Thompson Peak

Thompson Peak McDowell Mountains Total Time: 4:00 Round trip mileage: 10.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2200′ Class I Trailhead: Dixie Mine TH; flush toilets, water, $2/ person Companions: Holly Although not the highest mountain in the McDowells, Thompson Peak is the highest summit in the range with a legal trail to the top. With a fire […]

Cunningham Mountain

Cunningham Mountain¬†3316′ Sonoran Desert Total Time: 1:45 Round Trip Mileage: 3.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1800′ Trailhead: Fire road near Copper Bottom Mine Cunningham Mountain is the highest peak in the Dome Rock Mountains, a small range southwest of Quartzite on the border near California. Despite their isolation, the range is surprisingly accessible, with numerous mines […]

Signal Peak

Signal Peak 4877′, Ten Ewe Mountain 4720′ Sonoran Desert, Kofa Mountains Total Time: 5:30 Round Trip Mileage: 7.5 miles Elevation Gain: 3100′ Trailhead: Pulloff in Kofa Queen Canyon In December of 2013, on my way to an interview in Phoenix, I paid my first visit to Arizona’s Kofa Mountains (short for King of Arizona) in […]

Elephant Mountain and Indian Fortress

Elephant Mountain 3926′ and Indian Fortress 3342′ Phoenix Area: Spur Cross Ranch, New River Mountains Total Time: 5:00 Round Trip Mileage: 8.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2500′ Class III Trailhead: Spur Cross Ranch- $3/ person, pit toilets Companions: Holly ¬†Spur Cross Ranch is a relatively recent addition to the Maricopa County Parks system, 2,154 acres of […]

Gavilan Peak

Gavilan Peak 2980′ Phoenix Area Total Time: 1:30 Round Trip Mileage: 1.25 Elevation Gain: 1150′ Class III- IV (Class II variation on descent) Trailhead: Undeveloped lot off 35th Ave in New River Along my many journeys headed north on I-17, I have always been fascinated with Gavilan Peak. The mountain is almost volcanic in both […]

Orocopia Mountain

Orocopia Mountain 3815′ Sonoran Desert Total Time: 3:30 Round Trip Mileage: 6.9 Elevation Gain: 2000′ (300′ on the return) Class II Trailhead: Dirt road, nothing around. Companions: Holly The Orocopia Mountains are a seldom visited range south of Joshua Tree NP in the Colorado Desert in California. A subset of the larger Sonoran Desert, the […]

East End

East End 4067′ McDowell Mountains Total Time: 3 hours Round Trip Mileage: 6.0 Elevation Gain: 2150′ Class II Trailhead: Tom’s Thumb TH, water, bathrooms, trash Companions: Holly, Mark Sugi The McDowell Mountains above Scottsdale are somewhat of an anomaly to Arizona, a fairly young range with plenty of granite and some of the best. most […]