Great views across to AZT#16!
Peak 3937 is located in the Mineral Mountain Quadrangle, which is just south of the US 60 between Florence Junction and Superior. Typical of peaks in the Mineral Mountain Quad, the drive to the trailhead is every bit as much of a challenge as the actual climb, and Ajax Benchmark is no different. Depending on the capability of your vehicle and how far you are willing to drive it, this hike can be as short as 2.5 miles to more than 10 miles round-trip.
From the parking area near the Arizona Trail #17 TH, begin the hike heading north along the FR976 about 500' until you meet the AZT#17, then turn left onto AZT#17 and follow it .2 mile where you will turn right onto an old jeep trail. The trail will descend to the bottom of the drainage before climbing steeply up the other side. At some points you may be climbing up the ancient 'road' on all fours to keep from sliding back down. (Just think of trying to drive up here... some ATV's have not too long ago. I know my Sammurai could if it HAD to, but I would only attempt it if it was an emergency.)
Once you reach the saddle, there is no specific trail to the summit of Peak 3937 so just head up the slope to your left. The climb is not very steep here and the vegetation is spread out enough that you can pretty much choose whatever route you wish. At the summit you will find a small rock cairn with a summit log. If all you wanted to do was bag the summit, you can head back for a hike of barely 1.5 miles, but now that you are here, don't pass up the best views, which you will experience only if you walk along the ridge as far as you can to the south. The views I encountered are some of the best I've experienced in the whole Mineral Mountain Quadrangle. Well worth the long rough drive! To the east you can see a good chunk of AZT#16 as it traverses across the slopes. To the west you have a good view of the Martinez Mine area including the huge cave and the oasis of trees by the old houses. Since there really isn't any other way to return to the trail head without a long detour and/or using very good climbing skills, return roughly along the same route.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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