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Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns, AZ

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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,409 feet
Elevation Gain 950 feet
Accumulated Gain 857 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.59
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2013-07-30
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
21  2010-08-08 SkyIslander18
6  2009-07-26 PrestonSands
8  2007-11-19 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Sep, Apr → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:07am - 6:16pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Culture Nearby
little baldy
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Peak 8359, which is apparently known as Mount Baldy by locals, is a rather rugged point rising above Turkey Flat in southeastern Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. Views from the top are outstanding, as is the norm for these mountains. While the Ladybug Trail passes directly below the summit's cliff face, no trail leads to the top. Mt. Baldy is a relatively easy peak to bag though, with only a little bushwhacking required.

Hike: Start hiking up Turkey Flat Trail #330 from it's beginning at milepost 128 along the Swift Trail, in the Turkey Flat summer cabins area. Alternating views of rugged mountains and distant desert will draw your eyes away from the ground in front of you while hiking. The trail gradually climbs the forested mountain side before reaching a saddle at 0.5 miles, where it meets the Ladybug Trail. Turn right and head up the ridge on the Ladybug Trail #329.

The Ladybug Trail rolls along the top of the ridge and passes another saddle before beginning a steep switchback climb up a rocky corner of Mt. Baldy. The ascent eases up around the 8100 foot level, where the trail leaves the ridge to contour along the slope below the peak. This is a good place to start the bushwhack to the top (I left the trail at 32.62930 N, 109.81283 W). If you reach the cliff that rises high above the Ladybug Trail, turn around and go back about 500 feet. Leave the trail and pick your way up through the brush, trees and boulders, staying close to the ridgeline. The top soon comes into view and the oak brush opens up to reveal a small, bald, rocky summit. This is a great place to relax and take in the far reaching views of southern Arizona. An ammo box containing a summit register is buried in a rock pile. Beware of the sheer drop off at the summit's edges. When you are ready to leave, be careful to retrace your steps so as not to cliff out on this rugged peak.

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2007-11-25 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Swift Trail (366) has been re-opened up to Ladybug Saddle ..... again. Flooding continues to be a problem at Wet Canyon and has closed the road I believe 3 times now since the Frye Fire.

    Headed up with the first stop at Wet Canyon crossing. And as pre-warned, ADOT has removed the old 1935 historic CCC bridge. Another historic Pinaleno structure lost forever :pk: ! The flooding at Wet Canyon has been violent and I along with a few others were shocked at the "new" look of the entrance to this most loved canyon/picnic area, but to remove the old bridge was IMO unnecessary & lazy. ADOT does own the road (and old bridge) and because of that can do as they please ..... whatever!

    I then drove up to Arcadia CG and hiked down to Upper Wet Canyon. Again as the lower crossing, completely changed forever from the flooding, but in a good cleaned out/opened up way. Before/after pics won't be believed to those who know Wet Canyon. Then it was off to my main hike for the day up to Mount Baldy Peak.

    Took Turkey Flat up, hung a right onto the Ladybug Trail, then off-trailed up to the peak. Took in the outstanding views on top, ate lunch & signed the ammo box register before leaving. Beautiful hike back down through the pines on this very scenic trail.

    Last stop was on the drive back down to Noon Creek to check things out. This is the lowest burn area on this side of the mountain and all trails here are posted closed indefinitely, the picnic grounds are open.

    Wildlife spotted - 6 white-tails, 4 Abert's, skunk, spiny lizards, butterflies and many vocal hawks & vultures up high.

    :( & :x & :D

    Mount Baldy Peak views -
    [ youtube video ]
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    Clockwise Loop.
    Turkey Flat TH up to get it started.
    Hung a right onto the Ladybug Trail.
    Off-trail side trip up to Mount Baldy Peak, flipped a step boulder and lost some shin skin, but the amazing view down on Turkey Flat was worth it!
    Ladybug Peak still holding plenty of ladybugs, long time register box was missing :(
    Took the Swift Trail switch-backs down to complete the loop.

    Mountain + AddSanz = :D
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    Day 2 of my Pinaleno Camping Trip...Wanted to do some Hikes that I haven't done yet, and although I've done Ladybug Peak, I did it from the Saddle before...This was a little bit more of a Workout. I decided to go ahead and throw in Mount Baldy on the way back...Why? Because it was there... :D

    Beautiful Morning and the Hike was going very nicely...Calm, relaxed, actually enjoying some nice Uphill... :sweat: I came to a little "bump" where it was stepping on Rocks going down...Of course, with a Trail I haven't been on, I'm not totally focused on the Trail, although my Foot Placement here was at least in my Peripheral Vision...I stepped off that last Rock, back on to level Trail...I thought I was stepping next to a small Gray Rock...OOPS! If that Twin-Spotted was known as an aggressive Species, my Trip would have ended with that Step...Less than 6" from his Head... :sweat: He was small, coiled up, sunning himself in the middle of the Trail...I think I scared him more than he did me! Instead of striking, he jerked the other way, while I did the "Rattlesnake Two Step"...He rattled his very small Button Rattle and started beating cheeks for the Rocks on the edge of the Trail...It drops off there and I think he calls it home...I somehow managed to get the Camera out and fired off a couple of shots, but definitely didn't have much time... :sweat: Very Cool Encounter, once it was over...My first Twin Spotted in the Wild!!! :y:

    Continued on down the Trail, paying a little more attention to the actual Trail... :sweat: The Uphill was a nice little Workout...Got to a Saddle, started up more Switchbacks and came face to face with a White-Tailed Doe...Less than 20 feet away...She stared at me in disbelief for a moment and as I turned the Camera on, the White Flag came up and she quickly walked into the Brush...Could not get a clean shot after that... :(

    Finished the Switchbacks and got up to the Peak...The Views were as nice as I remembered, albeit a bit Hazy...Not many Clouds, but still a Haze to the Horizon...Spent an hour up there, enjoying the Views, watching Birds come and go, including a couple that weren't all that common...Read through the Log, laughing at fellow HAZers...And then it was time to go...

    Followed the Trail back down, poring over Preston's Description for where to start the ascent to Baldy...Found it and Off-Trailed it up to that Peak...Enjoyed the Views here and laughed at more Entries in that Register...Then it was back the way I came, onto the Trail and back to the Escape...Lots of fresh Bear sign along the Ladybug Trail, especially the closer you came to Turkey Flat...

    Nice Hike, nice little Workout with a couple of breathtaking moments of excitement...I could easily see doing this Hike again... :)
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    Wanted to get one more trip in up the mountain before the FS opens the rest of the Swift Trail in 2 days and half of Safford goes up. Haven't bagged a peak in some time so I chose the short Mt. Baldy Peak hike. This was my 2nd trip up and like the first one, I just could not find a real good direct path up and had to do a little rock climbing before reaching the top. Warm & windy on top and I spent about a half hour on top taking in the great views and signing the log before returning back down. Wanted to get a few more miles in so I walked up the Swift Trail and hiked down the Turkey Flat road through the upper cabins, then took a short trail up to Twilight Spring Rd and down to the campground, back up Twilight road to Swift Trail and back to my truck parked at the Turkey Flat TH.
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    Did the standard route to the summit, endured a few minutes of bone chilling wind there, then hiked down the Ladybug Trail to 6800 feet. Turned around, hiked back up to Turkey Flat Trail, then hiked down it to Turkey Flat trailhead. For good measure I hiked back up Turkey Flat Trail again to the Ladybug Trail, and back down again.
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    Spur of the moment late afternoon hike up to the peak. Arrived at the Turkey Flat trailhead and started down the trail at 4:30pm. Only 100 yards into the hike and I came upon a turkey coming up the trail! 35 years of coming up to the Turkey Flat area and this is the first time I have ever seen a turkey here. I continued up the trail and reached the saddle that connected up with the Ladybug Peak trail. Along this trail I stopped and got down on my knees to take a flower pic and 3 feet away I found a baby Twin-Spotted rattlesnake sunbathing on a rock! First time I have ever seen a twin-spotted rattlesnake. This was quickly becoming a "first time seen" animal hike for me. Another 1/2 mile and I started my bushwacking/boulder hop to the peak which took me about 20 minutes. Greeting me on top were thousands of ladybugs (have seen these before) and great views of the valley below. I spent about a 1/2 hour on top and put a new register notepad & pen in the ammo box before hiking back down to the trail. It was a quick hike back down and I got back to the trailhead at 7:30 just as is was getting dark. Really glad I chose this hike!
    Mount Baldy Peak 8359 - Pinaleno Mtns
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    This peak had been on my to do list as a possible hike once the upper Swift Trail had closed for the winter. Got off work early, and headed up to Turkey Flat. I decided to leave the Ladybug Trail at the base of the first switchbacks. I climbed up through some really steep and nasty stuff and soon discovered... the Ladybug Trail again :lol: This happened one more time, until I left the trail for good at the 8100 foot level. The off trail portion was not too bad, considdering the rugged topography of the peak. Got to the top at sunset. I pulled out the jar, paper and pen that I'd brought to start a summit register, then I discovered an existing one in a large ammo box. The decaying register identified this peak as "Mount Baldy". Signed it, took some pictures, then headed back down in the waning light and icy breeze. I took a few night photos, and arrived back at the trailhead in moonlit darkness.

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, head south on U.S. highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail). Follow highway 366 approximately 13.7 miles to the Turkey Flat trailhead at milepost 128. The parking area is a pull-off spot along the road, with room for maybe 3 cars.
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