Hiking in Arizona Question

11:55 a.m. on June 7, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

3:45 p.m. on June 7, 2001 (EDT)
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Steve Wonder song...

Quote:

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

....Superstition...

Try the falcon press Rock guide to AZ. Good suggestions on peak baggin'.

Brian in SLC

10:56 a.m. on June 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Don M, Don P. Morris, hikerdon

Quote:

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

It will be real hot around Phoenix this time of year. While there are peaks like Baboquivari (7,780) that are fairly close, this is not the optimum time for them. I would recommend heading for the high country around Flagstaff or the Mogollon Rim. Try Mount Humphreys, Arizona's highest, at 12,000+ - nice and cool!

12:07 p.m. on June 8, 2001 (EDT)
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Too hot? Cool off!

Quote:

Quote:

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

It will be real hot around Phoenix this time of year. While there are peaks like Baboquivari (7,780) that are fairly close, this is not the optimum time for them. I would recommend heading for the high country around Flagstaff or the Mogollon Rim. Try Mount Humphreys, Arizona's highest, at 12,000+ - nice and cool!

Get a copy of "Canyoneering in Arizona" and head to Salome Jug with 80 feet of rope (NOT 40!!). Go for a nice swim and some rappelling in a beauty pink granite canyon gorge. Short day hike...neat country and not far from Phoenix. Did this same day in February after flying into Phoenix and arriving at 1pm in the afternoon. Great gig.

Brian in SLC

2:28 p.m. on June 10, 2001 (EDT)
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Grew up in Arizona, so ...

There are lots of peaks close to and in Phoenix. It depends on what you mean by "decent size". As BriSLC says, it is a bit on the warm side at this time of year. But, if you head out at dawn for a quick run up and down the hill, or after 6PM, it isn't too bad. In Phoenix itself, some good peaks with lots of views are Camelback (from Echo Park, parking is very competitive, since this a favorite run, but you can take a couple shortcuts up a few hundred feet of nice friction), Squaw Peak, North Peak, and South Mountain (South is a bit of a zoo on top, because of the road and all the TV and radio antennas, but there are several nice trails). There are a bunch of other mountains just outside the city limits, including Estrella, McDowell, White Tanks, and the Superstitions (go to Apache Junction and turn north to the Lost Dutchman park for a reasonable trailhead to hike out to the famous Weaver's Needle, and no, the Lost Dutchman mine is not close to Weaver's, that was just the Peralta stash that old Jacob got a lot of his gold from). The Needle has some interesting routes, but it isn't really a day trip if you want to do the technical stuff - too hot from April through October anyway, but December is good. On the rock climbs, the Camel's Head is a favorite bouldering and climbing area (where I first learned rock climbing). Again, park at Echo. There are some access problems, but there are lots of folks out there to hook up with in the early morning and late evening (park gates are locked at sundown).

Brian mentioned Bobo - First of all, that is more than your 2 hour driving distance, and second, it is a sacred mountain for the Tohoni O'Odham and Akimal O'Odham. Access is restricted by the O'Odham. If you want to drive all the way down there, stick with Tucson and Mt Lemon. There is a lot of excellent rock in the Mt Lemon area, and you can get enough altitude to get cooler weather.

Also down that way is Picacho Peak, next to a state park that marks the site of the westernmost battle of the Civil War. The peak has a couple easy ways up, plus some interesting rock routes.

Flagstaff is about an hour and a half up Black Canyon Highway. The San Francisco Peaks above Flag are reasonable for peakbagging and get up to 12,633 ft at the top of Mt Humphrey's. Occasionally there is still snow on the summit until into July.

Four Peaks, just east of Phoenix has lots of good hiking, but count on more than a day trip.

If you go to REI next to the Paradise Valley Mall, they have several good guides to hikes and climbs. Roger and Ethel Freeman's "Day Hikes and Trail Rides in and around Phoenix" is pretty good for your designated radius.

When I was growing up in Arizona (first 11 years on the Akimal O'Odham reservation except for a couple years in Central America, then up through start of high school in Phoenix), there were less than half as many total people in the state than there are inside Phoenix city limits now. Camelback and Squaw were beyond the outskirts of town and Paradise Valley was a distant destination we would go for weekend campouts and backpacking trips. Even with the plague of locusts (retirees from snow country), there are still many places in the state within a short distance that offer real wilderness. Grand Canyon isn't all that far, and if you are in good shape, a great day hike to the river and back (but don't forget you descend 5000 ft to the river at the start and have to climb it back out after you are already tired and it is getting late). The Chiricahuas are a fantastic place to hike and climb (fantastic here also means the fantasy-land rock formations).

Enjoy, but carry lots of water - at least a liter an hour in the cool parts of the day from May through Sept, more during the 10AM-4PM hours.

4:50 a.m. on November 19, 2001 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Steve Wonder song...

Quote:

Quote:

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

....Superstition...

Try the falcon press Rock guide to AZ. Good suggestions on peak baggin'.

Brian in SLC

11:13 a.m. on February 6, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Steve Wonder song...

Quote:

Quote:

I live in the Northeast, and do a lot of year-round peakbagging in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I may be going to the Phoenix area in Arizona later this month for a few days. Are there any decent size peaks I could climb in a day trip that are within a couple of hours of Phoenix? Thanks for any help.

....Superstition...

Try the falcon press Rock guide to AZ. Good suggestions on peak baggin'.

Brian in SLC

July 24, 2014
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