First we need to see how come this location even exists. Here is the sign at the entrance to the campground that explains it.
The weather was 48 degrees at 0730 this morning but still nice and dry. It was 59 inside the Castle and no heat was needed to help inside. By the time the coffee water was ready the Castle was in great shape.The plan was to enjoy as much of the south loop of the hiking trail as my body would allow. To my surprise, by keeping the pace very slow, the OFM was able to do the whole two miles of trail including the up and down part. A liter of water was exactly enough. One nice thing about the very slow pace was the ability to really look at the details of what was around me. The cicadas are out in force and very noisy around here. Here is the trail map.
The entire trail is very well maintained and easy walking. A little bit of the return trail gets rough but not really bad. Crutches could make the trail but wheel chairs and walkers will be out classed in several short spots.One of the early vistas is of the Datil valley. The town is hidden down there somewhere.
According to the map there are two foot bridges to cross. They do not exist anymore. The trail has been modified to just cross the dry ravine. Maybe if they ever get rain out here the trail will be temporarily closed. Here are the remains of the larger foot bridge.
Three defined overlooks are on this section of trail. One benefit of going clockwise on the south trail is the walk up is longer but much gentler. The second benefit is that you are more than halfway finished when the overlooks and rest spots are reached.The first one is a nice shade shelter with a bench. It is well hidden until you get right on it.
The trail runs fairly flat for quite a ways from just before the first overlook to a bit past the last over look. The scenery is very nice. And yes rattlesnakes, bears and lions are possible to be in the area so watch out for them. It might be exciting to see one of them.Another overlook is of the Gils Wilderness to the south. This nice sign tells you where to look to see the start of the wilderness.
The last official overlook, there are lots of nice views that are not official overlooks also, is named Rocky Point. This one is a short hike off the main trail. The sign makes it easy to find the trail.
And believe me it is a rocky point. None of the rocks or trees would volunteer to take a picture of the OFM prancing on the edge of the cliff. Any way he stood right on the edge of the rocks in this picture. Silly fool.
From here it was back to the trail and follow it on down the steeper return trail and back to the campground. My preference is for steeper trails back instead of into the area. Over all this was a great trail for a fat guytrying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.