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Sheepshead Peak 6545, AZ

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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,142 feet
Elevation Gain 1,393 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,594 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 - 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.21
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
8  2018-02-21 Steph_and_Blake
17  2018-01-24 Pivo
4  2013-04-14 Pivo
9  2013-03-03 southpawaz
6  2013-03-03 cindyl
6  2011-03-05 cindyl
15  2002-01-12 rwstorm
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 98
Routes 59
Photos 2,511
Trips 175 map ( 749 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Co-Author PrestonSands
co-author avatarGuides 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
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:04am - 6:26pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Stroll on the Serengeti and Picketpost Deux!
by Steph_and_Blake & PrestonSands

This is a two part hike in the western Dragoon Mountains in Coronado National Forest. Part One is an easy hike over gently rolling hills covered in swaying grasses. Then, just as you're getting all comfy and complacent, the climb begins, first over sketchy granite terrain and then up a "use all four" chute, to Sheepshead Peak.

Gloves are recommended for the scramble and, if they make you feel more comfortable on loose terrain, hiking poles could come in handy.

From the parking area just past the Tenneco Well, find the gate to the northeast. Pass through the gate and you're instantly on a well-worn path headed due north. The trail gradually ascends and winds its way along a hillside on the right. Along the way you might imagine you're in the Serengeti as your fingertips brush the tops of waving, golden grasses. Ahead you spot zebras grazing (okay, so they're horses), African buffalo (well, just cattle), gazelles (all right, all right, they're really deer), a small lion slinking past (bobcat), and exotic black birds cawing (noisy crows). I jest, but the surroundings make you think of the "Mutual of Omaha" TV show.

The path drops down into a small wash, heading a bit east, and continues on through the grasses in a northeast direction. You'll come to a wooden/wire gate. Pass through and you're in an entirely different world. The trail is now more wooded and quite quickly the terrain changes to that of rocky granite. All the while you're wondering "which peak is Sheepshead?". Peering up to your right you spot, far above you, little, itty-bitty rock climbers on a massive slab of yellowish rock. That can't possibly be Sheepshead. I thought this was a hike, not a climb! Your GPS or map, though, tells you that, most likely, it is Sheepshead.

So, just follow the map and see where it takes you. The trail becomes somewhat of a scramble and is lightly cairned. Note that there are several social trails, probably created by those crazy climbers, but your goal is to stay close to that massive slab. After some moderate scrambling, the trail becomes rather steep (and shaded) and the use of both hands and feet is nearly mandatory. We thanked many a tree for offering handholds on the way up. You will skirt the base of Sheepsheads’ cliffs and begin climbing a rocky chute of sorts toward your first destination: a notch or saddle on the northwest side of Sheepshead. This saddle offers a place to rest and see deep into the Dragoons to the east.

Once you have reached the saddle, the lightly cairned route or social trail that you have followed to this point continues, and is the most straightforward route to the summit. Make a hard right at the saddle to begin the ascent of Sheepshead’s northwest face. This is the route that I found to be the easiest, safest, and most enjoyable. You will need to use hands and feet to scramble up the rock in many places, but there is nothing dangerous here, really. Be sure to take note of your ascent route and surroundings, so as not to become confused or “cliff out” on your descent. As much of the final ascent is on bare rock, you will need to route-find in places, and pick your way through the pinyon pines, rock slabs, and boulders. As you climb, the view to the east of the Dragoon Mountains’ interior, with its impossible maze of granite boulders and crevices, is incredible.

Nearing the top, the route turns south. Scramble up the summit block and make your way to the highest point on Sheepshead’s bare, rocky dome for an unforgettable 360 degree view. There is plenty of room among the granite bedrock and potholed slabs to stretch out and enjoy your surroundings.

Returning via your ascent route is highly recommended, as non-technical descent routes are limited. Watch your footing, be safe, and enjoy.

Water Sources
A stream at the base of Sheepshead was running when we were there, but there had been recent rains so we're not sure if it is a constant source of water. The maps reveal no springs near the peak.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

    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
    Sheepshead Peak 6545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    at least the wasp is dead.

    yep, after i had sat down and started to drink my peak beer, a wasp came and stung me on the arm. ouch. :stretch: i had a bit of a localized allergic reaction - initially lots of pain and swelling, and then it was nearly impossible to sleep for three days afterwards due to the itching.
    Sheepshead Peak 6545
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After camping just up the way a bit, we had coffee and breakfast before tearing down camp and driving down to the trailhead. We chatted with a pair of climbers still at the coffee and breakfast stage before gearing up and heading out on the trail. We made good time across the flat, and two more pairs of climbers came by us as the trail started getting steeper. We followed the route up the steep section without too much trouble, and eventually made the saddle, where we took a short pause before heading up the final section. Snow and ice made a couple spots a bit tricky, but soon we were on top, enjoying refreshments and the views... until a wasp stung cindyl. That kind of spoiled the moment, and we packed up and headed down pretty quickly. The couple we had chatted with first thing were out on the rock as we made our way down, and we paused to watch them for a moment before finishing off the hike. I had noticed on the way in that we had passed very close by a section corner and we found it on the way out, just 50 feet or so off the trail.

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Benson : Take US 80 (south). Turn left onto Middlemarch Road (one mile north of Tombstone), and follow it for approximately 10 miles to a "Y" at the Coronado National Forest boundary. At the Forest boundary, turn left onto FR 687. Drive 0.4 miles to dirt road on the right, Forest Road 4806. I'm not sure if 4806 is signed, but you'll shortly know you're on the correct road as you'll drive between a few water tanks and see the Tenneco well and windmill.
    page created by joebartels on Mar 08 2018 9:07 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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