Pinnell Mountain Trail
What can you tell me about the trail?
The Pinnell Mountain trail is a 27.3 mile hiking trail over rock and tundra with elevations varying from 3187' (Twelvemile Summit) to 4937' (Pinnell Mountain). It is accessible from the Steese Highway, northeast of Fairbanks Alaska. The trail begins at Eagle Summit (Steese Highway mile 107.3) and ends at Twelvemile Summit (Steese Highway mile 85.5). Paving of the Steese Highway was completed to mile 82 in the summer of 2011.
At the Eagle Summit trailhead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has provided a parking lot, an information sign with trail register, bear-proof trash container and a vault toilet. A new toilet was installed in Fall of 2010. Access to the parking lot and trail after snowfall begins in the fall is difficult since the road to the parking lot is not cleared.
At the Twelvemile Summit trailhead, a vault toilet was erected in the Fall of 2010, and the door was installed in late April of 2011. The toilet is now open for use and a bear-proof trash container has been installed adjacent to it. Pictures of the toilets for those into such things. The parking area at Twelvemile Summit is cleared throughout the winter.
The trail is well marked. Primarily the marking is with wooden posts although there are occasional rock cairns (not necessarily provided by BLM) as well. I had trouble finding the trail at two points, one at Table Mountain (mile 22) and another during the 13th mile of the hike. It should be noted that I hiked the trail in the reverse direction from which BLM intended.
BLM has provided two trail shelters roughly one-third and two-thirds of the way along the trail. The Ptarmigan Creek trail shelter is located in a saddle at 10.1 mile. The North Fork trail shelter is in another saddle at the end of a short trail which intersects the main trail at mile 17.8. Both shelters have water catchement systems with water which could be used after proper purification.
For a detailed description of the trial and some good pictures, see: http://www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/blm/pinnellmtn-ak.html.