PINAL MOUNTAIN RANGE IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA
A dramatic southern skyline bordering the nearby city of Globe, the Pinal Mountains offer four-season recreation luring summer and winter hikers, birders, mountain bikers – and fall foliage photographers.
The Pinals are an easy day-trip, too! Globe-Miami is 90-minutes’ drive from Mesa and East Valley cities. Once you’re here, trailheads that ascend into shaded Ponderosa Pine forests are just another 20 minutes drive from downtown Globe. Or keep driving - right to the 7800 foot mountaintop – via 12 miles of scenic, well-graded dirt road leading to Signal Peak on the East side of the range, or Madera Peak on the West. Pavement ends when you turn onto Forest Road 651 – the main road leading campers, hikers and photographers through chaparral-covered hillsides and up into Ponderosa Pine forests.
Look for camp sites (yes, with rustic Forest Service outhouse toilets) starting at Sulfide del Rey and also at Ferndell. The first of several hiking trails is Kellner Canyon -- then FR651 passes two more trails (Ice House, Six Shooter) before ending at the array of radio towers of Pinal Peak. Located wholly within the Tonto National Forest, the Pinal Recreation Area includes 45,760 acres!