Passage #21 - Pine Mountain
Location: Lone Pine Saddle to Sunflower
Length: 19.8 miles
Southern Trailhead: Pigeon Spring/Lone Pine Saddle Trailhead
- GPS Coordinates: 33.71095° N, 111.33618° W
- Access: From the suspension bridge near Roosevelt Dam, drive
north on AZ 188 for 11 miles and turn left (west) at mile marker 255 onto El Oso Rd.
(FR 143). At 4.4 miles from the highway, the road appears to fork. Take the sharp
right turn and follow the road as it climbs. Continue another 4.2 miles to an
intersection with FR 422, (FR 143 continues on to the south, which is also the
path of the AZT). The AZT arrives from the left (southeast) on FR 143. Drive 1
mile on FR 143 to an intersection, bear left onto FR 648, and continue almost
another mile to Pigeon Spring Trailhead on the left.
To reach a larger, more developed parking area and trailhead at Lone Pine Saddle
a bit farther on, continue 0.5 miles ahead. Parking here allows you to hike on
singletrack into the Four Peaks Wilderness and meet the AZT in about 2 miles.
Northern Trailhead: Sunflower
- GPS Coordinates: 33.86250° N, 111.47278° W
- Access: From Phoenix, take AZ 87 north to FR 22 (Bushnell Tanks
Road). Turn right and park at the gate about 150 yards off the highway. This road
is currently closed to vehicle traffic by Tonto National Forest. You can walk down
the road about 0.5 miles and turn right at the sign and drop into Sycamore Creek
flood plain. Walk up stream following the cairns and across two drainages, follow
the next drainage down to and across Sycamore Creek. Climb out of the creek bed,
turn right and follow the trail to the AZT. A large metal sign marks the connection
to the AZT.
Trail Route Description: From the Pigeon Spring Trailhead the route
follows FR 648, intersects with FR 143, and turns right on this road to the junction
with FR 422. This road heads northwest, then west and then north as it follows
the ridgeline and keeps to roughly the same elevation. The route turns to the
left (west) off of the road and onto singletrack trail at the 11.5 mile mark.
After a short climb the trail begins a long descent towards the Sycamore Creek area.
It crosses Boulder Creek several times, goes through a corral and a gate, and then
parallels Boulder Creek. After crossing Sycamore Creek the trail works its way north
and then west to Highway 87.
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Season(s): All year. Snow can be present at higher
elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in
summer (current weather forecast)
Water: Water can usually be found in Sycamore Creek. There is
seasonal water at Circle M Spring, which is about 0.4 miles off of FR 422.
All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
The section of this passage along FR 422 passes through a heavy ponderosa
and oak forest that has many nice campsites.
USGS Topographic Maps: Four Peaks and Boulder Mountain.
Tonto National Forest map.
BLM Information Center maps.
For more information, contact:
Current Trail Information: