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Guthrie Peak, AZ

no permit
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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,364 feet
Elevation Gain 1,207 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,322 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.61
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2011-02-08 SkyIslander18
11  2010-04-11 PrestonSands
9  2010-04-01 PrestonSands
6  2008-12-16 PrestonSands
19  2007-12-05 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   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:05am - 6:14pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Glassford Hill's southern cousin
by PrestonSands

Standing high above the lesser volcanic peaks of southeastern Arizona's Black Hills is Guthrie Peak, a long ridge of high desert grassland with outstanding views in every direction. Guthrie is an easy peak bag that can be combined with a drive down the B.L.M.'s scenic Black Hills Back Country Byway. This uniquely southern Arizona hike follows a primitive four wheel drive road along the northwest ridge of the mountain to the 6571 foot summit of Guthrie Peak.

The hike begins at a parking area next to a radio tower, at the junction of the Black Hills Back Country Byway and the Guthrie Peak Road. Start hiking up the Guthrie Peak Road, which gradually begins to climb the grass covered slopes of an ancient volcano. As the road climbs higher up the pinyon and juniper dotted mountainside, it gets steeper and rockier, while the views steadily improve. Far below, the Gila River and the Byway weave their way through the desert hills in the distance.

The road reaches a saddle on the ridge at 1.5 miles, then begins contouring around the south side of the mountain top, where far reaching views to the south and west will greet you. Mile two finds the road rounding a false summit topped with several communication towers. The old road soon drops down to a saddle where it meets the maintained service road to Guthrie Peak at a three way fork. Follow the service road by taking the far left fork, which begins climbing Guthrie Peak itself.

The service road soon arrives at the top of Guthrie Peak amid dozens of electronic and communication towers. There are endless views in all directions here. The north face of the peak is free of towers and yields spectacular views of the Clifton and White Mountain areas to the north. To the east, the Gila River flows some three thousand feet below, while the giant Mogollon Mountains of western New Mexico rise in the distance.

On the return trip, there is the option for a through hike by following the service road down the south side of the peak. It is the far right, gated road at the three way fork. The service road descends for several miles to a mountain pass, where it meets highway 191 at milepost 147, about 26.3 miles east of the highway 191 and highway 70 junction in Safford.

Otherwise, just head back the way you came, for a round trip total of 6 miles.

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.

2007-12-14 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
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The drive in & out on the Black Hills Back Country Byway was very scenic!
    The hike up & down the peak was steady, rocky and a little warm & windy, but lots o' fun!
    The views from the top were outstanding!
    The sunset from the Canyon Overlook picnic area on the drive out was classic!
    The wildlife spotted this evening was a white-tail buck, byway horses & scaredy cows!
    The entire trip = Awesome!

    See you next year Guthrie!
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I can almost sum up this hike in two words - Freakin Wind! I won't say that the wind ruined this trip, but it made it very uncomfortable most of the day. Drove in on the very scenic Black Hills Back Country Byway and almost just made today a driving trip to Morenci as I really enjoyed this road! Arrived at the Guthrie Peak road and decided to do the hike as it felt like the wind was calming down. The first mile up the road was nice, but the last two up to the peak became just miserable as the winds picked up again. As I arrived on the peak the wind was deafening as it howled through the communication towers and the what would have been great 360 deg views were a little hazed over by all the blowing dust. I was only able to tolerate a couple of minutes on the peak before hiking back down the road to my truck and then spending the next 5 minutes cleaning dirt out of the corners of my eyes. I picked the wrong day to do this one and will have to come back on a nicer day. Once again, driving back out on the Byway was real nice as I stopped often for the views and to read all the historic info signs along the way.
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Wanting to hike the south road to Guthrie Peak, and to catch the flower show one more time before they vanished, I drove up highway 191 late on a toasty Sunday afternoon. The flowers were amazing, but they are definitely on the wane. Along the hike, I saw two friendly horses in a corral, a rabbit, and a huge centipede. I reached the peak at dusk, then made the return hike by flashlight, enjoying the starry sky and music from my ipod. :D

    Back at my truck, I realized I had lost a basket from my new hiking poles. So up the road again I went, this time driving, looking for it. Parked near the summit of Guthrie, bagged the summit again, then drove back down. I never did find the basket, I just wasted an hour of driving. Oh well. It was a great hike!
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The slopes of the Peloncillo Mountains and especially Guthrie Peak, along highway 191 between Safford and Clifton, have been growing orange with poppies for several weeks. Driving through the mountains today, orange was joined by rich purple, everywhere. This combo proved irresistable, so I stopped to enjoy. An overwhelmingly beautiful show it was. Carpets of color stretched for miles over many hillsides. :D Southeastern Arizona finally has a worthy wildflower show to compete with the Sonoran Desert. :y:
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It was supposed to be dry today. But there were dark clouds on the drive through the Black Hills, and a few light sprinkles of rain. I got to the trailhead, and put on my backpack. That very moment the skies unleashed a heavy rain. Lightning flashed in the clouds. ](*,) I waited on the rain in my truck, but it kept coming. Greatly annoyed, I continued east on the Black Hills Scenic Byway. Slick mud caused me to turn around. So I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring by truck. I came across an interesting overhanging cliff, and stopped to explore. Beneath the edge were a half dozen metates and a few pottery sherds. 8) I drove home via the Black Hills rockhounding area. Maybe tomorrow I can hike...
    Guthrie Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was a thoroughly enjoyable hike in an odd, yet beautiful area. Largely treeless (at 6500 feet?), except for a scattering of pinyons and junipers in a sea of golden grass :) And of course, incredible views. I'll probably do this one again.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From the highway 70/highway 191 junction in Safford, head east on highway 191 (towards Clifton and Morenci) for about 18.2 miles to the signed turn off for the Black Hills Back Country Byway at milepost 139. Turn left onto the Black Hills Back Country Byway, and follow it for about 9.25 miles to the signed junction with the Guthrie Peak Road. There is a large dirt parking area here, next to a radio tower on the left side of the road. Begin hiking up the Guthrie Peak Road.
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