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Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains, AZ

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Guide 43 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
4.2 of 5 by 19
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 12.26 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,795 feet
Elevation Gain 1,667 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,409 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 24.31
Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
8  2019-01-13
Hieroglyphics - 3465 Pikes Mill peaks
9  2019-01-13
Hieroglyphics - 3465 Pikes Mill peaks
15  2018-03-08 DixieFlyer
2  2018-02-17 hikerdw
9  2017-12-16
Hieroglyphics - 3465 Pikes & Mill
22  2017-12-13 RowdyandMe
48  2017-04-28 JasonCleghorn
15  2017-04-09
Walkin' Jim Trail at Cottonwood Creek
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author AZWanderingBear
author avatar Guides 27
Routes 62
Photos 2,620
Trips 700 map ( 4,689 miles )
Age 63 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Nov, Dec, Feb
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:33pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Burro Into The Hieroglyphics
by AZWanderingBear

The hike takes you up to the predominate peak to the North West of the Walking Jim Trail. This hike is an extension of the Walking Jim Trail. Eventually the trail gives way to some strategically placed cairns leading up to the peak. The summit offers spectacular views of Lake Pleasant, the Hieroglyphic Mountains, Hells Canyon and the Bradshaw Mountains to the north. Don't be surprised to see wild burros, descendants of animals used by local miners and ranchers, along the trail or to hear the echoes of their braying bouncing through the canyons below you.

The upper reaches of this hike involve loose rocks, some exposure, and a bit of rock scrambling. Route finding can be challenging as you near the upper portions of the hike. As always, be aware of the poking, stinging and biting flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert.

The trailhead on the western side of Castle Hot Springs Road has ample parking. It is used as a jumping off point for ATV riders, so expect to see some trucks and trailers in the parking lot. Your hike begins at a cut in the fence on the northwest corner of the parking lot.

The first portion of the hike follows the northern side of the Walking Jim Trail. You will drop down into a shady portion of Cottonwood Creek. This part of the creek often has small pools of water. The trail continues across and out of the creek bed. Looking west you can't help but admire the imposing profile of 3465. Continue to follow the well worn Walking Jim Trail for approximately 3.9 miles to the well signed intersection of the Big Jim Trail.

The Big Jim is fairly easy to follow. A few well placed cairns will generally keep you in track, but beware of well worn burro trails that wind haphazardly through this entire area. The trail crosses a few minor drainages before working its way p a fairly large wash. You will be tempted to think that the route continues up this drainage. It doesn't. As you get higher up you will understand why. The trail abruptly crosses the wash and turns south east, almost directly away from your objective. The trail crosses a small ridge and again turns north paralleling another drainage. The trail here is rocky and loose, probably the most demanding section of the entire hike. To your right is a steep drop into the wash with a lichen covered rock wall on the other side. Luckily this rough section is short lived and you will soon top out on a small and scenic saddle a great place for a short break before the final push to the summit.

Beyond the saddle the trail fades considerably. Initially you will climb WSW. Keep your eye peeled for small cairns. The route takes you around the north side of the large rock outcropping straight ahead. No rock climbing required. Stay parallel to the northern side of the outcropping and you emerge at another small saddle. Cross this and ascend the small slope straight ahead.

Soon you will see an area of terraces sloping upward to the south. My path took me to the northern end of the highest terrace and then south along the terrace to a very obvious notch in the cap rock. Climbing up the notch to the summit plateau is accomplished easily enough. Remember where you topped out for the return trip.

The summit views are fantastic. With good visibility, much of central Arizona is at your feet. The view of Lake Pleasant is obviously superb. Directly below you to the northwest are Burro Flats and Burro Spring. The rugged Hieroglyphics span your western view while the Bradshaws tower to the north. On a clear day you can spend an hour checking off landmarks.

When it's time to leave, retrace your steps back to the intersection of the Big Jim and Walking Jim. To add a bit of variety and miles, complete the Walking Jim Loop. Or if you are in a hurry, just stick with the way you came in.

Hopefully you will see some burros. Fox, deer and coyotes are abundant in this area also. Enjoy.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2016-02-11 AZWanderingBear
    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 21 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Ryan and I completed some unfinished business left open back in 2016. Could not have asked for better weather, saw no other hikers on the trails the entire day, did see lots of burros, and with the recent rain the desert was alive. Once at the summit we signed the register and took a relaxing lunch break under a small Palo Verde tree before making the trek back down to complete the loop.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Looked like a great day for a little solo hike. I've had 3465 in my sights for a while now. Set off fairly early (for me any way). Saw three hikers on the way in and only one on the way out. These trails don't get much traffic which is nice.

    Wasn't sure what to expect once I turned north and headed up. The trail is faint in a lot of places, but there are a few strategically placed cairns to help. Having the track loaded in my GPS as a back up was comforting.

    No real problems getting to the summit. I moved cautiously since the Gecko had reported some bees around the summit cairn. There were a few buzzing around but nothing too threatening. Signed the summit log in a small corner under Mr. J. Cleghorn's bold signature. A new summit log would be nice, but unfortunately I didn't have anything suitable with me. Took some time to enjoy the fantastic views and have a snack. Even had cell phone reception for a check in with Headquarters.

    The trip down is challenging in spots with all the loose scree on the trail. I brought my trusty staff and put it to good use.

    Unfortunately didn't see any burros today. Did hear the echoes of one braying down in the canyon while up at the summit.

    Really enjoyed this hike. Love the profile of this peak. Now I can point it out when driving past and say, "yep did that one back in '16."

    A few ocotillo blooms and scattered globe mallow. Will be a nice spring out here.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This marks my 4th ascent of 3465 and 2nd solo summit. I LOVE this hike. I took a rock (with his name on it to the summit) for a friend of my son's that tragically took his own life last week and strategically placed it with a great view for the rest of time. As soon as I placed the rock a hawk cried out and a burro bleated...

    I think I could build a house up there and still have trouble getting down. I just can never find the right spot to come off the crux. I had about 5 minutes of thinking I was glad I had pants and a space blanket until I calmed down and resummited in effect getting higher and looking for similar areas. I finally found the scrambling area and descended.

    Animals spotted: 4 wild burro, 4 cows, Harris antelope squirrel, hundreds of Gambel's quail, a red shouldered hawk,and even a cardinal. Weird.

    Probably my favorite non-Supes hike. It has something for everybody.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was our low desert alternative for the weekend since we had turned chilly! The Earthiest and I had plans of a west Sedona camp and hike, but with the temps getting low last week this provided itself as a good cool weather alternative. We put down some tents on the northwest side of Lake Pleasant for later, and started hiking about 11 a.m. Great weather all day, sunny and not too hot. The Walkin' Jim is a nice steady trail, just rolling hills over to the Big Jim turnoff. We made it about a quarter mile up the spur and the Earthiest decided to take a little siesta while I knocked out the peak. Fun mountain to climb, but the trail disappears almost completely after the saddle. There are some cairns to guide the way, but no worries just finding the path of least resistance. Took a quick break up top and headed back down to meet my compatriot. We continued on in our CCW direction to complete the loop. Lost the trail quite a few times on this section, while some areas are heavily cairned this part was not. This is better described as a cairned cross country route than a defined trail for long stretches, I almost felt like it would have just been easier to follow the wash than to try and follow a track. I probably looked at my gps on this hike more so than most any other recently. Made it back to the truck right before sunset, and then headed back to camp. Started up a fire so we could cook dinner and cracked a few cold ones, camping started out perfect. We were sitting around the fire about 9:30 finishing off a beer and getting drowsy when 3 trucks full of teenagers pulled up about 100 yards from our camp. They started yelling back and forth, f-bomb just about every other word, and then proceeded to start chopping down some mesquites to make a 20' bonfire. At 10 p.m. When one of them fired up a quad qt 10:30 to go tearing around that settled it, we packed up camp and killed the fire in about 10 minutes and were on the road back to the Earthiest's pad for one more beer and the couch. Definitely a grumpy old man moment, but it was pretty hard thinking about going to sleep knowing these jack :pk: 'es would not be stopping anytime soon. Lesson learned, last time I try to get in a camp at an accessible place near town. Hike was great, and camp was good too except the end of the night shenanigans.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First time hiking the Jim trails. Remote area for being so close to town. No sign of anybody else being out there since the rain Friday.

    Nice cool temps. Humidity was high, but a breeze kicked up the second half. Saw enough flora, fauna, etc. to keep the hike interesting the whole way. Always fun to see and hear burros.

    Breakfast at the Brass Rail after. The waitress thought my beer selection would go well with pancakes!

    Good times. Thanks Kelly. :)
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    while this might be a better winter hike, we had a perfectly cool day in may for it
    another west side peak that's been on my wish list
    followed the eagle's route, going counterclockwise on the walkin' jim loop
    saw one burro from a distance and another one close up
    trail was in good condition and quite well cairned
    not much elevation change until the big jim intersection
    big jim goes up to a saddle and there a decent use trail to the peak
    the final push was fun, with some scrambling and a little bit of route finding with an occasional cairn
    more on rock than through sticker bushes and cactus, but with tall grasses and foxtails
    great 360 views from the top and we spent at least 30 minutes snacking, looking around and just enjoying the nice day
    the summit register jar is sad shape
    the lid has a hole in the top and as others have said, the papers are quite fragile
    i brought a new notebook and pen, but didn't read bruce's comment about needing a new container, too
    put my items into a double ziplock and then under the original glass jar
    as i went to rebuild the cairn...
    john: were all those bugs up here earlier?
    me: uh, those are bees :o
    apparently there is a hive just over the dropoff and something had disturbed it
    we vacated the premises and started down
    took the long way back, completing the walkin' jim trail
    some pools of water in most of the washes
    heard before we saw two sets of burros on the way down 8)
    seven in some trees about halfway down, and three in a wash closer to the end
    finished just after noon
    still serving breakfast at the brass rail :) - thanks, john
    enjoyed this hike and getting out on the west side
    good company, too ;)
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Peak 3465 Hiero Mtns - Morgan City Wash Loop
    Still dark, the day started off to a brisk and breezy 35 degrees. We covered the 4 miles to the "Big Jim Trail", quickly to warm up. From here you climb +2200' to the summit in less than 2 miles. This is the first time since the end of 2010, that I've done this hike. Back then, there was no defined trail from the end of the "Big Jim Trail" to the top. This has been getting noticeable traffic and has been flagged in spots.

    The view from the top is still one of the best in the area. It took a while to re-find the 1902 inscription, but Joe spotted it.

    The next person up, should bring a new summit container and log pad. The past records are getting trashed. It was too fragile to take out of the jar.

    We picked a route down the backside that was slow going, but not too bad. We luckily ran into the "Burro Flats Loop Trail", saving us some brush fighting. We bailed on target two for the day and set our sites for the Morgan City Wash. The 4.5 miles in the wash drug on, but were easy miles.

    On the way we stopped at the Bog Ranch area, right off the wash. This area is a disgrace with all the shot up stuff and shell casings everywhere.

    We got out of the wash at Tule Spring and started the cross-country burro trail trek to meet up with the "Walking Jim Trail" and the truck.

    Another fine day in the Hieroglyphic Mountains, with still some unfinished business.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Peak 3465 Hiero Mtns - Morgan City Wash Loop
    Nice, long loop hike in the Hieroglyphic Mountains on a gorgeous day. Please see Joe's (or Bruce's) trip log for the route taken. It was chilly (mid-30's) at the start and warm at the finish (mid-70's).

    The highlight of the day was peak 3465, which offers outstanding views of Lake Pleasant and the surrounding countryside. More fun as we went off trail looking for an alternate route down and around the mountain to our next destination (Pike's Peak), hoping to save some of that hard earned elevation. We didn't save much, but we found a cool route through a pass that had a man made rock wall at the top. Big, heavy rocks that would have taken some time and effort to build. Not sure of its purpose; there is an easy route around it, albeit a couple hundred feet down and half mile longer if you dropped down into the canyon below.

    Dropping down from the pass, we aimed for a creek. I went farther left, down a drainage and landed on a trail that turned out to be part of the Burro Flats Loop. We followed that for awhile, but realized it was taking us too far away from our second goal. We turned south and headed uphill hoping to follow a ridgeline back towards our goal. We took a break at the top of the hill and decided there wouldn't be enough time to accomplish all that we set out to do, so we headed towards Morgan City wash to continue on the loop.

    The wash provided some easy walking for a few miles. Nothing exciting here unless you're on an ATV, but we made good time getting to Bog Ranch, which is not worth your time unless you like shooting up stuff and leaving a mess. The place was trashed.

    Another off trail excursion to hook up with the Walkin' Jim trail. I enjoyed this section. The wild burros cut some nice trails through here. Two of them stopped and posed for us as we passed by (see Bruce's photo set - mine didn't make the grade). They were more beautiful in person. Lot's of beautiful saguaros through here. We took another break in this area to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

    We linked up with the Walkin' Jim trail and closed the loop with Joe singing songs. How a guy can sing after 18 miles is beyond me (I was hanging on by a thread). More outstanding views as Lake Pleasant came back into view.

    This was the second longest hike of my life. Well worth it, but I was a tired puppy at the end.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Peak 3465 Hiero Mtns - Morgan City Wash Loop
    Returned after a short sampler of Cottonwood Creek in 2007. A healthy forest of saguaros offers photogenic sun events on the horizon. Peak 3465 steals the show protected by waves of black jumbled rock on the ascent. Gnarly lichen accents demand your attention. Distant views are pleasing. My favorite being the Sierra Estrella range standing proud in the sonoran sea of wannabee peaks.

    A large balance of this loop was nice yet forgettable after Peak 3465. We stumbled upon old jeep trails that now look to be cattle fairways. Anti cairnopelli would be no match for a few of the route guidance markers along the way. We only witnessed signs of cattle. The patties now in a styrofoam consistency may indicate winter absence?

    We saw two burros and heard another pack out of sight. Two inch disintegrating hay bundles throughout with concentrated piles on occasion suggests a large presence.

    Finishing up on the southern Walkin' Jim Loop offered the most stunning views of the day. Lake Pleasant sings on the horizon. Panoramic views sweep through downtown Phoenix with its tiny skyscrapers offering wow scalism.
    Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Nice day for a hike. Nothing too exciting to report. Definitely a trail that you want to watch your GPS or HAZTracks on. Despite the route being heavily cairned and tagged with plastic ribbons it' pretty easy to get off track. At one point I was deep in my thoughts and ended up a quarter mile off course.

    Turning into one of my favorite hikes. This is the third time I've done it and has turned into an annual affair for me.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, take I-17 north to the Carefree Highway (SR 74). Turn left on Carefree highway and drive west to Castle Hot Springs Rd (Lake Pleasant exit). Turn north and drive for approximately 5.1 miles to a large pull off on the left side of the road. Careful of deep sand in the parking area. The hike begins at the northwest corner of the parking lot on the other side of a fallen barbed-wire fence.

    page created by burntlizard on Feb 11 2016 7:33 pm
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