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McFadden Peak, AZ

Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.2 of 5 
no permit
54 14 0
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,349 feet
Elevation Gain 758 feet
Accumulated Gain 777 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.79
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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15  2022-04-30
Elephant Arch and McFadden Peak Lookout
18  2019-10-16
The McFaddens & Elephant Rock Arch
20  2016-08-24
12  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
19  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
19  2015-05-02
FR2752 McFadden Peak Loop
4  2014-09-06 ssk44
1  2014-07-12 ssk44
Page 1,  2
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,659
Trips 1,750 map ( 9,074 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Mar
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:31am - 7:29pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2016 Juniper Fire30.6k

adrift in a sea of pine
by PrestonSands

McFadden Peak, the site of one of two fire lookouts in the Sierra Ancha, offers continuous views of the surrounding areas. This peak was named for William McFadden, who started the Circle Ranch on McFadden Creek. McFadden had been part of a vigilante group during the Pleasant Valley War and later settled in the Sierra Anchas to get away from the feud. There are two routes to the top of this 7135-foot peak: the short way (forest road 561), and the long way (McFadden Park Trail). I haven't hiked the McFadden Park Trail yet, so I'll describe the short way up.

Park your vehicle at the locked gate at the beginning of forest road 561, next to highway 288. Be careful not to block the gate, in case the forest service needs to use the road. As you hike up the 561 road, bird's eye views of the forested Sierra Ancha begin immediately. The road makes a continuous and even ascent along the southern slope of McFadden Peak, through the mountain's pale, Troy Quartzite rock. The vegetation on this stretch includes pinyon pine, alligator juniper, and mountain mahogany, all of which are low enough to allow for wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. In the valley far below is the long, grassy meadow of the Circle Ranch. At about 1.1 miles, the road rounds the western side of McFadden Peak, where it meets the McFadden Park Trail coming in from the west. A wooden sign marks the junction. Now on the north side of the mountain, the road is shaded by Gambel oaks and ponderosa pines, and soon reaches the top of the peak. A short fire tower, listed as a historic fire lookout, sits at the summit. There are spectacular views in all directions here. Superstition Mountain, the Mogollon Rim, the White Mountains, and everything in between can be seen. Return the way you came, or, if someone has left a shuttle vehicle at the Circle Trailhead, you can take the McFadden Park Trail back.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-06-07 PrestonSands
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the highway 60/highway 188 junction in Globe, head north on Highway 188 for 14.6 miles to the junction with highway 288. Turn right onto highway 288, and follow it north for 31.1 miles to the turnoff for McFadden Peak, on the left (west) side of the road. There is a brown road sign just before the turnoff that says "McFadden Peak 1". Park at the locked gate, and follow forest road 561 to the top of McFadden Peak.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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