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Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain, AZ

no permit
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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Casa Grande SW
3 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,487 feet
Elevation Gain 843 feet
Accumulated Gain 843 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 6.22
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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4  2018-04-26
Radio Tower / Bolt Trail Loop
50  2016-05-12 AZHiker456
1  2014-03-08 Nomijoy
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Bolt to the top!
by PaleoRob

The Bolt Trail, named after hiker Joel Bolt, provides a way for the hiker to get to the ridgeline of Casa Grande Mountain while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the Radio Tower Trail.

There is no water along this route. Bring all you need and more. The Bolt Trail is not heavily traveled, so be aware someone may not be right along to help if something goes wrong. There are sharp rocks, cacti, and snakes. Take care.

The history of the trail is slighly murky. It is named after hiker/outdoor enthusiast Joel Bolt. This much is evidenced by the memorial at the base of the Bolt Trail. What is unclear is if Bolt built the trail, pioneered the route, or people just named it after him after he was gone.

The hike starts at the Hanna Road trailhead and follows the Radio Tower trail for about a quarter of a mile as it slowly climbs towards the ridge. Just past the second wash that the road crosses, look for a small wooden cross on the right hand side. The cross has the words "Bolt Trail" in black on it. This marks the beginning of the Bolt Trail. Unlike the Radio Tower trail, this route is hardly used so you will be able to get away from the fitness crowd if you so desire. Another thing to note is that, save for the first climb to the ridge, the ascent to the main ridgeline is not as steep.

The downsides have to do with ease of finding the trail and trail maintenance. The trail is not easy to find in places, as erosion and other natural processes have started reclaiming portions of it. In addition, the trail is only marked with arrows painted on the rocks pointing in one direction - up. If you wish to descend the Bolt Trail, it is recommended to ascend it first, to familiarize yourself with its general location.

That being said, getting off the trail is not a big deal. If you do find yourself off-trail, just head along the ridgeline and you will encounter it again soon enough. Keep an eye out for the gray chevrons/arrows pointing the way. There are a few low ledges to traverse when you climb up to the ridgeline south of Hanna Road, and again just below reaching the main ridgeline, but these are not serious obstacles and are never over three feet tall. All along the Bolt Ridgeline there are stands of cholla that the trail throughfully winds its way through. Despite the additional hazard of cholla, this gives the Bolt Trail more of a hiking feel, and less of a "I am walking up a mountain on a road for my health" feeling that you might get on the Radio Tower Trail.

Once you reach the Casa Grande Mountain Ridgeline, you can return the way you came, form a loop by heading down the Radio Tower Trail, visit the summit of Casa Grande 2, follow the ridgeline down to Peak 2350, or some combination of the above. A round trip, including the summit of Casa Grande 2, is roughly equivalent in mileage to the Radio Tower Trail round trip, so this is a nice way to get good views while avoiding the crowd while doing the same amount of work (roughly).

Water Sources
None. Bring your own.

Not allowed.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-08-14 PaleoRob
    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
    Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain
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    On the way back north I decided to hit another all time unique for me on the outskirts of Arizona’s premier city! I opted to climb the trail and save the road for the downhill. I couldn’t figure out why the gps track went beyond the benchmark peak until I got up there. The ridgeline is really cool! I did a full out n back, hitting the range high point and a few other bumps along the way.

    The gnats are out but the breeze helped keep them at bay. Visibility was terrible but there’s not much you’d want to see from here anyway!

    The entire hike was accompanied by high caliber rapid gunfire along the base of the mountain. I skipped calling the sheriff. Probably because there’s a firing range.
    Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain
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    Busy day of work down in the Old Pueblo, so only had time for a short one. Hit up this old favorite on the way home, nice temps in the afternoon with some cloud cover and a breeze. Made it up the Bolt trail, over on the ridgeline to the end of the trail, and then back around and down the Radio road. I will say the concrete on the tower road is much nicer for a decent than the old ankle buster rocks that were there to contend with. I did not see any other hikers until I made it back to the tower road, then I saw a good 30 people or so. Some jack- :pk: decided that it would be a good idea to put a big heavy rock on top of all the prominent Cholla and Saguaros along the ridgeline trail...the plant guy in me could not stand for it. I must have pulled off a good 50-60 on the way back to the tower. It is not quite orange spray paint on rocks, but pretty close in my book. All in all a good day!
    Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain
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    I had to be home by 6 so my wife could attend to some Girl Scouts cookie meeting (the season is upon us...), so that meant I was limited on time. My wife even mentioned as I was heading out the door, 'you are not going to try and squeeze in a hike today, right?" I responded with the appropriate bluster, already knowing I had my gear in the van...Got in a quick favorite on the way home from Tucson anyway. It has been almost a year since I had hiked over here, and the Bolt trail was sounding good. I made my way up to the highpoint just past the junction with the Ridgeline trail and then turned around and headed back. Saw a few other hikers, but certainly nothing crazy. Apparently they concreted in the tower road above the gate at some point in the last year, glad the Bolt trail is still here for a much more enjoyable climb.
    Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain
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    After work grinder for some elevation gain, started out about 4. Made my way up the bolt trail, down the tower trail, and then back up the tower and over the ridgeline and back. The trail was in good shape, just a little muddy from the morning rain. There had to have been 30 cars in the parking lot when I was done, this was the busiest I have ever seen this trail. Trying to make that 20,000' gain for the month, if I can squeeze in one more hike by Saturday that should do it...
    Bolt Trail - Casa Grande Mountain
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    Great after work stop for a quickie. Hiked up the Bolt trail after a quick search, headed south along the ridgeline to the end of the trail, and came back via the radio tower road. I really enjoyed the Bolt trail, great elevation gain without having to walk the road. No other hikers out when I got there at 4 p.m.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From I-10 and Florence Blvd., take Florence west to Trekkel Road. Turn left on Trekkel and follow it south out of town. After crossing I-8, turn left onto Hanna Road. The trailhead is obvious on the left, where the pavement turns to dirt.
    page created by PaleoRob on Aug 14 2011 9:32 am
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