Round Mountain Park in Globe-Miami is likely to surprise you for the variety of trails and amenities are packed into this city park as our writer, Jenn will confirm in this brief introduction to a favorite Globe-Miami park.
It is 9 a.m. and already the sun is suspended high in the sky, slow baking the shrubs, the rocks and the trail. By the time this issue comes out, however, the heat should be a little less harsh at Round Mountain Park.
If you have been around Globe awhile, then surely you know about Round Mountain, right? Round Mountain Park lies on the eastern edge of downtown, offering six different hiking trails covering 360 acres of land, two of which lead up to a summit with an awesome panoramic view. You never know what wildlife you’ll encounter when you head up the trail. In the past, hikers have spotted roadrunners, deer, ravens, jack rabbits, frogs and even gila monsters! On any given trail, you may see barrel cacti, prickly pear, juniper trees and yuca.
Since the trails wrap around Round Mountain, they are generally at an incline. Still, the elevation change is only 430 feet from base to summit, and it’s moderate hiking as long as you maintain a comfortable pace. None of the trail combinations extend more than a few miles, and they are well paved.There are plenty of people to thank for the magnificent views and the trails. Globe’s former mayor, vice mayor and councilman Stanley Gibson is one of them. Gibson was heavily involved in the early stages of laying out the trails in the ’90s, the first being the West Trail which was constructed beginning in 1995 and lasted roughly two to three years. The late city councilman Louis Aguirre volunteered his time to oversee the construction of the ramadas, the bridge and visitor center. Since then, city park ranger Rick Powell has continued to maintain the trails.
Regardless of which trail you take, you will start at the visitor center next to the parking lot. There are bathrooms and a water fountain there. It’s best to take advantage of them, because there aren’t any on the trails. While there are resting points, 17 in total, the East and West Trails generally don’t include shade, so expect to sweat if you are hiking on a sunny afternoon. You will also want to take a look at the trail map, or pick up a paper copy, because several of the trails intersect each other along the way.The trails don’t look terribly exciting at the start, lined mostly by shrubs and small cacti. It won’t be long, though, before you are looking over your shoulder to see silhouettes of the mountains in the distance. Hike up far enough, and you will spot Miami’s open pit mines to the west and downtown Globe below.
If rock formations interest you, take the Bull’s Eye Rock Loop Trail from the West Trail. The whole loop is just one-third of a mile, and it provides more shade than on the East and West Trails. There are interesting rocks and boulders, as well as a rest area, along the way. And of course you will see the Bull’s Eye, a hole carved out of the center of a large boulder.Or, if you really want to feel on top of things, then plan on taking the either the East or West Trails to the summit, where the two meet. You will be greeted by an inviting rest point at the top with two shaded picnic tables. Here you will find a prime view of Miami, Globe and the Pinals. And in case you haven’t had a photo opportunity next to the U.S. flag lately, you will have an opportunity here.
©Globemiamitimes/GMTeconnect LLC and Globe Miami Times, 2013
Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.