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Pioneer Trail #196Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2019
Hiking9.97 Miles 2,462 AEG
Hiking9.97 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   2.41 mph
2,462 ft AEG
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Why does Haz keep popping up a "Haz uses cookies" dialog, particularly after I've already answered -- multiple times -- "got it"? 🤔

Anyway ...

If you look at the elevation profile, it looks like a steady climb the whole way to the summit of Pinal Peak: 650 ft. the first mile, 750 ft. the second mile and 300 ft. in the final half mile. I consider that at the low end of steep, or the high end of moderate. Basically, like doing North Mountain two-and-a-half times in a row, but with much nicer surroundings, and absolutely no human traffic (foot, MTB or horse). 😅

Despite the apparently continuous climb, there are actually flat, or low angle, sections on Pioneer Trail #196, so that I could catch a breath. I actually felt good both at the summit of Pinal Peak and back at Pioneer Pass Campground, after hiking 10 miles. (Though I was definitely hurting on Saturday & Sunday.)

There are really nice vistas available on Pioneer Trail #196 at 0.7 and 1.2 miles up from Pioneer Pass. The best view is from the latter, which 300 ft. higher. Both vistas have southeasterly views, across El Capitan Canyon towards the Mescal Mountains and the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

The first fall color, a few small Gambel oak, were only a ⅓ of a mile up Pioneer Trail #196; the first red leaves of bigfoot maple occured just after the second vista. From the second vista all the way to FR 651, the oranges and reds were pretty steady, but not especially dense.

Two miles up Pioneer Trail #196, on the right side of the trail, is an absolutely massive tree. It’s not an alligator juniper, like the Granite Mountain Hotshots saved, but I’m not sure what exact species of pine tree it was. In any case, the base of the trunk was 4½ feet in diameter. Easily twice as thick as any other tree I saw. 😳

Supposedly, there are 32 antennae scattered over Pinal Peak, but I only checked out the ones actually on the summit. Even better views than on the summit can be had on FR 651, sixty feet below the summit. I could see the entire Dripping Spring Mountains, including Scott Mountain ( [ photoset ] ). I could see Asarco’s massive Ray Mine, peeking out from behind the Dripping Spring Mountains and, beyond the copper pit, Granite Mountain (there are many of the them in Arizona), Battle Axe Butte, Teapot Mountain, the White Canyon Wilderness and, north of that, Picketpost Mountain. I could even see Mount Lemmon!

After checking out the views, I followed FR 651 through a small cabin community to Pinal Campground. I was hoping the cabins were being rented by the Forest Service, but no such luck: They are privately owned. 😕

The best fall color of all, was along FR 651C, to the junction with Six Shooter Trail #197, then up Ferndell Trail #204. Just amazing.

Other than a 20 minute lunch break halfway down, I booked the 3.5 miles back to Pioneer Pass Campground in only 80 minutes.

Great hike!

Hiking Video:
Mining Claim
Autumn - Color Foliage
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Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Light overall, but purple asters were everywhere!
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