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Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers, AZ

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Guide 45 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
3.7 of 5 by 19
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,895 feet
Elevation Gain 900 feet
Accumulated Gain 960 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.1
Interest Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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6  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
15  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
14  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
19  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
13  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
8  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
15  2019-01-01
8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
4  2019-01-01 nathanbrisk
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author 2HIKERZ
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 1
Photos 19
Trips 1 map ( 4 miles )
Age 84 Male Gender
Location Sun City, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Nov, Mar, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:33pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A walk in the park! NOT!

Baldy Mountain aka Francis Rogers Mountain. The author refers to it as 2HIKERZ Trail.

We do a lot of hiking north/northwest of Lake Pleasant. For the last few years, as I've driven north on Castle Hot Springs Road, I have looked to the west at a high peak (Baldy Mountain) and the ridge line leading to the top. I kept saying that someday I wanted to blaze a trail to the top, although I envisioned it as being a rather easy walk/climb to the top. Not! The entire ridgeline and slopes are covered with loose rocks, large rocks, cactus, and brush. It's about two miles long (GPS says 1.7 miles, but it measures in straight lines) with an elevation change of about 900'.

In the past few months I, and my wife Margaret, have been creating a hiking trail to the top of Baldy Mountain. We have marked the trail with rock cairns, removed brush and cactus, cut tree branches, and moved loose rocks and raked the smaller rocks off of the trail. All rocks that are firmly (or appear to be) implanted in the soil remain intact. End result is an easy to follow hiking trail. It is clear of any debris in most spots, has larger rocks in place that must be stepped on, over or around, and somewhat steep in some places due to the slope of the land. If you want to gain 900' you have to go up at some point. Murphy's Law, I guess! :}

But, it is a fun trail. Easy to follow. Good healthy cardiovascular workout. Pretty countryside. And the views are spectacular. You are looking down at Lake Pleasant. Four Peaks in the distance. And of course, Vulture Peak, White Tanks, Estrellas, and South Mountain. Downtown Phoenix and the AZ Cardinals Stadium. Bradshaws, Indian Mesa, Burro Mountain. On the topo maps it is called Baldy Mountain, but a plaque on the top has it renamed as Francis Rogers Mountain in memory of Mrs. Francis Grace Rogers. She was a Cartographer for the Arizona Highway Department from 1915 to 1960.

Next to the Francis Rogers Mountain plaque is a 6' high rock cairn with one large rock engraved as follows: Homer Campbell, Julia Campbell, March 1, 1920.

From the trailhead:

After 200' +/- you need to cross over a barbed wire fence. Top wire is loose so it is easy to hold down the wires and raise your legs over (one at a time). Cross the old jeep road and you will see a rock cairn at the fence line. Follow the path/rock cairns. Early part of the trail is deliberately vague so as not to be noticed by anyone on a motorized bike who would just tear up the tread.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-06-16 2HIKERZ
    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 of 22 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    8th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag
    And another Successful Event in the Books... The Weather Gods smiled on us once again. I recall a few Storms just before this Event in the Past, but the Weather always broke, if at least for a little while. A little leftover Snow at the top of the Peak and a Wonderful Dusting of Snow on the Bradshaws and Mazzies provided some Wonderful Views. It was Bone Chilly at the Vehicles at 9:00, but the Sun rose higher and stronger and it turned into a Perfect Day for a Hike.

    We had a great Turnout of 14 for the Celebration. 13 at the TH and Bob decided to take a more direct Route and meet us at the Top. It was nice to see him and have him Bartend for Old Times Sake. :y: It's always Sweet to see Old Faces and meet some New Ones... After finally meeting Todd for the first time, we actually chatted Canyoneering for a bit on the way up, which was nice, due to his vast amount of Experience in the Sport. I know he loves it like I do... :)

    I picked a Perfect Hike considering that I'm Overweight and completely Out of Shape, not having done anything remotely related to Exercise in quite awhile. There was some Anxiety, wondering if I would have Heart Failure on the way up, but I actually felt pretty good. My Knees did remind me however, how bad off I am and how cold it was, by the time I got back to the Vehicle. :sweat: The Trail up was really good and I'm Amazed that it was Hand Built by an Individual who is on this Site. Hats off to him, that could not have been easy due to the Rocky Terrain! A few Tips for those who may follow us in the Future. The Trail starts right at the Southern Tip of the Guardrail and if you follow it correctly, you will go under the Fence, and you end up on a Primitive Road. Do not take the Road, but look for the Trail straight across from where you went under the Fence.

    The Celebration commenced at the Big Cairn up top. There was also a Memorial Plaque there as well for Francis Rogers. I don't think anyone found a Benchmark up there, so not sure if it exists. There was a Summit Register in the Rock Cairn, but the Lid had rotted off the Can, and the Papers were in Bad Shape. I happened to have a small Notebook and donated one of my Cookie Containers for a new Register, with one of Todd's Friends donating a Pen. So the Register and Box is now Brand New, with 14 Names to get it started. :D

    After some Imbibing and Munching and Visiting, it was Time to head down. A few decided on the Loop, but I decided not to push my Luck and went down with others the way we came. I am very pleased and grateful for everyone that came this Year and I'm glad it all went down without a Hitch. This Event almost didn't happen this Year, but I'm glad I was able to work things out and pull it off. Thank You Everyone, it was a real Pleasure!

    If you haven't done this Hike before, the Effort to Reward Ratio is Fantastic and I highly recommend it. The Views really are Spectacular. Happy New Year Everyone and I hope 2019 brings you all Peace, Happiness and Amazing Adventures... :)

    Amazingly, some Brittlebush Blooms and a random Poppy...
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    In the immortal words of Gene Autry and Aerosmith, I'm back in the saddle agaiiiiinn...

    Baldy is a fun little climb. Not even class 1.25 but that's OK. This is the first meaningful thing I've done in about 5 WEEKS which honestly seemed like forever. It's never totally easy to keep the trail, but never hard either. It's mostly single track but there are some defined trail areas. The views are AWESOME. Cleghorn Peak aka Peak 3465 looks amazingly rugged from the summit.

    I LOVE the Lake Pleasant and Hieroglyphic Mountain areas.

    Anyone that's up to explore this area, let me know!

    I'm back
    I'm back in the saddle again
    I'm back
    I'm back in the saddle again
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The desert was in full bloom when I pulled off of Castle Hot Springs looking for a trail that I'd only seen a routescout line for. The trailhead, off the roadway, over a couple wire fences, and off an access road wasn't any more identifiable, although the trail could soon be followed as it narrowly snaked between chollas. Despite engravings at the top dating to 1920 the way up isn't all clear (the middle third or so is tough to follow) so bring the RS or some friends. Following the trail down is natural though.

    It's more rugged towards the top, although the intimacy with lush (I know we're still in a desert;)) vegetation makes the trail a winner, winding through botanical gardens of plants and views that opened up to the Lake, hieroglyphics and hells canyon to the north and the rest of the valley. It's peak right now with the sunflowers, ocotillos, and cacti in bloom.

    The return back down was swift, only slowed by the minefield of cholla pricks that managed to penetrate my shoe, and the occasional stopping to add a few cairns where needed. This is a winner if you wanna see the lake but not people. However, for real solitude go during the week - despite being the only ones up there it sounded like Call of Duty was on blast below us with nearby Cowtown paintball in full force.

    Sunflowers, ocotillo, strawberry hedgehog, pincushion, staghorn chollas,
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Another great hike. The beginning of the trail was more difficult to find this time. The barbed wire fence has been repaired and the cairns in the beginning seem to have been knocked over.

    Some portions of the trail were difficult to follow in the middle section of the hike. once past that area it was smooth sailing. No wildlife sightings aside from a copious amount of lizards and insects.

    I did not take the loop trail. Next time I might attempt it. Round trip was 2 hours and 15 mins with a 15 min break at the top and some slow moving through portions that were tough to navigate.
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4

    This is an awesome trail. The trail was easy to find and navigate. There were some glorious views as far as the eye can see and there was a large amount of blooming cacti.

    The major downside was that I had brought my K9 friend and there was Bear Cholla EVERYWHERE. Within roughly 1/8th of a mile she had a large barbed ball of needles in the paw. Luckily I grabbed my Leatherman right before we left the house because it was the only salvation for my dog. After pulling a few barbs from her foot she kicked in pain and I got five barbs in my finger. They don't feel to good coming out, that's for certain. We walked on about another quarter mile before she stepped on an even bigger ball of barbed thorns. This time I pulled them out of her leg, foot and nose. We turned around and headed back to the car. I didn't want to put her through the pain of stepping on another cholla so I carried her most of the way back.

    All in all the trail was awesome and I am most definitely going to go back there next week without the K9 friend.
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I really enjoyed this hike. I hadn't been on a hike in quite some time with the exception hunting, but I was eager to get back into some real trail-hiking and this was a good one to get me back in the game so to speak. Now this first Sunday in March was a bit overcast and gloomy but showed no signs of rain so I decided to head out, albeit a little late in the afternoon. I passed one other hiker who was finishing up as I was starting the trail and had the mountain to myself after that. The trail was relatively easy to follow with the exception of a few points where some trail spotting was necessary but hey that's part of the fun. I also enjoyed how the trail snaked back and forth over the ridgeline giving views to all directions. It gets a little steep toward the end but I was rewarded with a cool breeze once it flattened out and I had a nice, leisurely stroll the rest of the way to the summit. Just as I was starting back down, the sun finally peaked through the clouds near the horizon giving me some great sunset shots. I watched the orange blaze of what was left of the sunlight sweep towards me across the land illuminating everything with a neon-like radiance. As the light hit me I turned and watched it overtake Lake Pleasant. Very cool sight! I took a few more pictures before watching the sun sink into the horizon. Then, realizing that I didn't have much light left, I began to hustle the rest of the way down the trail hearing burros call out as I did. I eventually made it to my truck before needing to use a flashlight. Great hike close to home!
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
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    On 241-something miles for the year and want to make 250 so I headed out to Lake Pleasant after watching my European soccer team embarrass itself down at the pub. Like I just commented under the hike description, this is a really well done trail. Even though the mountain goes up quick from the road, following the ridgeline has just the right amount of switches to give you a good workout, without undo chance of a coronary. Much steeper if approached from the north end (counter-clockwise), so I went up the ridgeline (clockwise). Final half mile is a bit loose, and steeper, but not bad. There's a summit log, but someone made the unfortunate decision to put it in a glass bottle, which to no surprise has since broke. :D Great views, but if gunfire makes you nervous, this may not be for you, as I heard gunfire coming from at least three different directions, a mile or two off. :gun: The north end of the trail crosses the mountain's slope, and so the washes running off it. There's also quite a few mud flats. As a result, you may occasionally find yourself a bit off route. Just do what I did, and look for the redneck breadcrumbs (shot up beer cans) and you will get back on track.
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
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    My hiking partner and I hiked up for some sunrise pictures and arrived at 0520, what a gorgeous morning. He brought his DSLR and wide angle lens, I had my regular Canon. The cloud deck was not perfect, but it was acceptable for some decent shots. We headed over and hiked Big Jim Trail when we were done.
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
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    Baldy Francis Loop
    I thought Jessica might like Baldy so we tackled it together. She did great the whole way. At the top I let her decide on making this an out-n-back or a loop. The loop option "appeared" to be steeper so I was a tad shocked when she choose the loop.

    The views heading down the northwest ridge are excellent on the top third. Some of the switchbacks are mini rock slides and... the loop won't be a regular for us ;)

    Wildflowers: cholla is the main show, a few other cacti varieties. What most consider wildflowers are microscopic. Even a few poppies if you squint!
    Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis Rogers
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Never got around to hitting the official summit on this one, and with hot weather approaching in a month or so, I decided that I better get on it. This really is a nice hike compared to practically anything else closer to town in the North-West Valley. Tried out my new 28-135mm lens, the telephoto end works great! Surprised at the nice variety of wildflowers out there too. I'm listing them as the context of this not-incredibly-stunning wildflower season. Good times on Baldy.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the intersection of Lake Pleasant road and Highway 74, drive 5.1 miles west to Castle Hot Springs Road (just past MM#19). Turn right (north) and drive 2.1 miles to Lake Pleasant Access Road. Go straight through the intersection, watch for the first guard rail on your left, make a U-turn and park at the south end of the guard rail. Rock cairns start at the end of the guard rail. The trail is not marked. Use the Official GPS Route if needed, it should be obvious soon after starting.
    page created by 2HIKERZ on Jun 16 2010 11:28 am
    1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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