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Ferndell Trail #204 - 21 members in 72 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 24 2019
ShatteredArm
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 44
 Photos 249
 Triplogs 44

36 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Sixshooter / Icehouse Canyon, AZ 
Sixshooter / Icehouse Canyon, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Nov 24 2019
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog13.60 Miles 3,768 AEG
Run/Jog13.60 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   2.84 mph
3,768 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I've been wanting to explore Pinal Mountain on foot for quite awhile now, and decided today would be a good day to do it. The plan was to loop Sixshooter and Icehouse.

Had a fairly chilling late morning start, and headed up the reasonably-graded Sixshooter. Creek was flowing, and it surprised me how quickly we hit the coniferous forest. When the trail headed away from the creek, and up the ridge, I couldn't stop remarking about how underrated this trail is. Great views, nice mature forest. Some signs of the forest fire (probably from a couple years ago), but looks like it didn't do too much damage in this area.

Started seeing more snow past the Telephone junction. By the time we hit Ferndell, it was a few inches deep.

Swung around the summit, and headed up a jeep road, thinking it would take us to the summit proper, but it was the wrong one. Oh well, we were probably only 20 vertical feet off. Didn't feel like going through the brush to get there.

Headed down the road to Middle Trail, and took that all the way across to Pineline. Didn't know there were cabins up here! The views from Pineline were some of the best anywhere... You could see everything from the Estrellas all the way over to Baboquivari.

The first couple miles down Icehouse Canyon were fun and steep. There were even mountain bike tracks in the snow... I'm definitely not that brave. The bottom couple miles... not so fun. Boring old Jeep road, but at least it's just a couple miles.

Definitely going to come back here.
_____________________
Oct 27 2019
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 352
 Photos 4,256
 Triplogs 2,712

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Pinal Mountains Loop, AZ 
Pinal Mountains Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
trekkin_gecko
Hiking14.64 Miles 4,150 AEG
Hiking14.64 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   2.37 mph
4,150 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
johnlp
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
chums put together a sunday hike in the pinals
always a good choice for some fall color
finally an opportunity to hike with kyle :)
left town at 0630, meeting karl and kathy at the trailhead
up icehouse, then once past the intersection with telephone, we started seeing some maples
went up to signal peak and took a break
very windy up there today
temps were fine all day
over to pinal peak, hitting the ladder rock and then down to ferndell
good color up high
down sixshooter, taking another break at preston's corner
sixshooter was better than i remembered - a nice soft pine needle covered trail
the last half mile isn't anyone's favorite, but better than the lower two miles of icehouse
nice hike with a good group
plenty of worthwhile color, and should be for another week or so
next time i'd like to try this [ RS Mapped Triplog ]
nice to get in a hike with kyle, see kathy and karl again and always good to hike with chums and john
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 27 2019
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 668
 Photos 13,746
 Triplogs 1,460

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Sixhouse Iceshooter, AZ 
Sixhouse Iceshooter, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
chumley
Hiking14.94 Miles 3,987 AEG
Hiking14.94 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   2.56 mph
3,987 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
johnlp
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
trekkin_gecko
Kyle had a little more. Kathy a mile less. You'd think modern technology would be more accurate. I'm certain I got 13 feet more. I bet Alexa knows.

Winds sounded rough in the trees, but barely noticeable on the ground. Break at the peak was totally calm. Halfway up the first flight on the tower and it became noticeable. By the top it was difficult to stand. The weather station 6 feet to the left was reporting 31 gusting to 45. The LTE was strong. Off the tower, rarely more than a pleasant breeze.

Karl was shocked when he encountered a fresh-cut log that had been cleared since yesterday. Apparently he missed the FS truck parked at the TH and the sound of the chainsaw moments earlier. The worker said my joke about being good to see somebody who actually goes outside is one he hears a lot. :oops:

Much more color at lower elevation on the way down than we had encountered on the way up. Those colors change fast! :sweat: Really pleasant day and a great group to hike with. :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Great pockets of color in the upper reaches.
_____________________
Profound observer
3 archives
Oct 27 2019
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,297
 Triplogs 3,422

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Pinal Mountains Loop, AZ 
Pinal Mountains Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
johnlp
Hiking14.64 Miles 4,150 AEG
Hiking14.64 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   2.37 mph
4,150 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
trekkin_gecko
It's been quite awhile since I have done a fall Pinals hike. Some nice color out there now. Temps were great. Nice breeze. Windy at times up high. Good to hike with members of this group again. Thanks Chums for organizing and driving. :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Oct 27 2019
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 345
 Photos 7,200
 Triplogs 852

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Icehouse-Sixshooter Canyon Loop, AZ 
Icehouse-Sixshooter Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
BiFrost
Hiking14.94 Miles 3,987 AEG
Hiking14.94 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   2.51 mph
3,987 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
johnlp
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
trekkin_gecko
After hiking Icehouse and Six Shooter canyons in the Pinals on Saturday I turned around and hiked it again on Sunday. Basically, I wanted to hike it with Kathy and rest of the group so made another trip. This loop was a bit different hiking from Icehouse campground but main part was the same in Icehouse and Six Shooter canyons.

We headed up Icehouse Canyon taking our time through the upper section which was by far the best. Once on top we headed over to Signal Peak for lunch. The wind had picked up and even though it was ok at ground level it was howling in the towers just above us.

After lunch we walked some road over to Pinal Peak and ladder rock. However, we didn’t stay long with the winds more pronounced now. Then headed down Six Shooter for the highlight of the hike. Ran into FS workers clearing trees with chainsaw and then took another break.

Then a quick finish on Six Shooter passing some unexpected color in the lower part of the canyon. Great to hike with Kelly and John again!!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 26 2019
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 221
 Routes 826
 Photos 11,301
 Triplogs 4,453

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ 
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2019
joebartels
Hiking14.44 Miles 3,936 AEG
Hiking14.44 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   2.45 mph
3,936 ft AEG      59 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
We crossed paths with two respectable HAZ legends. Driving to Globe, we passed and probably frightened the grandson of Jacob Waltz waving and flapping our arms.

Pioneer Trail #196
Tread and ACE work is still in great condition. Upper mile or so has light encroaching vegetation. Majority is from better than avg rains this year. Drooping over trail, might be gone after winter. Nice oaks in the lower third. The most acorns I recall seeing on any trail. Hottest 40 degrees ever ascending, balance of hike was pleasant.

Pinal Peak 7848
We did it. Joy.

Icehouse Canyon Trail #198
Upper is pretty, far cry from best year. 1/2-1 wk before prime color foliage. Nice pastels and oranges few will appreciate. 2? year old shiny new spring box still not hooked up, bone dry, trickle in creek.

Six Shooter Trail #197
After shortcutting across on Telephone Tr. Ferndell Spring area is the prime show. Drive right up and roll down the window for an Autumn fix.

Ferndell Trail #204
Per usual, dandy stroll. Fantastic weather added to the experience.

Synopsis
Nice little Autumn hike. Karl wore shorts, kackled per usual. Preston drove by as we were leaving, stopped and chatted for a bit!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Plenty to enjoy. Unless temps drop big time or strong winds strip the trees there will be plenty to admire somewhere on the mountain for a good week.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Just a couple species. Not oddly impressive like others areas now.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Squaw Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Clean, gate is open
_____________________
- joe
Oct 26 2019
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 793
 Photos 9,456
 Triplogs 1,136

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ 
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2019
The_Eagle
Hiking14.60 Miles 3,981 AEG
Hiking14.60 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   2.33 mph
3,981 ft AEG      36 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
We passed up a Super-Stitioner on the drive to the TH. Hello Walter!

This was my first time hiking out of the Pioneer Pass TH in the Pinals. It's just shy of 6 miles past the IceHouse TH turnoff, but a nice alternative. I did not expect it to be full when we got there.

Pioneer is a steady 2.25mi., 1300' climb to get to the top. Minimal color on this one.

After humoring Joe with a short break at the top of Pinal Peak, we headed through the Ferndell area and on to Icehouse.

The upper 1/3 of Icehouse Canyon is poppin, and will continue to be good for at least another week.

The Telephone Trail contains no oak, aspen, or maples, until the point where it meets Six shooter. That's where the color starts on this one.

Six Shooter is a gem this time of year. Color all the way up. Maples and Aspens, mixed with the the green conifers and the deep blue sky, provide a rainbow of falls colors. Once again we stopped in the Ferndell area to take it in with different light.

Next, the Ferndell trail over to it's eastern TH. It was also aglow with color. We took a stop at the ladder rock, before heading heading back down to the car.

While enjoying a beverage back at the TH, HAZ Legend @Prestonsands happened by. It was great catching up with him.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial

dry Ferndell Spring Dry Dry

dry Icehouse Springbox Dry Dry
New metal spring box is still dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Squaw Spring Dripping Dripping
Behind unlocked fence, filterable water available in covered spring box

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Trail Junction Mine Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring box full
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
2 archives
Oct 26 2019
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 345
 Photos 7,200
 Triplogs 852

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ 
Upper Icehouse - Six Shooter via Pioneer Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2019
BiFrost
Hiking14.60 Miles 3,981 AEG
Hiking14.60 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   2.33 mph
3,981 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Joined Joe and Bruce on Pinals classic hike with a twist. We started from Pioneer Pass which was new trail for me. Not a lot of color on this section but it was a good trail with stop by Squaw Spring. From there we made quick stop on Pinal Peak before heading to Ferndell Spring area for a quick preview of Six Shooter.

However, we had plans to do Icehouse Canyon first and really enjoyed the top part where the color was closest to peak. No hurry in Icehouse but eventually made it down to Telephone Trail junction. From there we crossed over the ridge and dropped in Six Shooter. Of course Six Shooter was pretty much peak in the top 1 mile section especially around Ferndell Spring. Again no rush through Six Shooter either and followed the trail back past Pinal Peak and stopped by ladder rock for one last break. Then back down Pinoneer Trail to the vehicle. As Bruce mentioned Preston Sands just happened to drive by while we were at the vehicle. Nice to catch up with him for a few minutes :)
Named place
Named place
Squaw Spring
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 20 2019
ehuffstetler
avatar

 Photos 35
 Triplogs 11

34 female
 Joined May 11 2019
 Claypool
Ferndell Trail #204Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2019
ehuffstetler
Hiking1.60 Miles 280 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles   1 Hour      1.60 mph
280 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After Hiking this in September, I decided to go back to check the Autumn foliage and I am so happy that I did! This is the perfect time of year to see the aspens change yellow and golden, and the maples from orange to red.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Aspens and maples!
Oct 19 2019
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 57
 Routes 51
 Photos 7,916
 Triplogs 1,687

40 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Regulus
Pioneer Trail #196Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2019
Jim_H
Hiking9.65 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking9.65 Miles   6 Hrs      1.61 mph
2,400 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
My route was almost identical to nightstalker's May-5-18 hike, so I am using his stats. I did a little more road walking to see if the hummingbird feeders and birds were still there, but they were not. Still a lot of flocks of chipper forest birds, mostly what sounded like Chick-a-Dee.

What more or less constitutes a leaf peeping hike, except I didn't fight I-17 and Flagstaff, and it wasn't 39 degrees on top. A very nice relaxed scenic Pinal Hike. Walking towards Pinal Peak after looking for hummingbirds, I went out on FR 651E. I was surprised to see an Atlas or Lebanon Cedar, a Red Pine, a bristlecone Pine, several Giant Sequoias, and possibly a few California ponderosa pines, or Jeffrey or maybe Coulter pines, all planted in an area that might have been a cabin site in the past. The cedar managed to reproduce on the east side of 651E and to the untrained eye it might just look like another Douglas fir. It isn't!

Lots of color that will probably peek in the maples this week, oaks later on. Aspen and walnut also appear near peak, but locust and ash are past. Very enjoyable relaxed hike.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Maple!

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Squaw Spring Dripping Dripping
Mostly wet soil, nothing I think a human could use.
_____________________
If you're having trail problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but hiking ain't one.
1 archive
Oct 18 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 194
 Photos 8,224
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Pioneer Trail #196Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2019
kingsnake
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. 😕 https://www.globemiamitimes.com/no-cabin-pressure/

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: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Mining Claim
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Light overall, but purple asters were everywhere!
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Sep 02 2019
ehuffstetler
avatar

 Photos 35
 Triplogs 11

34 female
 Joined May 11 2019
 Claypool
Ferndell Trail #204Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2019
ehuffstetler
Hiking1.78 Miles 1,457 AEG
Hiking1.78 Miles   1 Hour   4 Mns   1.67 mph
1,457 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Perfect little hike to beat the heat with 7 and 9 year old boys. A few wild flowers here and there and some beautiful ferns. We will definitely go back here soon when the Aspen groves start to change color.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Jul 27 2019
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 57
 Routes 51
 Photos 7,916
 Triplogs 1,687

40 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Regulus
Pinal Loop again, AZ 
Pinal Loop again, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2019
Jim_H
Hiking13.40 Miles 4,045 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.33 mph
4,045 ft AEG      30 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I enjoyed the hike enough last week that I went out and did it again. Still a lot of hummingbirds both at the cluster of feeders in the recreation area, and in the forest in general. Clouds to the north looking very stormy but no storms. It probably would have been a very nice break day in the monsoon if we were really getting it this year.

Never heard any hermit thrushes.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
If you're having trail problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but hiking ain't one.
Jul 21 2019
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 57
 Routes 51
 Photos 7,916
 Triplogs 1,687

40 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Regulus
Pinal Loop, AZ 
Pinal Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2019
Jim_H
Hiking13.40 Miles 4,045 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles
4,045 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
I really wanted to hike Heliograph Peak from Arcadia CG, but that hike is 3 to 3&1/2 hours away. I'm not really in a long drive mood. I do enjoy this hike, and though not as cool or high as Heliograph, it isn't overgrown. It was, however, rather warm on top and hot at the bottom. However, 98 degrees at the TH is about a perfect hot day, in my opinion. Feels mild compared to 108.

Up Ice House, hiked both summits, and down Six Shooter. Things are greening nicely after that fire a few years back.

Still a lot of birds, along with the cicadas, which is nice. I stopped on the way down in a leafy area to listen to what sounded like several Hermit Thrushes calling. It was nice.

Down in the Chaparral, the wind was picking up and it was cooling off. Very pleasant.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
If you're having trail problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but hiking ain't one.
Jun 08 2019
kenandjude
avatar

 Photos 637
 Triplogs 94

43 male
 Joined Jan 30 2007
 Gilbert, AZ
Ferndell Trail #204Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2019
kenandjude
Hiking1.60 Miles 280 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles   2 Hrs      0.80 mph
280 ft AEG   10 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Wanted to take a drive and get some scenery in while escaping the heat. Decided on Ferndell. It's changed since the fire a couple years ago and with all the rain we had over the spring, there was lots of growth. At the end of the trail, went to the big boulder and climbed up for the view. On the way back, we took FR651 back to the Sixshooter and made a loop back to the car. I wish I knew the history of the area. You can tell there were a couple of settlements back in the day with power/water lines. Almost appears as there was major cattle herding back in the day. Great day to be out.
_____________________
-Ken

Aizona is God's country
1 archive
Jun 05 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,619
 Triplogs 2,043

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
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
Partners partners
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
Named place
East Mountain
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Apr 24 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 20
 Routes 283
 Photos 3,647
 Triplogs 259

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pinal Peak - Signal Peak, AZ 
Pinal Peak - Signal Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking14.70 Miles 4,039 AEG
Hiking14.70 Miles   6 Hrs   43 Mns   2.59 mph
4,039 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
It has been a couple of years since I have been to Pinal Peak, and today seemed like a good day to do this hike. I got the idea for this particular route from a hike that LindaAnn and trekkin_gecko did about 10 days ago, and I followed their most excellent GPS track, except that I did the hike by going up the Six Shooter Trail and going down the Icehouse Canyon Trail.

This is a great hike imho. I had never been to the overlook with the ladder rock, and that had by far the best views on the hike. I had also never been to Signal Peak, and it was nice to check that one off of my list.

The trails were in good shape for the most part. There were probably 6-8 downed trees to deal with -- all but about 3-4 trees were nothing more than a minor annoyance. I did have to go around a couple of trees, and crawl underneath another one -- but the deadfall was much less than when I was up there a couple of years ago.

I enjoyed the Sixshooter Trail and the upper part of the Icehouse Canyon Trail. The lower section of the Icehouse Canyon Trail was nice today because of all the wildflowers; at other times of the year it might not be all that great.

This hike is a winner in my book -- if you timed it right in the fall, it would be a great hike to see some fall color.
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
There were quite a few wildflowers on the lower part of the Icehouse Canyon Trail.
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I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
2 archives
Apr 14 2019
LindaAnn
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 Guides 23
 Routes 360
 Photos 2,693
 Triplogs 1,052

39 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Icehouse - Sixshooter loop - Pinal Mtns, AZ 
Icehouse - Sixshooter loop - Pinal Mtns, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2019
LindaAnn
Hiking13.89 Miles 4,056 AEG
Hiking13.89 Miles   6 Hrs   21 Mns   2.49 mph
4,056 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
We got started a little before 7:30 and headed up Icehouse Canyon trail. The first couple miles, are a little dull, as usual, but an easy road walk. It seemed a little rockier in places, with some large rocks that have fallen in places. We were treated to the almost constant sound of running water along Icehouse. Once in the trees, the hike improved considerably. It was easy to hop across all the water crossings, and while there were a few downed trees across the trail, all but one were pretty easy to get around. One tree required a little extra effort, but was still fairly easy. One short stretch of snow lingering on the trail near the top, but our shoes still stayed dry.

Once at the top, we headed over to Signal Peak first. Views were a bit hazy, but still nice. We walked the road over to Pinal Peak, then over to the boulders east of the summit and climbed the ladder to eat lunch atop the largest boulder. Good views to the east, and almost no wind made for a pleasant lunch spot.

Heading down Ferndell, there was some deadfall to contend with; hopefully this trail gets cleared sometime soon. Once on Sixshooter, there was more deadfall to deal with; some more inconvenient than others, but we got around or through all of it. One spot near the top has an uprooted tree that took out most of the width of the trail when the roots came out. There's about a 3' deep hole about 5' in diameter where most of the trail used to be. Another spot about halfway down seems to be sliding again. I had trouble in this same spot in 2017. There's a tree down, then just after that, the trail gives way where the slide seems to be. We got past it, but some good rain will probably make that spot more difficult again. Lots of running water along Sixshooter too, but all crossings were easy. We saw 4 other hikers, but that was it for the day. The temps during the last mile of boring manzanita were warming up, but some high clouds helped.

Always a great loop, and I was glad to get this one done again.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some flowers along the lower elevations. Higher elevations should be good in the upcoming weeks.
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Apr 14 2019
trekkin_gecko
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 Guides 5
 Routes 352
 Photos 4,256
 Triplogs 2,712

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Signal & Pinal Peaks, AZ 
Signal & Pinal Peaks, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2019
trekkin_gecko
Hiking14.00 Miles 4,146 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   2.34 mph
4,146 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
linda invited me to hit the pinals for one loop and both peaks
hadn't been up here in almost four years :o
doesn't seem that long ago
up icehouse, signal peak, pinal peak
lunch on the ladder rock
i hadn't seen this before - very cool spot
back on ferndell and sixshooter
temps were great from the start, allowing for short sleeves most of the day
not much breeze, a few high clouds
lots of water flowing in both canyons
a few wildflowers
quite a few downed trees across the trail, with at least half a dozen that required a convoluted work-around
some fire damage from two years ago, but nothing too scorched earth
nice to be back :)
thanks for inviting me, linda - it's a great hike
Named place
Named place
Icehouse Springbox
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Nov 09 2018
OdinWiski
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 Photos 2,181
 Triplogs 86

48 male
 Joined Jan 31 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Six Shooter - Pinal Peak - Telephone, AZ 
Six Shooter - Pinal Peak - Telephone, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2018
OdinWiski
Hiking14.80 Miles 4,044 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   8 Hrs   4 Mns   2.28 mph
4,044 ft AEG   1 Hour   34 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Started around 9:30 and the temps were close to 50. All day it felt like it was in the 50's and most of the hike was shaded, so it was great hiking weather. Took Six Shooter up to link up to Pinal Peak. Last time I was on Six Shooter a few years ago was a rainy spring day I think. This time it was fall color explosions :y: We really enjoyed this trail. View from the top of Pinal Peak was Ok - it was a bit hazy. We wandered and explored a whole bunch and took the Telephone Trail back down. I have to say that it was kinda bland / low reward. The last mile and a half seemed to be dragging on, especially when the hip that needs replacement was bothering me a lot. Next time we're in this area, we'll probably check out Icehouse Canyon trail instead. Didn't see anyone the entire day. Overall, great weather and beautiful hike.
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average hiking speed 2.21 mph
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