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Pass Mtn Ridgeline Loop - Meridian TH, AZ

Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.5 of 5 
no permit
95 19 0
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 7.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,925 feet
Elevation Gain 1,408 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,123 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.82
 Interest Peak
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
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Peak 3108 Ridgeline Plus
3  2016-08-20 mt98dew
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author avatar Guides 1
Routes 5
Photos 39
Trips 13 map ( 159 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Phoenix Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → Early
Sun  5:20am - 7:27pm
Official Route
5 Alternative

Fun yet challenging
by larbrad

This hike originates from the trailhead located where Meridian Road dead-ends at the Tonto National Forest access. Once you pass through the opening in the steel pole fence, head in a general northwesterly direction following the well-worn trail that takes you in that direction. If you have taken the right trail, then within about 300 yards from the TH, you'll drop down into a deep drainage feature - you're on the right track. Continuing north about 50 feet in the sandy bottom of the wash, you'll find a pathway leading up and out of the wash. Upon leaving the wash, take the trail to the north and within seconds you'll be right on the Pass Mountain Loop Trail.

This trail is well-worn and well-used by both hikers and bikers. As you continue what I call a counter-clockwise traverse of the Pass Mountain Loop trail, you'll enjoy this walk as it hugs the eastern slope of Pass Mountain. The trail begins a fairly steep incline toward the point that it flattens out at the "pass". Once you reach this point, this is where you'll leave the trail and begin the ascent of Pass Mountain Peak. There is no trail here - you must find your own way up, but it is not too difficult. I chose to work my way up the spine of the mountain, constantly climbing and gaining elevation. Only at one point did I actually have to use some hands to help pull myself up a crack in the rocks to keep going.

You reach one summit that is marked with a large cairn, but you can see that the true summit is just a short distance further to the west. Continuing onward toward the true summit is very rewarding. The 360-degree view is stunning and it is exciting to stand on the rock that represents the highest point within Usery Park. Be sure to sign the logbook contained in the green metal box that is anchored to a rock within sight of the top rock. Stop to enjoy the view. From here, just keep heading southward along the ridgeline. There is evidence of foot traffic along this portion from Pass Mountain Peak to the intersection with the wind cave "extended" trail. (I call it "extended" because if you hike up the Wind Cave trail from the Usery Park parking lot, you will reach the wind cave and then there is a sign that says something like "beyond this point trail is not maintained".)

All in all, a great hike with wonderful views, plenty of solitude on top. For me, this hike took four hours - moving for three out of the four and resting one hour.

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2012-02-20 larbrad
    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.

     Permit $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To Meridian Trailhead
    Meridian Trailhead is located at the north terminus of Meridian Road between Mesa and Apache Junction.

    US60 to Signal Butte. Take Signal Butte north to University. East (right) onto University to Meridian. North (left) onto Meridian to the terminus. There is a small TH.


    Exit 202 Loop at Brown Road and travel east on Brown Road for about 3.5 miles. From Brown Road (Lost Dutchman Rd), travel North on Meridian for two miles to the trailhead parking area at the end of the road.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 34.1mi - 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 119mi - 2hr 11mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 176mi - 2hr 56mins
    page created by larbrad on Feb 20 2012 1:13 pm
     90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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