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Adams Mesa - Sycamore Canyon, AZ

no permit
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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,970 feet
Elevation Gain 820 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
10  2014-12-05
Sunrise Adam Stewart
20  2012-04-26 CannondaleKid
36  2012-04-06 CannondaleKid
31  2012-01-21 FLYING_FLIVER
Author CannondaleKid
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 137
Photos 20,503
Trips 1,903 map ( 15,629 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Up-down-up-down-up and back
by CannondaleKid

Overview: Adams Mesa is a series of ridges and mesas linked together in a general east-west direction just south of the Sycamore Canyon wash. The peaks range from 2300 to 2500 feet in altitude. From the USGS marked summit you will have a great view of the wide expanse of Sycamore Creek wash, Four Peaks, Fountain Hills as well as the large houses spreading out over the hills immediately to the south.

Beware, if you aren't a techno-geek or geo-head be sure to skip this paragraph: The Adams Mesa quadrangle straddles the boundary between Proterozoic granitic and mid-Tertiary rocks of the Transition Zone, and overlapping late Tertiary basin-fill sediments of the Lower Verde River Valley. The area is dominated by Sycamore Creek, which cuts diagonally across the quadrangle from northeast to southwest and defines the base level for most of the area.

Hike Preview: Since the hike is completely off-trail there are an unlimited number of possibilities for starting point as well as the route you choose. I drove 3/4 the way around a large loop before choosing to start with the western-most and lowest peak first, work east to the other end and loop back to my start point. BTW, I wouldn't attempt to reach my start point with anything but a ATV or motorcycle. Or you could walk the extra .5 from Sycamore Creek wash. But in the end, I'd recommend a route closer to what is described below.

Hike: From your trail head somewhere near N33.63291 W111.57935, climb in a northwesterly direction up the slope of the eastern-most peak. While the rocky parts may appear intimidating from below, they really are that tough to traverse and you'll come to like them more than the fox-tail-clad grassy areas you will encounter later.

What worked well for me was to select the general direction for the next 1/8 to 1/4 mile, choose a landmark to head toward then alter the path around obstacles as they present themselves yet continuing on the general route. Also I'd recommend following the mesas & ridges from one peak to the next rather than traversing the slopes. Once you've reached what you decide is your turn-around point, depending on your chosen start point and route you may retrace your path or drop down and traverse the lower slope and make a loop hike out of it.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2012-04-07 CannondaleKid
    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
    Adams Mesa - Sycamore Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Since Tracey wasn't able to hike Adams Mesa with me at the beginning of the month and I had not graced the summit of the eastern peak that seemed like a good choice... until we got out of the car and saw the rain front coming in and plenty of lightning strikes. But with the expectation of a clearing later in the day we decided to do some 4x4 recon seeking out other interesting spots in the Sycamore Creek area. We began our hiking day in the Agua Chiquita Spring area then returned to Adams Mesa once the skies cleared.

    Our Agua Chiquita Spring hike triplog is here:

    Since we were only going to climb the eastern-most peak of Adams Mesa this trip we parked east of the peak just off Forest Road P1007, which made for a pretty quick hike. We managed to traverse the dense cholla field with only a few incidents on the way up. We took what appeared to be the more moderate southern slope to the summit but once on top we found the northern slope was cholla-free so we took that for the return trip. Having started the day with a wet hike it was great to finish off with a hike under clear skies.

    I'll be posting some of the photos here on HAZ, the full set of 28 are here:
    Adams Mesa - Sycamore Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    In my wanderings through the Sycamore Canyon area I had never driven any of the roads north of the main wash so I figured I was due. I've tried to stay away from this area as much as possible on weekends due to the huge masses of ATV and gun enthusiasts and this was no exception. Although it was a Friday I knew I wanted to be out of there by early afternoon so I got an early start.

    After a short drive around most of the mesa on the lookout for the best climbing routes I finally just made a choice and got started. I began from the north below the second rise from the west end. I headed straight for the westernmost peak with plans to loop back along the spine of the mesa, crossing over every peak on the way east.

    Lots of steep climbing but thankfully the terrain was open enough even the cholla and buckhorn forests were easy to pass through unscathed. At one point as I was dropping down through a large rocky area I was attacked by a large bee. Thankfully it wasn't in the stinging mood but it just kept flying full speed into me, bouncing off and circling back around to hit me again and again. As it turned out I was passing very close to a massive nest and I suppose the bee was warning me off... and it worked, I moved away fast.

    By time I had reached the USCGS marked summit (second peak of the mesa from the east) it was getting close to the time I wanted to bail out of the Sycamore Creek area, so I had to make a decision. With another long and steep descent plus the ascent up the last peak ahead of me, and of course the return just as rough and time-consuming I decided to wrap it up and head back. Good thing I did because on my way out to the Beeline the waves of ATV's, motorcyles and trucks pulling huge campers, trailers and/or toy-haulers were flowing in and the gunfire was already a constant.

    This was definitely rattlesnake country with plenty of prey and uncountable numbers of holes in the ground but even though the temperature did get high enough for them to be out I saw none. :( I was hoping to add to my snake video collection. Oh well, I'll be back soon to summit the easternmost peak of the mesa so I should have another chance.

    I'm posting a small set of photo's on HAZ but the full set of 55 photos is here:

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Take either the Beeline Highway or Bush Highway from Mesa to the overpass where they connect.

    Cross over to the west of the overpass and continue through the gate on FR403.
    Follow FR403 .6 mi to FR1848.
    Turn LEFT onto FR1848 and continue .5 mi to FR1847.
    Turn LEFT onto FR1847 and continue 1.1 mi to P1007, which is NOT marked. (N33.63056 W111.57944)
    Turn RIGHT onto P1007 and continue .2 mi to N33.63291 W111.57935 or thereabouts, parking off to the side of the track.
    page created by CannondaleKid on Apr 07 2012 8:38 am
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