Monday, October 08, 2012

To the Miles trailhead

When you leave the Miami / Globe area going east on US 60, you pass some large open-pit mines. There's a road that meanders between the pits to get to some trailheads and a ranch house. The road looks as if it might be there exclusively for the mines. In fact, there are several signs along the first quarter mile or so of the road that say, "Road not maintained for public use". It sounds to me like the mine owners / operators are trying to discourage the public from using the road. They can't just say "Keep Out", though, because it is a public road. As you go a little further along the road, there are signs that direct hikers to the trailheads. When you are leaving, there are signs that direct hikers back to US 60. You wouldn't want to wander off the public road as you go through the mining area. There are monstrously large vehicles in that area with very limited visibility for the drivers. They could flatten your vehicle (and you) without even knowing it. So if you go out there, stay on the road.

Anyway, I went out there to see what I could see. You don't have a good view of the mines from the road. I followed the road north until I got kind of close to the ranch house, then got bored with that direction and turned around. I stopped at a high point in the road to take some pictures.

A 360 panorama taken from a small hilltop.

The ranch house. I actually got a guy walking across the yard. You may not be able to see him in this version of the photo, though.

I then headed west on the road that goes out to the Miles trailhead. It's dirt, of course, but it was in very good condition. It was also a very nice drive through pine and juniper forest. It looked so unlike the desert that I expected to be cold every time I opened the truck door. It was 82 out there, though.

Along the road to the Miles trailhead.

There's plenty of space to park at the Miles trailhead. There are also some other trails along the road, but one of them barely had enough space to get one vehicle of the road and another had room for 2 or 3 vehicles a short hike from the trailhead. I've come across several trailheads in Arizona that don't have anyplace to park a vehicle. I guess the forest service expects those trails to be used only by one-way hikers (they will be dropped off or picked up at the trailhead, but won't need to park there). That seems kind of restrictive. Doesn't accommodate hikers like me at all.

I'm going to have to try out some of those trails sometime, though. It's so relaxing to listen to wind blowing through pine needles. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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