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Pioneer Ferndell & Middle Trails, AZ
mini location map2019-06-05
15 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Pioneer Ferndell & Middle Trails, AZ 
Pioneer Ferndell & Middle Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.60 Miles 2,195 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   2.14 mph
2,195 ft AEG      10 Mns Break6 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
After bailing on the AZT 27 three-day backpack yesterday we were left with two days to fill.

So what would be a good day-hike without high temps or smoke? How about Pinal Peak? Sounds good, but which trail? Something new?

Well, the only trail on Pinal or Madera we had yet to hike was Pioneer, and it would be the quickest TH to drive to so it was an easy choice.

Although neither of us had even been on this trail, we both surmised it was very possibly in the best condition in a long time, if not ever. It appears there had been very significant recent maintenance, which makes sense with the new fence line running all the way from near the trailhead to as far as halfway along the Ferndell Trail (we would see it end later in the hike.), including a new easy-to-open gate near the upper end of Pioneer.

If high humidity and elevation weren't enough, a flare-up of leg nerve-pain made the ascent brutal (for me) but with Tracey in the lead I just toughed it out without complaint (out loud anyway... silently? that was a whole 'nother thing).

Once at the top the rest was a breeze... thankfully there was an actual breeze. A quick jaunt along Ferndell, spotting a few deer, wandering a bit, a bit on the Middle trail then heading back for the descent.

After what I had experienced on the ascent I had already mentally prepared for knee & hip complaints on the descent so it was a very welcome surprise that I was pain-free all the way down. With my legs in cruise-control-mode I didn't realize just how fast the pace was, which meant I had to stop and wait for Tracey a number of times... not a usual occurrence.

Encountered a few deer on the descent but here-and-gone too quickly for photos.

While the drive east had gone by quickly, the drive back west on the 60 was a different story.
](*,)
20-25 mph all the way from Oak Flat to Superior behind a truck which never used its brakes the whole distance... solely relying on the 'Jake-brake' all the way. The loud clattering got to be quite unnerving, especially through the tunnel.
Named place
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East Mountain
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CannondaleKid
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851 Photosets

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