Armer Mountain, AZ | HikeArizona

Armer Mountain, AZ

Guide 14 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
3.8 of 5 
no permit
161 14 1
tap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,800 feet
Elevation Gain 1,510 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,632 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.16
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Peak
 Backpack Yes
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Will recalculate on button tap!
22  2018-06-09 CannondaleKid
44  2018-01-08
Armer Mountain - C-47 Memorial Site & Armer BM
1  2018-01-04 kingsnake
32  2015-09-19 kingsnake
15  2013-07-13
Armer Mountain Loop with Tanner Peak
15  2013-07-13
Armer Mountain Loop with Tanner Mountain
2  2009-08-29 ssk44
23  2007-12-06 PrestonSands
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,726
Trips 1,862 map ( 9,856 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Globe Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Early
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  7:21am - 5:55pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2011 Tanner Fire5.5k
🔥 1994 Armer Fire5.7k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
Nearby Area Water
[ View More! ]
Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Geology  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
Culture  Nearby
Armed, but not too dangerous!
by PrestonSands

Armer Mountain? It's dense brush, endless deadfall, no trail, cliffs, and uranium mines! But if you can overcome all of this, you'll be rewarded with one of the best views in the Sierra Ancha. This hike follows an ancient, washed-out mining road to the top of the 7310-foot peak of Armer Mountain. It varies from decent to wholly gone, depending on the location. A GPS unit, topo map, and good route finding skills are essential for this hike.
Sawmill Flat, where this hike begins, was a sawmill that provided Roosevelt Dam with the lumber necessary for its construction.

The Armers were early ranchers who lived in the Sierra Ancha foothills below the mountain named for them. A story exists of John Armer once having accused rancher Hooley Bacon of deliberately killing 300 of his cattle. The ensuing fight resulted in Armer striking Bacon in the head with an ax, and Bacon then attempting to drown Armer. Armer eventually signed over his Tin Hat Ranch on Salome Creek to Bacon to prevent the dispute from going to court.

At the Sawmill Flat camping area, along Highway 288, two primitive four-wheel-drive roads take off from the parking area's north side. The one furthest to the west starts about 400 feet west of the highway (33.81368 N, 110.98410 W). Follow this road north. After about 0.2 miles, the road will curve west-southwest and begin paralleling a rocky creek bottom up a ponderosa-filled canyon.

At 0.8 miles, the road drops into the creek bottom and promptly disappears among boulders and fallen trees. Pick your way through and continue up the canyon. The canyon forks at 1.1 miles (33.81030 N, 110.99871 W); take the canyon to the right. The route now enters an old burn area, where post-fire erosion and fallen trees have trashed the canyon bottom. There is no trace of the road here.

At 1.5 miles you'll reach the top of the canyon near a wide saddle. The old road reappears here on your right (33.80932 N, 111.00504 W), although it is almost overgrown with chest-high manzanita. To stay on track, watch carefully for the edges of the old road grade as you climb north up the hillside. The old road soon curves west to wrap around a ridge, where it exits the burn area and becomes more recognizable.

The road arrives at a saddle at the 2-mile mark (33.81245 N, 111.00858 W), where the mountainside falls away into rugged cliffs, giving you a hint of the spectacular views to come at the summit. An unusual ledge has been dynamited out of the cliff face that is probably related to uranium exploration.

Continuing, the road to the summit climbs north from the saddle to bypass the cliffs and is once again obscured by manzanita for a short distance. At the 7088 foot level, the old road arrives on the ridge top below the south side of the peak in a flat, open camping area. The road, which is exceptionally faint at this point, now forks (33.81630 N, 111.01004 W). Take the right fork and continue straight up the ridge to the north.

The road reaches the relatively flat mountain top at around 7250 feet, where it passes through a barbed-wire fence. Head northwest at this point, and climb a short distance through the forest to the top of the peak. At the official top of Armer Mountain (33.82106 N, 111.01127 W), you will find a small rock pile containing the summit register. There are no views from the forested summit, but a few hundred feet to the west is an overlook (33.82108 N, 111.01215 W) where the mountainside drops off into thousands of feet of open air. There is a flat, rocky ledge there that makes a great place to sit and enjoy the views that stretch from the Pinal Mountains on the south to the Mogollon Rim on the north.

Be sure to sign the summit register. Return the way you came.

2011-10-03 Hoolie's grandson writes
Your Armer Mountain story is verified by the granddaughter of "Hoolie" Bacon. BTW, Hoolie is buried at the cemetery on the ridge above the Tin Hat Ranch (NF 60/A Cross Road, off the 288 Globe/Young road)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2007-12-19 PrestonSands
  • S_12850-888888_1198050384-23.jpg
    guide related
  • C 47
    guide related
    C 47
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 $$

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 23 miles to the Sawmill Flat pull-off/camping area, on the left (west) side of the road. There is a historical sign here for Sawmill Flat. The hike starts about 400 feet west of the highway (see description).

2009-03-05 bpmcc writes: On hwy 288, the Sawmill Flat trailhead is 1/2 mile north of the end of the oiled surface road. The trail to follow is behind the toilet and is fairly visible. The road is pretty good until it crosses the rocky gulch at 1.1 miles, but the gulch to the right is very difficult and should be taken on the canyon's east side and partway up the slope.

end of page marker