Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pine Trailhead

Weather:  ~82°, sunny, slight breeze

About this hike:  I got inspired to take this hike almost by accident.  After leaving Natural Bridge State Park, I wasn't quite ready to drive home to Phoenix yet, and I found this trailhead on the map.  There is a clearly-signed, well-maintained Forest Service parking area.  No Tonto Pass is required.

This trailhead joins the Highline Trail, which runs for many miles across the Mogollon Rim, and is also part of the statewide Arizona Trail.  Several paths lead from the parking area.  I took a short walk along the Highline, where grassland eventually gave way to thicker ponderosa pine forest.  This trail runs pretty close to Highway 260, and the traffic noise let you know you weren't too deep into the wilderness.

I also did the Pineview trail, accessed from the Pine Trailhead.  A short hike leads to a wonderful vantage point for viewing the little town of Pine, Arizona.  Signs indicated there were springs further up the trail, but it had been a long day, and I still had a long drive back to Phoenix, so with that one last exhilarating view, I called it quits.

Panorama overlooking Pine from the Pineview Trail

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