Starting uphill right away, we walked through a dense forest of pine and
fir trees. The trail and floor of the forest were covered in dry pine
needles, etc. Through the trees we had great views of neighboring hills
and mountains. Above, brilliant blue skies and fluffy white clouds awaited
us at the top.
After 3.5 miles of gradual, but continuous uphill walking, we reached
the base of the Forest Service lookout tower at 7690 ft. From the tower,
we could see not only Thumb Butte, Granite Mountain, and Mingus Mountain,
but off in the distance we could see the San Francisco Peaks and even
the Four Peaks!! A few of us had the unique opportunity to enter the
tower and talk with the Ranger on duty. All the major mountain peaks and
lakes were labeled on the windows with mileage. Here too were some great
examples of blooming cholla cacti.
Groom Creek Trail 307.