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West Pinto loop from Miles Ranch, AZ
mini location map2017-11-12
121 by photographer avatarMr_Squishy
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West Pinto loop from Miles Ranch, AZ 
West Pinto loop from Miles Ranch, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2017
Hiking31.55 Miles 7,002 AEG
Hiking31.55 Miles
7,002 ft AEG32 LBS Pack
1st trip
After a rough drive on FR 287 and FR 287A, I arrived at the Miles Ranch TH midafternoon Sunday, Nov 12 and camped in my Sportsmobile. Several vehicles belonging to hunters were parked and I saw at least ten hunters Sunday and Monday at or around the trailhead.
On the trail at 8:15 Monday, carrying seven liters of water which made the pack a bit heavy (32 total pounds, including GPS and inReach); luckily my base weight is pretty light.. Saw a camper at the corral at the Campaign TH who ended up being the only person I saw on the entire loop over three days. It was a hot hike up to the Divide and I was glad I had a three liter reservoir of Gatorade. More shade on the downhill to the Fireline trail intersection. I had planned to camp here, but I arrived at 1 pm and had plenty of water, so I decided to press on and camp at Circlestone which I had visited once before. Made it after 7 hours of hiking, 10.76 miles, 3973 ft elev gain. I was pretty slow on the hike up Fireline as I had already done 3000 ft elev gain. Made a cowboy camp and was treated to a great sunset and a great sunrise.
Tuesday, on the Fireline trail at 8:15, I filled up at the Fireline/Reavis stream and headed up to the saddle - plenty of shade made for a pleasant hike. Down the Switchbacks from Hell in the sun to the canyon with a stop at the Reavis Gravesite. Headed up toward Rogers Trough TH to hit the West Pinto intersection and hike up to the Iron Mountain saddle to camp. Near Rogers Spring I got off trail and made a bad decision: according to the GPS, the trail was only 200 feet away. I decided to cut trail and bushwhacked, thinking just how bad could it be? Hahahahahaha....thirty minutes later, I finally hit the trail with numerous scratches and a pinhole in one Hydrapak Seeker, luckily near the top, so I didn't lose much water. A bit irritating to have it drip on my calf up the trail, however.
Iron Mountain saddle didn't really have a campsite, so I cowboy camped where the trail goes through the barbed wire fence right below the mountain. That night, I was laying in my sleeping bag at 8:30 when all of a sudden the entire area lit up like daylight. I sat up and caught the last second of the meteorite which made the Phoenix news the next day. Wow! Day 2 was about 12 miles, 2100 ft elev gain, 7 hours on trail.
Next morning, on the trail at 8 am, I hiked the West Pinto trail on back to Miles Ranch where a cold beer awaited me. Near Oak Flats I saw a skunk with an enormous, beautiful white tail and also 10-15 Coatimundi.
Made it to the trailhead about 1:30 and headed back to AJ. Day 3 - about 10 miles, 1000 ft elev gain, 5 hours hiking.
I wore shorts the entire hike and my legs show the results of lots of catclaw on this route.
Talked to a hunter who pulled over to let my pass on 287A - I can't imagine hunting and trying to keep meat from spoiling when the temperature is in the 80s.
Excellent trip, highly recommended if you don't mind hauling your water. Based on this trip, I think I will try to haul water and dry camp in saddles from now on - warmer, longer daylight, and solitude.

dry Crockett Spring Dry Dry
No water near trail.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Iron Mountain Spring Dripping Dripping
Seeping - you would have to dig a hole to obtain water

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Log Trough Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Saw some water.

dry Oak Flat Spring Dry Dry
I did not see any water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Fireline #118 Light flow Light flow
Flowing water, several pools.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Rock Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Observed a couple pools - no flow apparent.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Rogers Spring Dripping Dripping
Seep below pipe; pipe dripping

dry Spencer Spring Creek Dry Dry
No apparent water.

dry Turney Spring Dry Dry
No water near trail

dry West Spring Dry Dry

dry Whiskey Spring Dry Dry
No water near trail.
Posted from my turquoise Princess rotary dial phone.
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