good looking water dripping into the springbox

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Trail Junction Mine Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
The mine tunnel was full as was the spring box. Not sure it's safe to drink.
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