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Haystack Butte - 5741feet, AZ

no permit
133 5 0
Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Globe NE
3.8 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,320 feet
Elevation Gain 1,421 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,534 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.07
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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14  2019-03-26
Salt River via Haystack
13  2018-10-30
Salt River via Haystack
17  2018-01-14 outdoor_lover
14  2017-10-30
Salt River via Haystack
10  2013-01-29
Needle on a Haystack
17  2013-01-29
Needle on a Haystack
47  2013-01-21 Grasshopper
26  2013-01-21 BEEBEE
Page 1,  2
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:07am - 6:26pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
.. Elevation Profile & Pics Don't Lie ..
by Grasshopper

In a less visited and very scenic eastern section of our Tonto National Forest bordering the Salt River Canyon Wilderness, for those qualified, an opportunity to "off trail" summit one of the areas more visible and dominant Benchmark Buttes at 5741 feet elevation.

This is a rugged and completely "off trail" heavy vegetation, rocky, steep up & downhill summit hike for advanced experience hikers with advanced route finding skills. It is highly recommended to download and closely follow the authors posted 1/21/13 GPS Route (which may or may not be the best hiking route for this summit hike, but is definitely one successful way to "out and back" Haystack Butte from FR303). Good hiking boots, long pants, and gloves are recommended. It should also be noted that this hiking route does not have any available perennial water sources but does have morning and afternoon sun exposure to take into consideration for our warmer hiking months.

This completely "off trail" hike begins at a small one vehicle pull-off/park location 13.3 miles in on FR303-Haystack Butte Road. After a short ~100 yard walk further up FR303, the official TH Start for this hike begins at a visible FR303 east drainage area. Begin hiking east up this drainage for fifty(50) feet and cross over a ranching fence in order to continue. At the top of this drainage .40 miles in you will arrive at the Lower Ridgeline Saddle area. Take a right(south) turn here and continue hiking along a vague animal use route that follows the Haystack Butte Lower Ridgeline and fence line up to near the fence line end at its stopping point- The Haystack Butte cliffs area. If you are following the author's posted 1/21/13 GPS Route, you will now be into the required "off trail" bushwhacking adventure which traverses around and up the SW side of Haystack Butte to eventually summit Haystack Butte's steep and rocky Upper Ridgeline at ~1.02 miles in (at 5679ft). Here, as of this writing, the author has placed a "key" large rock cairn (at waypoint location N33.72617 W110.63871) to indicate the correct arrival and exit point for this Upper Ridgeline hiking route. Hiking south from this location along this narrow Upper Ridgeline you will experience some very scenic near and distant 270 degree views. You will also experience 3-4 minor false summits before arriving at the official south end Haystack Butte BM Summit at 5741 feet. The Summit Register and Official Summit BM are located under a small rock cairn at N33.72407 W110.63723

Water Sources

Not Recommended

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2013-01-22 Grasshopper
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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
Haystack Butte - 5741feet
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Birthday Butte, since I didn't get a Hike in on Friday and I wanted to Bag something. I was in the Area and this one has been on my List, so it was Time. I made a couple of Mistakes on this one, but nothing terrible.

I think I stayed on Hank's Track for a total of 200 feet (including the Road Walk :lol: ) and then I Brainfarted and started up the wrong Drainage. :sweat: I skirted it for a while on the Right, but the Brush started getting thicker above the Drainage, so I went in. Mistake #2. That wasn't working so well either so then I started up the Slope to the Left of it. Mistake #3. That turned into a Nightmare quickly. Scree... And not the Nuisance kind. It was that Flat, Slate Crap and Deep. For every Step up, sometimes I'd lose at least two. It was about then that I realized that I should have worn my Hiking Shoes instead of my balding Trail Runners. Mistake #1 ](*,) That almost made me turn around and quit. But there was a Mentality that kept me moving forward, even at a Snail Pace. Similar to "just around the next Bend, or over the next Hill", I kept looking up and thinking I was seeing an End to the Scree... Just a little Farther... 50 more Feet.... :sweat: In Hindsight, if I had climbed up to the Ridge on the Right of that Drainage, it would have been way better. I got a good Look at it once I was above it. If I ever do this one again, that will be my Route next Time. I wouldn't Recommend anyone use my Route Up except as "what not to do".... :sweat: At least I didn't Cliff out anywhere, so I guess that's a Plus... :D

I finally topped out on that Ridge and Intercepted Hank's Track for a bit. By the Time I did, I was already past the Saddle. Followed Game Trails for awhile while continuing to climb in Elevation. It was Steep and there was Scree, but not the Slate Garbage I was in earlier. Also Areas of Rock Slides and a Boulder Field or two... Thanks to a very Gnarly and Brutal Exit to a Canyon a couple of Weeks ago, this Ascent almost felt easy. Very little in a Matter of a Bushwack comparatively... When I felt like I was getting fairly close to the Top, I picked a Boulder Field and finished the Scramble up. Great Views up there.. Had some Lunch at the High Point, took some Photos and Signed the Register.

When it was Time to leave, I decided that rather than doing the Roller Coaster back across the Ridge to where I came up, I would just start down and Traverse as I went. It actually wasn't too bad although I did spend some Time on my Ass voluntarily and just a couple of Times involuntarily. The Descent took about as long as the Ascent did though. About 3/4 of the way down, I ran into a nice Surprise. Dirt... Just Plain old Dirt. A very large Slope of it, with no Rocks or Vegetation. It looked Volcanic actually, but it wasn't coarse or grainy. It was very Soft and Deep. It was like Finding an Unexpected Hot Tub at the End of a Cold 30 Mile Hike... :lol: If a Body could Experience a type of Nirvana after all the Scree and Rocks this was it. I did what amounts to a Combination of Plunge Stepping, Glissading and Slalom Skiing to go down it and it felt Amazing, almost Euphoric. I Descended about 300 Feet in less than 90 Seconds.... :D

That Slope continued down to a Drainage, but I opted to do a short Ascent up the next Ridge and Voila, I top out and 100 Feet away was the Fence and the Road. I was Down. :y: Crawled under the Fence and hit the Road for about 1/3 Mile Hike back to the Vehicle...

Nice Hike with some Sweet Views... You definitely get a Workout and I was glad for the Slopes I've already tackled this Year to help prepare me for this one! When I first saw this Butte from the Road, I was thinking "Hmmm" wondering if I had enough in the Tank to do it after doing a Canyon the Day before. Stubborness always wins. :D

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From the Phoenix area- Hwy 60 east to the east side of Globe then continue on Hwy 60 north (a left-north turn to continue on Hwy 60) for a number of miles to the marked but easy to miss intersection of Hwy 60/FR303-Haystack Butte Road (at waypoint coordinates N33.58891 W110.64721). Please see above posted GPS Driving Route from the 13.3 mile intersection of Hwy 60/FR303 (with key waypoints included) to the recommended Parking Location for this hike TH Start.
page created by Grasshopper on Jan 22 2013 7:38 pm
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