Passage #21 - Pine Mountain


Flowers along FR 422 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.

Blooming hedgehog cactus Notes/Warnings:

  • 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.


Resources:

  • USGS Topographic Maps: Four Peaks and Boulder Mountain.
  • Tonto National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information, contact:


Current Trail Information:


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