Sometimes a good idea for a hike just doesn't pan out. We were eager when we planned heading out of town hours after Sara touched down at Sky Harbor International Airport. Wake up early, hit the the trail early and get in a great sky island hike before it got hot. Our plan was to head out East through Superior, Globe and Miami and hit the trails up Pinal Peak. Pinal Peak is a sky island that blast up from the desert landscape to transport the hiker to Flagstaff like forrest. We had loose plans for our route, but had all the tools at our disposal.
Step one to this hike was to get up early. That didn't happen. Snooze just felt much better. So finally we hit the road at 8AM. This put us at the trailhead around 10PM. On the way to the trailhead we decided which trails we were doing and created a nice 12 mile loop. Starting up the Six Shooter Canyon Trail we were dripping sweat. Rocco found salvation in a muddy puddle as Sara and I suffered in the 90 degree heat. After a long two miles our salvation came and a canopy of pines seemed to appear from out of no where.. The remaining miles to the top were steep but at least they were in shade. After reaching the end of Six Shooter Trail we took Middle Trail (creative name) to Icehouse Canyon Trail. As inviting as the trail sounded there was no ice and the temperatures only climbed as we descended. At the last minute we decided to take the Telephone Trail which appeared to have a more direct route to the car. The trail was indeed more direct, and less used. Unfavorable trail conditions and a close encounter with a pissed off rattlesnake were more then enough motivation to finish the hike.
Although this trail was miserable as a day hike in June, I would recommend it at the right times. The trail as a early training run, or as a Fall or late Winter trip would be a lot of fun.
Trail Information Can be Found Here.