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Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View, AZ

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,492 feet
Elevation Gain -431 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.25
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2016-05-07 friendofThunderg
34  2015-10-02 kingsnake
7  2015-05-06 Hippy
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, Jul → 8 AM
Sun  6:11am - 6:32pm
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Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Yet Another "Table Mesa"
by kingsnake

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Cedar Mountain can be seen soon after you turn west onto AZ-64 in Cameron. Look to your front right, and it is the large, stand-alone, dark, mesa in the direction of the Grand Canyon. From the Desert View lookout, look to the east, and it is the large, stand-alone, dark, mesa towards Cameron. :-) On satellite view, both its slopes and summit look barren, but that could not be further from the truth: There is quite a bit of vegetation on top, and on the slopes -- except the route this hike follows, which avoids the cliffs which protect most of the summit.

Warning: The mountain is on federal land, with the exception of the lower half of the east slope, which is on Navajo land. This hike is purely on federal land.

History: The lady at the Desert View snack bar told my wife that they used to run cattle out at Cedar Mountain, at least up until the 1970s. She said the jeep trail was also a lot better back then. There is an old corral at the base of the west slope. The snack bar lady also said that locals refer to it as "Table Mesa".

Hike: There is a use trail by the handicap spots: Follow it onto the camping area access road. Proceed through the camping area. Out the back of spot #20 is an old road. (As evidenced by the manholes along its length.)

0.70 mi.: Turn left onto the old jeep trail. It's really nice at first, even car drivable. That does not last long. It gets progressively rougher, and is soon rutted with drop offs. Don't think of attempting to drive it without 4WD, high clearance and skill. But, it is a pleasant walk. As you proceed down the switchbacks -- about 700 feet in the next 1.5 miles -- you will be able to regularly spot the Desert View Tower, Cedar Mountain, Comanche Point, and other points of interest, through the trees. Some sections can be exposed, but there is also plenty of shade throughout the day.

3.00 mi.: Right to Cedar Mountain, left to Point Solitude. Signage indicates vehicles are not allowed to turn left. Right is not mentioned.

4.25 mi.: As you break out into a prairie, the jeep trail splits, forming a loop around Cedar Mountain. (Note that the far end of the jeep trail loop is on Navajo land, which is fenced.) Turn left, towards the corral. As you approach the corral, turn right towards the clear slope. The route proceeds roughly left-to-right up the slope, towards the low point of the rim. The slope gets steeper as you ascend. You may have to traverse some small rock fields, but no big deal.

5.00 mi.: Cross the rim through a crack in the rock. The summit is just a hundred yards to your left. According to my GPS map, the summit is on a small boulder, but I think it is closer to the rim, a few feet higher. There is a stand alone dead tree, next to which is a summit cairn, with a summit log. Enjoy the view, have a snack, enjoy a summit brew and sign the log -- but beware the incredible winds. Afterwards, it is a one mile loop around the mesa back to the crack, where you will begin your return. The slightly lower east end of the mesa is not nearly as windy. Looping the mesa has great views of the Little Colorado River gorge, Straight Canyon (just north), Cedar Canyon (just south), the Gray Mountains (along which AZ-64 runs), and points far to the east. Hopefully your day is not hazy, because the views are amazing.

6.00 mi.: Back through the crack, down the slope, then back up the jeep trail to Desert View.

11.0 mi.: Choco Taco Time! (They have them at the Desert View snack bar.)

Water Sources: None. Bone dry.

Camping: Not sure if it is allowed, but easier to get forgiveness than permission and the views are awesome. Also, the summit is basically flat, if extremely windy. You might have to anchor your tent to trees, rather than stake, due to the mostly hard surface.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2015-10-06 kingsnake
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View
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The girlfriend invited me up to the Canyon for a weekend of camping at Mathers. I said I would go, if I could choose where we camped and sneak a hike in Saturday morning. She agreed, so I was headed back to the Canyon for a second straight weekend Friday night. The plan was to do Battleship Saturday morning and camp somewhere near the Grandview fire tower.

We woke up Saturday morning to some pretty wintery conditions. I knew from the start that I was not going to be doing Battleship, so we packed up all of our stuff to check on her friends and find a plan B. Along the way we hiked out to Shoshone Point with the dogs. We obviously had the place to ourselves at 6:30 in the morning during a snowstorm and thus really enjoyed the hike in. However, there were literally no views at the overlook and almost zero visibility because of the storm. As luck would have it, by the time we got to her friends campsite, one party had already left for home and the other three were doing the same soon. The storm took the wind out of their weekend vacation plans and we now had the rest of the day to do a hike. So we headed to Desert View to sit out the rest of the bad weather and then knock out Cedar Mountain.

Cedar Mountain may not exactly be a premier Canyon summit, but we enjoyed it and the hike in. It did take a minute to find the exact tipping off point from the campground, but I managed to get us on track. I was using Route Scout for the first time, because when I reached the Canyon I realized I only had waypoints from the routes I downloaded and not the actual track. I can't even begin to understand what happened there. Nevertheless, I was able to use the find "near" trails selection in R.S. to grab all the routes I needed for the weekend and all from a very faint signal in the Desert View parking lot. The trail/old road is in pretty good shape and the hike in was fast. There are a few great spots to catch some views to the west and down canyon. The climb to the summit is off-trail, but its not that bad at all and the surprisingly great views from the top make up for it. It was very windy on the top, so we snapped some pictures, signed the register, ate a quick snack and headed back, with a close eye on the changing sky.

Overall a great hike for what was starting to seem like a wasted day. I am unsure if I was allowed to bring dogs to Cedar, but there were no signs telling me I could not. It is below the rim, but there is also a road and it was last minute, so I gambled.
Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View
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The main event of my weekend. My purpose for being up north. A hike I've been planning for a couple of years, ever since someone mentioned passing by it on their way to Comanche Point (or was it Cape Solitude?). :-k Almost didn't make it due to having a coronary over the $30 entrance fee. :o

Glad I didn't attempt to SUV my way down the switchbacks: The surface was nasty. :stop:

I took my time heading out, enjoying the scenery and getting the lay of the land. Nice views towards the Grand Canyon itself, but other than a few terrain features -- Comanche Point (which I thought was Cape Solitude), Desert View -- I didn't know much what I was looking at until I got home and mapped my photos. I did know the hills near Flagstaff. :D

As I neared Cedar Mountain, it looked much different than I expected from sat view: Rather than being barren, it had plenty of vegetation on top and on its slopes. The north and south rims were protected by small cliffs. But at the top of a grassy area on its west slope, was a small saddle. My initial plan was to loop around the base of the mountain, looking for a good ascent and, time permitting, do so. Otherwise, return to do my chosen route in the future. Instead, I chose to hey-diddle-diddle straight up the middle.

The actual summit is 100 yards left of the crack I climbed through. According to my GPS map, it was on a boulder, about 50 feet from the west rim. But the west rim looked slightly higher. I searched the area, but could not find a summit cairn / log. Luckily, I had a small notepad, covered in clear packing tape for protection, and several pens. (The first of which failed after a few lines.) So, I created a summit log. I placed the log and (operational) pen in a ziploc sandwich bag, then placed that in a larger ziploc quart bag. I placed the bag on a thick foundation rock, then piled more rocks on top of that. The cairn is by a dead tree, and is noted on the official route.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment, especially since I was the first Hazard up top. :y: Little did I realize that since I had last looked at the then blank description, Hippy had been up in May. :| Oh well, it was a great feeling at the time. :)

After many pictures, and almost losing my lunch -- the wind almost blew it away, rather than me blowing chunks :D -- I took a tour around the rim. There were awesome views of Comanche Point, the Palisades of the Desert, Straight Canyon, the Little Colorado River gorge, Cedar Canyon and the Gray Mountains. I could also spot Shadow Mountain 18 miles away, as well as Sunset Crater, the San Francisco Peaks and Kendrick Peak (all 44+ miles away).

The lower eastern end of the summit was much less windy. Personally, I think it would be an awesome place to camp, especially since you are guaranteed to be alone. Plus the stars would be awesome.

After my tour, I made it from the crack back to Desert View in 1h 55m, including breaks. I hauled. And I felt strong, despite the altitude and distance. I had a Choco Taco at the gift shop, while my wife told me about her people watching. (Tourists. :roll:) We rolled back into Flag about 4:00 p.m. Since my wife claimed my B.O. was not offensive, I skipped the shower, and we headed straight down to Alpine Pizza for dinner, and First Friday Art Walk people watching. It did my heart good to see so many parents out with their young children, instead of all with their noses buried in their smart phones, like you see so much in the Valley. :)

Hike Video: ... CleQ
Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View
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Really? No one else has this one? Come on guys...

Okay, super easy 2 mile walk from DV campground along the Cedar Mtn Double track road.
Its the same road you take to get to the Cape Solitude "trailhead".
It is possible to drive a high clearance 4wd vehicle to the Cape Solitude The but driving past that point SEEMS to be prohibited although both roads are well traveled.

Once you reach the CS TH there's a different road heading eastish this road will take you directly to the clearing on the West Side of Cedar Mtn.
From the clear just head on up!!

Cedar Mtn rises about 580 ft above the surrounding area its still lower than Desert View...

In fact the walk down the road drops you 600 ft over 1.5miles
Then you scramble up the mtn those 580ft then reverse...easy grade all around really.

And ummmm...other than some kickass views of Comanche, LCR, Wotan's Throne, Desert View, Navajo Mtn and a few others.... That's about it.

My last GC hike until fall and I enjoyed it

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Because Desert View is at the Grand Canyon park's far east end, best bet, from Flagstaff, is to head north on U.S. 89 to Cameron. There is a new traffic circle at the main intersection. Head left / west on AZ-64. Keep an eye out for Cedar Mountain in the distance, directionally around 1-2 o'clock. It really stands out. After about 31 miles on AZ-64, is the pay gate. $30!? Egads. Hopefully you have a lifetime pass, or something. Just past the gate, pull into the Desert View parking area. The hike starts on the use trail by the handicap spots across from the gas station.
3 pack - loud whistle
go prepared
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