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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Willow Mountain Fire Lookout - Former, AZ

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14 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine SW
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 1
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 7,813 feet
Elevation Gain 145 feet
Accumulated Gain 400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3
Interest Historic & Peak
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2011-05-07 ssk44
Author ssk44
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 12
Photos 2,250
Trips 274 map ( 830 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Reservation San Carlos
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:06am - 6:17pm
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0 Alternative
 
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Named place Nearby
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The Middle Of Nowhere
by ssk44

Likely In-Season!
Overview
Willow Mountain is a remote destination located deep within the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The summit has an elevation of 7,817 making it the highest legally accessible mountain located within the reservation.


*The highest mountain located within the San Carlos Reservation is Mount Turnbull with a summit elevation of 8,282. Mount Turnbull is located in an area referred to as Unit D. Unit D is closed to non-members. Hunting is allowed in Unit D with an Indian guild.

The former Willow Mountain Fire Lookout was originally constructed in 1930 by the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The tower is a 20 foot two-story building of wood construction and is currently in extremely deteriorated condition. The tower is dangerous and unstable (Climb/explore at own risk). The Willow Mountain Fire Lookout was replaced in 1984 by the current Dry Lake Fire Lookout, located 15.5 miles to the southwest. The summit of Willow Mountain has areas of ponderosa pine, however is mainly made up of gamble oak and various low brush.

Hike
The summit of Willow Mountain is mostly a walk-about destination, however a short off-trail hike to the northern edge of the mountain is available. It's easy and your already there... You may as well experience everything the mountain has to offer.

Camping
Overnight car camping is permitted on Willow Mountain, however only two mediocre sites exist (lower saddle switchback and summit). A good car camping option located within the vicinity of Willow Mountain is an area southeast of Big Prairie near Pine Flat Tank off SC-1800. There's a nice large pocket of ponderosa pine out there and the area sees very limited road traffic.

Summary
Willow Mountain is a great weekend adventure. If you've never experienced the San Carlos Indian Reservation, this destination may be a good place to start. The res seems like a different time and place. The central San Carlos Indian Reservation is the last frontier in Arizona. The feeling of remote isolation is unavoidable. You really need to experience it in person to truly understand. Enjoy!

!!Warning!! This is an extremely isolated and exposed destination that see very few visitors. The nearest cell phone signal is about 50 miles away. No services exist in Point of Pines. Use caution and discretion during ALL activities. You're on your own.

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2012-02-23 ssk44
  • guide related image guide related image
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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 Review
Willow Mountain Fire Lookout - Former
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Willow Mountain Fire Lookout (May 7th 2011)

This outing was a day trip with my dad. My appetite for exploration within the San Carlos Reservation is far from satisfied and the decommissioned Willow Mountain Lookout seemed like a no-brainer. It's the highest point on the res and it towers 2,000 feet above the surrounding area. This place is truly in the middle of nowhere and it feels like it. Nobody is going to help you out here. We spent about an hour exploring the summit and then headed down below the saddle for a nice shady lunch under some ponderosa pine. Ha! We just parked right in the road and pulled out the chairs. You don't have to worry about moving the vehicle for others. The odds of more then one group per day heading up here is about as likely as a Sasquatch sighting. On second thought... This is the res. A Sasquatch sighting is probably not completely out of the question. Wink.

I was blessed to visit some incredible backcountry destinations across the central San Carlos Reservation in 2011. Willow Mountain was a nice addition to the list and being able to share it with my dad was special. We had a great day!


Eric (ssk44)




Permit $$
San Carlos Indian Reservation Recreation Permit required.
Price, info & locations at San Carlos - Permits


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Strictly 4x4

To walk/tour
From Globe... Highway 70 - SC 8 - Point of Pines (50 miles +/- from Highway 70) - SC 2010 (Located at ninety degree bend in road off SC 8) - Destination

Note: SC 2010 requires four-wheel drive with low range, most stock vehicles are sufficient. SC 2010 can become extremely muddy at Big Prairie during monsoon season.
page created by ssk44 on Feb 23 2012 2:35 pm
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