Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pinal Peak

Recently, the paper had an article about places to go to see fall color (we don't get much of that in the valley). One of the places discussed is Pinal Peak, near Globe. It's still a little early for fall colors, but driving up the mountain sounded like fun.

Finding the road out to the mountain is a little tricky. I thought a sign was saying I should turn right at the next intersection. What it meant was that I should turn right in about half a mile. I took a tour of the poor side of Globe before I found the road I wanted.

It's a dirt road most of the way up. It's in pretty good shape but the washboard is bad in spots. It isn't very steep. There weren't many people on it, either, which is good because it's barely wide enough for two vehicles to squeeze past each other most of the way.

A glimpse of the Superstitions on the way up.

There are several peaks, all bristling with antennae.

There are several trails that either leave from or cross the road. There is no place to park near most of the trailheads, though. I came across one that had a spot I could park, so I decided to explore it for a little way. Just before I got to that trail, I had seen Globe through a gap in the trees. Maybe I would find a better view along the trail and get some pictures.

The Ice House Canyon trail, with a place to park.

The trail went downhill in thick forest. The scent of pine was wonderful. The soil was soft with rocks mixed in; it gave good traction in the steep parts. I kept hearing woodpeckers and catching a glimpse of them as they flew from tree to tree, but couldn't get a picture. It was about 67 when I left the truck. There was no breeze in the trees but it was still very cool.

It was shady and cool in the trees.

I may not have gone even a quarter mile before I decided that I was not going to find a break in the trees and started back up. That's when I realized that I must be at a higher altitude than I'm used to, and even higher than last weekend on the flanks of Iron Mountain. I moved uphill at a crawl, desperately searching for something to stop and take a picture of. It was so dark in the trees, I would have to wait until I stopped gasping for air so I would be able to hold the camera still enough.

I wound up driving back to the gap in the trees and stopping in the middle of the road to get some pictures of Globe. I didn't have any trouble with traffic, though.

Globe from above.

Can you find the drive-in theater?

Click below for all of the pictures.


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