register help

Armer Mountain, AZ

no permit
161 13 1
Guide 13 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
4.3 of 5 by 4
clicktap 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
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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 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
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Early
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Armed, but not too dangerous!
by PrestonSands

Overview: Armer Mountain? It's dense brush, endless dead fall, 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 completely gone, depending on the location. A gps unit, topo map, and good route finding skills are essential for this hike.

History: Sawmill Flat, where this hike begins, was the location of 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 that was later 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.

Hike: At the Sawmill Flat camping area along highway 288, there are two primitive four wheel drive roads taking off from the north side of the parking area. 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 mountain side falls away into rugged cliffs, giving you a hint of the spectacular views to come at the summit. There is an unusual ledge here that has been dynamited out of the cliff face that is probably related to uranium exploration.

Continuing on, 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 an flat, open camping area. The road, which is extremely 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 mountain side 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 grand daughter 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
  • guide related image
    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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Armer Mountain
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Armer Mountain Loop with Tanner Mountain
Joe's turn to pick.... He gave me 3 choices to pick from. I picked this one, which I find out later was an after thought. This one is an addition to the Armer Mountain hike that famed HAZ'er, Preston the Yetti wrote up.

The climb up was not as bad as I'd expected, based on the previous trip reports. (Although I would recommend at least long pants.) It does follow an old logging road, that has long since grown over, but not all that bad to follow. This compared to what was to come later in the hike. Follow the grade, go around the growth where required to get back into the old road, and you'll be to the top in no time.

Your first spectacular views start at the 2.25 mile mark prior to reaching the Armer Peak. Wow

Once on top of Armer Mountain, we spent 20 or so minutes looking for any sign of the C-47 that crashed up there in 1951. I had conflicting information on its location. We checked areas west of Armer peak.

Next it was time to start our off trail adventures. Off to Tanner Peak. The climb up was not as daunting as it looked. When you get to the actual Peak, continue to the North for 20 or so yards. Probably some of the best views in the entire Sierra Ancha's. You have more that a 270 degree view from up there! Here we had lunch in one of the top lunch spots ever!

We dropped down Tanner and made our way up to the ridge line that connects 7231, 7142 and a lesser peak. The views once again were wundabah. Parts of this ridge line have burned in the past. The farther north we got on the ridge line, the thicker it got. There was remnants of an old trail that covered this ridge line. In spots there was a worn track and we found a couple 2' tall cairns buried under the Manzanita.

Now it was time to make our descent off the ridge line. We blasted through a couple hundred yards of Manzanita and dropped 800' in a half mile over a scree field grown up with Thistle and Foxtails, until we hit an old overgrown road. In the process I slipped gently coming down and used my hand to catch my slip. I was confused for a bit when I was not able to pick my hand up, finding that I'd impaled myself on a small burned branch.

From here we just decided to walk the old road to 188, and then back to the car.

On this hike I got used as a human shield twice...aka, let's play hide behind the old guy.
Once when Joe saw the Bear/Cow, and once when he heard a gun shot off in the distance.
Good to know who your friends are.

Most of this hike should go in the book.
Armer Mountain
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Armer Mountain Loop with Tanner Peak
Today we were lucky to follow in the footsteps of our hero, Preston Sands. Check out his excellent description for a good 4-5 hour hike.

I extended the hike into a loop tagging on Tanner Peak. The initial hike up is a bit gnarly. If it rubs you the wrong way then forget the loop. Once on top be sure to check out the western views on occasion!

Tanner looked like a blip on the pre-hike elevation profile. It was a bit more intimidating in person. Just take it in stride with a few rest breaks and it's reasonable. The top is okay. Just to the north on the rock outcrop was a surprising treat. This served as one of the best lunch spots I recall.

Continuing on to 7,231 & 7,142 the views kept rolling. Happy days came to an abrupt end heading down to finish off the loop. We knew it would be steep. The first layer of manzanita didn't totally defeat us... expected. The 65 degree slope continuing on plastered with a thistle convention and underlying fox tails took it's toll.

Bruce wasn't interested in the final leg of the loop. He gashed his hand, time wasn't on our side and we'd already had one heck of a hike so I didn't pester him... too much. Rather we road walked off the final third of the hike to wrap it up.

Nothing came easy, I found it to be very worthy.

Arizona Mountain Kingsnake, patch-nosed snake, wild turkeys, deer, etc...
Armer Mountain
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
I drove into the Sierra Ancha, but couldn't decide between Armer Mountain or Pocket Creek. Flip of a coin. Heads: Armer Mountain. While hiking up the burned out canyon I considdered turning around. Well, maybe it'll get prettier... Once out of the canyon, it did. Nice views of the southern part of the range and green forest. The views from the saddle at mile 2 hooked me. There were a few small clefts in the cliffs at the saddle that I wanted to check for ruins. But, no time, and I just didn't feel like dying from a fall. I had 4 pm as my turn around time, summit or not. Made the summit at 4 sharp, and went over to the edge of the summit cliff to check out the incredible view :o Ok, the view made the whole hike worthwhile :) Made it down in an hour and 15 min, just at dark.
Armer Mountain
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I hiked this mountain in August 07 and the prior year before that. This is a great close summer hike with killer views and lots of forest areas to explore. The elevation at the top is around 7,200 feet. The trail is preaty much terrible with everthing from deadfall timber, thorn bushes, and manzanita however the battle is well worth the effort. This is not a maintained trail but rather an old abandoned 4x4 road. If you like solitude and rugged terrian I definitely recomend this hike.

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 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 east side of the canyon, and part way up the slope.
help comment issue

end of page marker