We got a late start but our hike was fairly short because we drove to the top of the Pinals parking at Icehouse. From there we hiked the road ¾ mile over to Ferndell Spring and the start of Sixshooter Trail. Sixshooter was not quite peak but still plenty of color especially the top section. After taking lots of pics we reached the Telephone Trail junction but continued down Sixshooter a bit more to see if there was any color further down trail. There was some but nothing as good as the top part so we turned around and hiked back to the junction.
At the Telephone Trail #192 junction we checked out the spring that is right at the junction. It’s been repaired and had really good water in the trough. From there we continued on Telephone Trail towards Icehouse. It leaves Sixshooter Canyon and wraps around the ridge to drop into Icehouse. There is a cool stand of Manzanita that the trail passes through and also some trail maintenance has been done on the trail section down to Icehouse.
Arriving at the Icehouse Trail #198 junction the previous fire burned the area pretty badly. However, to make things even worse the cow traffic has destroyed what the fire didn’t. At the junction there was cow salt lick at the junction next to what used to be a nice camp spot. Continuing up canyon the cow situation did not really improve. Several nice camp spots have been mucked up so that was disappointing. It was not until the top section of Icehouse where the trail got better basically the last mile. That also had the best color as the bottom section was still mostly green and probably several weeks away.
Overall Sixshooter was better than Icehouse but that was only because it was closer to peak. For my money the top last mile of Icehouse is the best section if it’s at peak. Either way we really enjoyed doing this loop from the top and getting the best of both canyons
Autumn Foliage ObservationModerate Upper sections of Six Shooter and Icehouse