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Monday, June 28, 2010

ICEHOUSE CANYON

ICEHOUSE CANYON TRAIL Pinal Mountains, Globe
 It’s a bit tricky to stay on track, but with some attention to detail, hiking to the cool pockets of aspens and maples high on the slopes of the Pinal Mountains is an exhausting yet memorable adventure. From the trailhead, hike a short distance uphill along Forest Road 112 to the Telephone Trail on the right. Follow the Telephone Trail for two-tenths of a mile to the Icehouse Canyon Trail junction, hang a right and go downhill and through a dry wash. Next, pass through a cattle guard and continue up to the top of a rise. From there, go left and follow the road for a half-mile to a junction where there are spring-fed water troughs and salt licks for the domestic cattle (and black bears) that inhabit the area. Veer left and continue on the Icehouse Canyon Trail following the signs to FR 651 (7,560 feet), the turn around point for this hike. To visit Signal Peak (7,812 feet) and Pinal Peak (7,848 feet), continue up the road toward the radio towers and follow the signs. IMPORTANT NOTE: Pinal trails are notoriously overgrown and rife with obstacles. In addition, directional signage is sparse--so hikers must have excellent map and route-finding skills in order to safely navigate these trails. A good map resource is the National Geographic Maps, Salt River Canyon, Tonto National Forest #853. INFORMATION: www.natgeomaps.com/ti_853 LENGTH: 10 miles round trip ELEVATION: 4,520 – 7,560 feet RATING: difficult. BEST SEASONS: March - November (warm in summer) DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 95 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take Highway 60 east to Globe. Once in Globe, follow the “Besh-Ba-Gowah Ruins, Globe Ranger Station” signs through downtown to Icehouse Canyon Road (FR 112). Turn right onto FR 112 and continue for 4.2 miles to the Icehouse CCC campsite which is indicated by a brown sign that says: “197, 192”. INFORMATION: (928) 402-6200, www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/recreation/rogs/hikingtrail/grd/IcehouseTrail198.pdf

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