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Rockinstraw Mountain, AZ

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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Roosevelt Salt
4.7 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,231 feet
Elevation Gain 2,140 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 9.13
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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25  2016-11-05 topohiker
53  2015-04-17
Rockinstraw Mountain and ROCK
32  2014-02-10 BEEBEE
35  2014-02-10 Grasshopper
25  2012-05-29 CannondaleKid
25  2012-05-26 CannondaleKid
25  2011-12-31 ssk44
31  2011-12-31 Grasshopper
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Sun  6:11am - 6:20pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Remote benchmark summit hike with vast 360-degree views.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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
Rockinstraw Mountain
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Rockinstraw Mountain and ROCK
Well, my curiosity got the better of me again, so off I go up another mountain, in search of something no one has mentioned in a triplog or displayed in a photoset. The last time I got curious, I found nothing. Maybe this hike will be different.

Rockinstraw Mtn is north of Globe and east of Hwy 188, and has been visited by only a few HAZers, but the summit log verifies the mountain gets alot of action.
There are two distinct GPS tracks on HAZ, to the top. One track has its TH on the east side of the mountain, and is easy to get to in any car. The other track has its TH on the west side of Rockinstraw. (Cannondalekid was the pioneer for the west side TH).
The west TH is not easy to get to, as the last 1.8 miles of travel is down a road (I use the word ‘road’ loosely) that only a few types of vehicles should attempt.
I chose the west TH, thinking if I can’t use the road, I’ll just hike the road to the actual ‘west-side’ TH and go up the mountain.

As it turned out, I was able to drive to the west trailhead, however I had to stop a half dozen times to clear vegetation from this skinny, eroded, ‘path’ of a road. In one area, two catclaw plants had limbs meeting in the middle of this rarely used - excuse for a road. In another area, due to severe erosion, I left the road, clearing an area around a tree and then hooked up with the road again. Oh, what fun !!
(Read Grasshopper’s ‘triplog note’ about this road, on his (10 Feb 2014) ’western’ TH hike for more info.)
The drive was more of an adventure than the hike!!

Back to the hike and my curiosity.
HAZ triplogs and photosets had info on a Forest Service benchmark named Rockinstraw, atop the mountain. That’s good.
One triplog mentioned two USGS reference marks located up there. That’s also good.
However, those two RMs are for a different benchmark, specifically a USGS benchmark named ‘Rock’. (not to be confused with the Forest Service BM ‘Rockinstraw’).
No one mentioned or had a photo of the actual USGS benchmark, ‘Rock’, that goes along with those two located RMs.
Where’s the actual USGS ‘Rock’ benchmark disk? Is it still up there, hiding?
Or is it in some vandal’s garage, or mantel, or sock drawer?

The high point has a large rock pile. In the rock pile is a summit log. Three feet away from the rock pile, in plain sight, is the Forest Service disk, Rockinstraw. (1935) - You can’t miss it.

And ….. Waaaay UNDER that rock pile is ….. USGS Triangulation Station disk Rock(1948).
It’s alive and well and has probably been hiding under the rocks for years. De-rocking the pile solved the mystery.
Curiosity satisfied.

Other interesting items on the peak include a tall, skinny rock cairn, and a very large wooden cross, both near the south edge of this ridge/peak.
The wooden cross is visible, with a zoom, from the road below.

I signed the summit log, took a zillion photos, said ‘good-bye’ to Rock BM, then re-built the rock pile. If you want to visit Rock BM, you’ll have to ‘de-rock’ the pile again.
Finally, I hiked off the mountain, and resumed my driving adventure, down that ‘road-of-roads’.

Well, I drove over 150 miles (round trip) to hike less than 2 miles (round trip) to look for a little disk named ‘Rock’. Plus I had to endure an ‘e-ticket’ ride down a baaaad road.
No wonder I hike solo 95% of the time. :)
Rockinstraw Mountain
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Some may ask- Why drive 150 miles round trip to hike only 1.3 miles total? :doh:

..The first time I hiked this ~4.5 mile round trip (7.5 hour with breaks) off-trail benchmark summit (on NYE-2011), hiking in from the recommended northeast TH side, I rated it a solid 5/5 and I knew that a now confirmed different hike approach with a much shorter hike distance from the West side alternate TH should also be a :DANCE: with more time to take-in the 360 degree summit views and it did deliver!

..Today was a beautiful 70+ degree February Arizona day to drive my semi-open Grasshopper Jeep up to this alternate West side Park/TH Start location. For any interested in this alternate West side approach, I entered this comment on the "information notes" for my now posted 2/10/14 GPS Route:
Note: It is not recommended to attempt driving "serious" 4WD and unmarked FR644 off of FR219 (hike it for 1.85mls to this alternate TH Start location). This 4WD route is safely recommended for only short wheel base modified vehicles, with full locker, 33" tires minimum, and experienced off-road driver.

..Brian had been looking forward to hiking this listed 6 point SOTA (Summits on the Air) Club hike to be the first to "activate" this SOTA benchmark summit and I was looking forward to joining him.

We spent at least two hours on this 5385 foot summit enjoying it all :D
Rockinstraw Mountain
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Saturday we climbed this one from the east more or less in the same manner as Eric, Hank and Angela took December 2011, taking over three hours to get to the summit and almost a full six hours for the whole hike. Once at the summit as we looked down to the west it looked so be so much easier if we could get close with a vehicle. Then after that hike we drove around to the west and found a saddle just over half a mile from the summit so I planned on returning soon to try the western approach.

Well, soon came only three days later. Knowing this should take much less time than our previous climb, I started off the day climbing Peak 6040 of the Apache Peaks not far east of Rockinstraw. By shortly after 2 pm I had completed that climb and was at the saddle west of Rockinstraw and ready to roll.

Wow! This one was quick! Even dawdling a bit on the way I made it to the summit in under 25 minutes. It helped that there were some well-beaten paths leading the way. With that in mind along with the number of large groups who signed the summit log, I have a feeling the western approach is the most used.
NOTE: While a car could reach the TH for an eastern approach to Rockinstraw, unless you want to hike a long way you would need a high-clearance 4x4 to reach the saddle TH I used.

One more note about the TH, be careful of the red ants! While I was putting my stuff in the car after the hike one managed to climb up my leg and when I leaned over I suppose the pressure of my pants on it must have thought it was being attacked and it bit me behind the left shin. :x
Oh yes, I made sure he and a number of his cohorts paid for the attack on me. : rambo :
For the first day-and-a-half it felt like a large needle was stuck well into the muscle, slowly receding to a dull ache. And although there never was any mark where it bit me, two days later I still have a 2" diameter 'hard spot' in the muscle.

Again I frittered away some time at the summit, first to sign the log we didn't see on Saturday, and second to get a closer look at the name on the cross at the summit. It appears to me the letter scrawled out read JOHN MONARREY. I've done a little research but so far have found nothing to confirm it.

I caught up on posting photos on HAZ earlier today but with the system forcing me to add them to the 5/26 Rockinstraw I posted this morning I'll wait until tomorrow so they will be separated. For now at least the full set of 35 photos is here:
Rockinstraw Mountain
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The perfect day for a hike... beautiful cool weather on a Memorial Day weekend and no crowd.

We were up early and on the road well before sunrise prepared for a long day of hiking and exploring for future hikes. The Forest Road was in great shape and we made good time to the location we chose to begin our hike.

Absolutely no warm-up on this hike with an immediate and very steep 400' climb to get your heart going. A very slight leveling off before the next steep climb, which is pretty much how the hike progressed. Realizing early on that the first peak is not Rockinstraw it's a matter of choosing how high and how close you stick to it as you going around. Unfortunately I chose to climb a little too soon and was rewarded by a dead end at the edge of a cliff. Ok, so it's backtrack then drop down 150' feet and try again. This worked much better as we skirted along the bottom of the steep rock walls before the next steep climb to the saddle between the two peaks.

Although this section looked to be easier, the footing was tenuous so we were careful with each step we took. This was a good thing because the grassy fox-tails were so thick it would be easy to step on a rattlesnake.

Speaking of that... just as I lifted my left foot for the next step something in the grass didn't look right so I stopped and leaned forward to look over a patch of thick fox-tails and their was a tightly-coiled Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake. If I had taken one more step I would have been on it.
But no matter, we have a video opportunity here... but with Tracey having none of it and my snake hook inside my pack I thought I'd shoot a quick video and move on. It had yet to move or rattle so I walked past then turned and approached it head-on within a two feet and starting shooting the video. Within a few moments I wondered why I bothered with the video because it did absolutely nothing! But then this was a cool morning after an overnight low in the 50's and it would be a good 90 minutes before the sun hit this area to warm it up. Whatever, let's move along, nothing to see here... and that's just what we did, albeit Tracey gave it a pretty wide berth.

Onward and upward to the saddle then up another steep climb to the west until the north end of the Rockinstraw Mountain ridge where we turned south toward the summit. The summit had a number of items of interest... the USDA Forest Service benchmark at the summit (placed in 1935), a USGS Reference Point #1 about 75' to the west, a USGS Reference Point #2 about 35' to the south, then a recently varnished large cross, and finally a tall cairn 100+ feet south of the true summit. I looked for a summit log at the true summit but in all our wandering I didn't think to check for a log in the tall cairn, mainly because it was not at the true summit. Oh well, I'll be back soon enough to remedy that issue. (Whoops, getting ahead of myself a bit here... I'll gain some great information later in the day that will make this a short and easy hike next time)

But for now it's time to head back by retracing our route, only this time skipping the unintended side-trip to the cliff. The sun was shining here now so the rattler was long-gone. Thankfully there were some great views because the rest of the trip was a drudgery of traipsing through the thick fields of grassy fox-tail and other assorted small burrs. Tracey was barefoot in sandals and I was wearing socks with mine, but it either way it was a constant irritant. The only way I could continue was to simply blot out any sensation from my feet and keep going and eventually the hike was over.

I posted 25 photos on HAZ with the full set of 79 photos here:

Rattlesnake video

Rockinstraw Mountain summit video
Rockinstraw Mountain
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During our scenic 4WD trip while we were looking at Black Mesa where Hank and Eric had been the week before; and looking at Rockinstraw where they were headed the following weekend, they intimated I should come along. I wasn't sure that was an invitation or not and I didn't want to be pushy but sure enough, I got an email :) after Xmas with the details. Whoo hoo!

We met Eric at the normal meeting spot to start our drive east on the 60 watching the sunrise and into Devil's Canyon and Globe. Of course, I took some video. We headed north out of Globe to just past the Thoroughbred Ranch where we turned, logged in and started driving a fairly freshly graded road to our destination. The drive, in and of itself, is quite interesting. Along the way, Eric saw a road up a hill so off we went. Once at the top you got views of Rockinstraw in front of you, a little crowned mountain and beyond that the Apache Peaks to our southeast. We hung out here for a bit before finishing our drive to the TH.

Right out of the gate you had to go straight up this hill : rambo : through the brush and trees. Eric looks down and says, yep that's the worst of the straight up... well not quite. We continued our way up the northeast (?) side of Rockinstraw with the key word here being "UP" or should it be straight up! There were a few wonderfully grand saguaros on this part of our route. Eventually we got to the point where you could start seeing Horseshoe Bend and wouldn't you know it, I actually found a horseshoe that I toted with me. It's good luck, right?! The views of the snow dusted Aztec Peak and Sierra Ancha was pretty cool too :DANCE:.

After we had gone up around 800 feet or so, we hit a flatter area to walk through. I always like this type of terrain so that you can catch your breath and walk in a normal hiking position ;) for awhile. The repreive is short and soon you're hiking UP again. Somewhere along here we hit a little deeper snow so you know what that means... well my attempt at throwing a snowball was off its mark, however Eric hit his target, ahem! Of course, I was throwing up hill and he down.

We eventually arrived to just below the cliffs and headed west. Watching those two try to manuever over a boulder and a barbed wire fence was rather entertaining :sl: (some of it can be seen on the video). Sometimes it's all about the approach as I was lower and simply held the fence down and crossed over. Our next stop would be the "man" cave. It was pretty good sized so we all tried to get some good pics of it and from it. Next up in the scenery department was a great view of the rock side of Black Mesa and then, there, bigger than life was Roosevelt Lake and in the far background, the Four Peaks. Just amazing :worthy: .

Thank goodness no one was in a hurry so we could enjoy the views and take pics to Tibber's heart's content. Onward we would go until we were hiking around the base of the saddle cliff when Eric decided the fastest way up to the saddle was, what else?, "UP", "straight UP" that is. So we scrambled up : rambo : the side of the mountain to just below the saddle.

Once up here, Eric says "I want to run over to that point real quick". I'm thinking, of course you do ;) , and so off he goes. I filmed a bit of it and with the Apache Peaks behind him, once out on the point I yelled, do a "wendy" and "hold it" as I snapped some cool pics. And before you knew it, he had joined me and Hank at the edge of the Saddle where we got to go down :) before finishing off the last of the 400 foot vertical "UP" climb :sweat: to our destination. And like many of these climbs, you really don't know you're quite on top until you're all of a sudden there. And also like many of these climbs :oplz: , you're not quite at the top yet ](*,) as there is a gradual incline to the Summit and "wha la", the Summit at last! Lunch at last!

The 360 views were nothing short of stunning :y: . I mean really, there is so much to see in every direction. Eric says, "see, that's why I like these kind of peak hikes; not to bag them but to enjoy them (or something to that effect)." Eric had gone to the far side of the mountain past the area of the cross to where you can see the hill we had driven to that morning. He found himself a nice bench with straight on view of the Apache Peaks. I went a little to the other side and down onto another rock area but I was still able to lean back using my pack as a back. Yep, this is a great moment in time when you get to sit back, eat your sandwhich and enjoy the sun's warmth and the surrounds :DANCE: . Oh how I could have used a nap at that point. We did spend about 45 minutes on top between signing the summit log, pics and lunch. Alas, it was time to go down.

So down the summit we went and instead of going back up to the saddle, we skirted gingerly around and along the side of the cliff once again. Walking at an angle for an extended period of time is really no fun :| but I have to say, the occasional glances outward to the Sierra Ancha, Roosevelt Lake and the sun-kissed rock side ledges of Black Mesa :D made it much more tolerable. Soon we were back to and over the wire fence for our straight down decline. There really is only one flat area for maybe a quarter mile between the cliff face and the bottom. I couldn't wait to get to it that's for sure. It really wasn't too bad though.

I've been trying to find ways to express to Eric how fast he hikes so I had him walk at normal stride in some dirt and then I tried to walk in his footsteps. Well essentially I was lunging and I have long legs. Eric is not that tall but his height is mostly legs and the size 13 feet allow him a long step. Once he saw that demonstration, I think he got it now :doh: . Hank may thank me for that. By this time we had been in the shadow of Rockinstraw for quite awhile. We could finally see the road and where the vehicle was parked. We got in an area with some cool rocks so I did a little shopping :) .

Just before we hit bottom, Hank hit his bottom :stretch: getting down the slippery part of the hill that takes you to the road. It was scary for a moment as he said his leg twisted in a wrong direction. However, he said everything twisted back just fine. Whew. And at least he saved that for the bottom and end of the hike. We had hoped to get down in time to drive out to Horseshoe Bend but we took too much time enjoying Rockinstraw so it was back home with a stop at a place in Globe for a New Year's Eve dinner on Hank. Thx Hank!

Video 1 the drive:
Video 2 the start of the hike:
Video 3 to and along the shelf to the cave: (this video has the funny moment when Hank was negotiating a large boulder to get over a fence
Video 4 from the Cave to nearly the top:
Video 5 on the summit and back down:
Rockinstraw Mountain
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A "Rockin" NYE Day 2011 on "Rockinstraw Mountain" - Salt River Canyon Wilderness :y:

Another Eric winner off trail hike at an excellent, less traveled location to miss the masses out hiking today with a guaranteed way to "clean out" the lungs.. to begin my New Year 2012. The 360 degree distant views weren't bad either :)

Thank you Eric and Angela for your company and a wonderful way to share our NYE Day 2011.
Rockinstraw Mountain
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What a perfect day for a summit hike. I thought this was winter? Arizona is so cool! This trip was a revisit with company. Hank (Grasshopper) and Angela (Tibber) joined me on this one. I love returning to a great destination and this day did not disappoint. My hiking companions quickly realized about midway into the hike why I love this place so much. The rugged 360 views along the way are epic and the hike feels more like a journey. This big mountain really kicks your butt. Ha! It just keeps mocking you all the way to the top. There is just something so special about hiking remote and wild mountains. The off-trail element is so pure. It really gets in your blood. I really must applaud Angela after yesterday. She totally nailed this off-trail monster and did it in style. I'm impressed. I'm really glad you guys could join me on this one. I had so much fun.

Eric (ssk44)

PS... Sorry about the snowball. ;)
Rockinstraw Mountain
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Superb off-trail summit hike in one of my favorite areas of the state. The route as posted is rewarding from start to finish and presents only minimal hazards. The old wooden cross at the summit was a special unexpected bonus for me. Rockinstraw Mountain is an unforgettable hike. Love it!

Eric (ssk44)

Permit $$

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
From Mesa Arizona take Highway US 60 to Miami. Turn left at Highway 188 to Roosevelt Lake. Travel 4.5 miles north. The first 4.5 miles of highway 188 have two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes. Stay in the right lane while traveling north. The right lane ends at Wheatfields Road, which is where you will be exiting. Travel northwest on Wheatfields Road while paralleling highway 188 for 1.7 miles through a residential area. At 1.7 miles there is an abandoned slump-block building. Turn right at the slump-block building onto Hicks Road, which will soon go over a bridge crossing Pinal Creek. Pinal Creek is a wide sand wash. Once across the bridge, travel northwest on Hicks Road paralleling Pinal Creek for 2.3 miles to FR219. Just before reaching FR219 you will drive past a large well kept horse ranch on your left. At the beginning of FR219 there is a gate with a "Private Land Access Sign-In Book". FR219 is in a large sand wash. You will be driving through private land for about one mile. The private land ends at a cattle guard in the sand wash. Drive northeast along FR219 (Horseshoe Bend Road) from the gate for approximately 10.0 miles to the designated trailhead (see maps). There is no defined parking area.
page created by ssk44 on May 06 2010 6:07 pm
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