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Peak 4202 - Mineral Mountain Quad, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.12 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,696 feet
Elevation Gain 495 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,022 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.23
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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23  2016-04-01 JasonCleghorn
4  2016-04-01 CannondaleKid
20  2012-12-12
Ajax Peak 4356 - Mineral Mountains
35  2012-12-12 CannondaleKid
50  2012-07-09
Ajax Peak 4356 - Mineral Mountains
Author CannondaleKid
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 141
Photos 21,934
Trips 2,261 map ( 17,564 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Apr, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:24pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2021 Telegraph Fire266.7 mi**

Piece-of-Cake or Tough-as-Nails
by CannondaleKid

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Peak 4202 is located in the Mineral Mountain Quadrangle in Pinal County. With a rise of 382' from the surrounding terrain and its 4202' elevation it ranks #4035 for the state of Arizona. The summit coords are: 33.1700 -111.1323. It is the second-tallest peak in the Mineral Mountain Quadrangle, a mere 154' lower than Ajax Benchmark, less than .7 mile to the north.

One feature about Peak 4202 that has stuck with me is that it provides the morning shadow over the last few miles of Passage #16 of the Arizona Trail, with the summit itself within .75 mile of the Arizona Trail Passage #17 trailhead. But rather than stopping at the AZT17 TH (which is barely more than a barbed-wire gate) just continue up the hill a few hundred yards and there is a nice flat camping/parking area, complete with its own tree. But nice as it is, it is just as remote as the AZT#17 TH... the last few miles of 'road' are only for an ATV or a very capable high-clearance 4x4.

Whether this hike is a 'Piece-of-Cake' or 'Tough-as-Nails' is up to you.

Whoops, I better qualify that statement just a tad. First off, the drive to the trailhead falls into the tough-as-nails category. Next the drop down and climb up along the old Grand Enchantment Trail falls between the two extremes and the same goes for the climb to the 4202 ridgeline. Across the ridgeline is back to a piece-of-cake until the base of the final rise of 4202.

Now comes the choice whether you want this to be the tough-as-nails or piece-of-cake. If you go around to your right (western slope) you have chosen the tough side. It's doable as JJ3 proved by climbing to the summit from there, but he did NOT want to descend the same way. Ok, so if 'tough' isn't your cup-of-tea let's go for piece-of-cake. Turn left and continue along the east slope, skip past the first opening then turn right up the second (wider) opening. Take a moment to scan the terrain and you'll see what practically amounts to a staircase up the rock. Take the staircase and just continue on up, winding toward your right as you approach the top, then it's a short walk across to the summit.

Plan on spending enough time to not only take photos of the awesome scenery, but to take time to relax and breathe in all the beauty, and yes, even bring along a picnic lunch. Taking a look around, to the north barely .7 mile away is a majestic view of Ajax Benchmark, to the east you can see parts of Wood Canyon and White Canyon, swinging southward you can see the length of White Canyon Butte, Battle Axe Butte looks pretty small from here, over toward The Rincon area, Grayback Peak is in the distance, west of south you can see Dale's Butte, keep turning and Mineral Mountain can be seen on the horizon.

And that's only what you'd see scanning the horizon. Drop your gaze down the slope to the south & west and you'll see the latter stages of Passage #16 of the Arizona Trail. But rather than telling you what I saw, I'll simply invite you to take the piece-of-cake challenge and see for yourself. I can promise you won't regret it!

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.

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2012-12-24 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.

    Permit $$
    AZ State Recreational Land Permits
    For hiking, driving & sightseeing purposes, you seek the recreational permit.
    Under "Recreational Land Use" in the link above.
    2020 - $15.00 individual
    2020 - $20.00 family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18
    Plus $1 processing fee
    The permitting process quick, you will be emailed your permit instantly.

    Land Parcel Map

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Take the US 60 east toward Globe. 3.5 miles east of Florence Junction, turn right the dirt North Mineral Mountain Road. This is Arizona Trust Land so have your annual permit in possession. Continue south on N Mineral Mtn Rd to the junction with Ajax Mine Trail (road) at about 7 miles. [33.19716 -111.21831] (Note: There are other junctions prior to this point so I'd recommend you download the GPS route for the drive.) Continue east on Ajax Mine Trail for 5.2 miles to the junction where Ajax Mine Trail, Telegraph Canyon Road (SW from Superior) and Forest Road 976 meet. [33.20699 -111.15022] Follow FR 976 3.2 miles to the trailhead at 33.17952 -111.13594. [ALTERNATE Eastern Approach] NOTE: I recommend this approach ONLY if you are coming from Superior or points east because although you will save 5.5 miles off-road. However, from the west you'll add 11 miles on the US60 and thus add 5+ miles to the total drive, plus the last 4 miles to FR 976 on Telegraph Canyon Road is MUCH rougher! To follow this approach, turn south on Mary Street from the US60 (west end of Superior) at N33.28540 W111.11757. Follow Mary St to Golf Course Rd, turning right immediately after the Fire Station. About two miles out (shortly after it becomes a dirt road) turn right onto Forest Road 4, which is Telegraph Canyon road. Follow FR4 to FR976 at N33.20699 W111.15022. Follow FR 976 3.2 miles to the trailhead.
    page created by CannondaleKid on Dec 24 2012 9:40 am
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