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Mummy Lode, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
4.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,446 feet
Elevation Gain 797 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 28.3
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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15  2015-12-27 chumley
9  2014-01-01
Mummy Mountain
15  2013-12-14 chumley
6  2013-03-09 zukerrach
15  2013-03-02 chumley
8  2013-02-24 BobP
10  2013-02-16 John9L
30  2013-02-10 chumley
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 667
Photos 13,172
Trips 1,417 map ( 10,542 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Apr → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:26pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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It's a mother!
by chumley

What might otherwise be called the Mummy Mountain Ridgeline Extravaganza was given the name "Mummy Lode" in honor of it's much bigger Four Peaks sibling. To be fair, this doesn't come close to the extremities of the Mother Lode, but it's about as much fun that you can have in the middle of town. Who knew that this little bump in the middle of Paradise Valley could result in 4+ hours of scrambling, a few crazy climbs, some surprising exposure, 4000 feet of AEG :o , great views, and just a little bit of Peeping Tom creepiness into the backyards and picture-window bathtubs of the upper classes?

This is an A+ adventure, and I can't believe it doesn't get more use. There are obvious routes that have been traveled before, but there is no route, rarely a cairn, and another person? Not to be seen!

This adventure begins by climbing to the top of Mummy Mountain (please read the full description for the summit hike, including the important information about the Mummy Mountain Preserve Trust and private property). Public/Private Property map here. (The yellow outline is preserve, but only inside the green outline is public land. The rest is private land!)

From the summit, follow the ridgeline north, dropping down to a saddle before climbing up to a surprisingly large Peak 2233 (really just about 30 feet short of the main summit). From 2233, head east, just to bag the lower peak too. Note that upon reaching the saddle below 2233 and the lower peak, you will leave public land and enter private property. Please obtain the necessary permission or trespass at your own risk.

Next you will continue along the northern ridgeline. Instead of returning to 2233, head north, down the chute from the saddle and turn west to traverse the hillside toward the next saddle. Again, please be aware that the ridgeline in this area is on private property. The climb up peak 1936 is steep and exposed and requires some short climbs when you follow the true ridgeline or the east side. By swinging around to the west side you can bypass the climbing, but the terrain is steep and scree covered. I think it's easier and safer to stay on solid rock and climb. Just west of 1936 is a secondary peak made largely of bright white quartz.

From 1936, continue to descend along the ridgeline to the next saddle before climbing up to Peak 1807, marked on the map as Mummy Mtn Observatory. This peak offers nice views of north Phoenix, and a great perspective of the route you just hiked. From here, return the way you came, or cut the corner and take the direct route back up to 2233 on a very steep slope that will most certainly wear you out! It's about 1.5 miles from 1807 back to the summit, depending on your exact route. If you've had enough, head back down to the trailhead for a total hike of about 4 miles. Otherwise, do the east ridge too!

From the summit, head down the east ridge where you will encounter the first of 3 fun (sketchy?) spots! Find your way down and continue. Views of Camelback from this ridge are great! Parts of this ridge have been accessed from the various homes and roads on the south side of the ridge, and use is occasionally evident. You descend to a small saddle that had some "brick art" as of this writing. From there, ascend to peak 1956. Descending 1956 leads to a very steep, exposed downclimb. You can bail to the dirt road to the south but it's crazy steep and scree so I think the climb is easier and safer. And way more fun!!

From the dirt lot at the end of the road, you must again cross a section of private property. Proceed at your own risk. The next two mini-peaks along the ridge are public, but the third is private. From here the ridge drops down to the paved terminus of Invergordon Road, crossing it at the driveway of a private residence, before leading up to a flattened lot at the end of the road (closed). A water tank sits just below this point and marks the end of the preserve land (preserved, but still private property).

I don't recommend proceeding beyond the water tank since the ridgeline continues down until it actually crosses over the roof of a house built into the hillside. Here you may encounter guard dogs, security, armed homeowners, etc. So, the point here is ... turn around at the water tank.

Head back up the ridgeline 1.3 miles back to the summit before descending to the trailhead parking lot. Drive home feeling a little sore but wearing a huge grin wondering why you've never done this before.

*Please be aware that this hike begins on the private property of the Camelback Inn Resort. Ask permission before parking or hiking if you are not a hotel guest. Parts of this route cross privately held preserve land. Enter private land only after obtaining permission to do so or at your own risk. 100% of this route is off-trail scrambling. THERE IS NO TRAIL!!!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2013-02-12 chumley
    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
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Got out of bed at around 11 and there's no better way to spend a day locally than on the mummy. I considered hitting up piesteyogapants or cameltoe across the way, because let's face it, the scenery ain't too bad on these holiday weekends. But ultimately I decided that I'd rather not deal with the crowds.

    Sure enough, there were about 4 people in the first 200 yards, and not another soul the rest of the day. Three red-tailed hawks kept visiting me but for the most part I just enjoyed this mountain on my own today.

    Nice views to all the other peaks in the valley and those that surround it in every direction.

    This is what cameltoe and piesteyogapants used to look like before they got destroyed by the crowds. There's no trail, and it's a true unspoiled desert mountain in the middle of town. A solid day! :y:
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    A handful of friends and I decided to ring in the new year in a casita at the Camelback Inn. What a night! Yay 2014! But before tuning in the key card and heading home today we decided to take the opportunity to climb the mummy. After all, the '13 holitaint has been a time of indulgence that deserves an equalizer. Despite some rough play last night, Carissa's eye injury was thankfully not something that was going to prevent us from hiking.

    Some decided to fight the crowds of people who hike once a year in a nearby preserve, but that's not my cup o tea so we went our separate ways with hopes of meeting up later at the Duck & Wheel.

    Fully outfitted in her inappropriate godzirra tee Claire led the way up, as we discussed the plusses and minuses of Nordic screeing versus alpine screeing. Both are better than boarding. Winter sports on a 70 degree January day in the desert. Tough to beat.

    With the late check out we didn't have enough light for a full mummy lode, and probably not the energy either, but we did head out in the east ridge far enough to see if somebody was taking a sun shower in the tub. Another day with no luck there. Oh well!

    Headed down the mummy and cashed in our hiking chips at the Crown & Anchor before heading home to rest up for the two day work week ahead.

    A most excellent way to ring in the new year!
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I forgot how much I love this hike. Total ass-kicker. Perfect weather. I need to make this a more common occurrence!

    Apparently people read HAZ, cause the hike up Mummy now has a somewhat defined route. Why don't these people post triplogs? It's still a scree-filled chore. Especially the descent. Once at the radio site, you're still on your own as if you were nowhere near the middle of a big city. Fun, fun, and more fun. I hit 2233 and down to the chute. Traversing back to the north ridge is always a challenge, but the bighorn seem to have some reasonably well trampled routes to follow if you take the time to find them.

    I cut the north leg short and turned around at 1936 (quartz) rather than going all the way to 1807 (observatory). Back up to Mummy and out the east arm. I just love the three climbs. Such a pleasure. Only one redtail out soaring today, and nobody in the bathtub :(

    Had the headphones in rocking to dance music the whole day. Might've heard a helicopter and some bullhorn yelling something, but I decided not to look up. Just sang out loud and danced. I assume they figured out I didn't see or hear them.

    Afterward, I met up with Bear, K10, and the more curvy side of the backpack at Wilderness for a delicious burger on the patio. Apparently they don't enforce the regulations cause there were some old people out there too :lol: . At least I was able to introduce everybody to the Legend of Pat Rick. Good day all around.
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    It was my goal to explore access to Mummy Mountain via two streets that bordered the public preserve, rather than via the private Camelback Inn.

    So I started at the cul de sac on 56th Street. (See my GPS track from today.) The dirt road that continues south is not blocked, but I thought that parking there would just draw unwanted attention to myself. The cul de sac itself has a hydrant and a single no parking sign, and I sort of wondered if in PV that one sign would extend the restricted parking for a mile or more? But I parked on the side of the road a hundred yards away and began making my way up the mountain. After gaining a bit of elevation, it was clear that home closest to the cul de sac was vacant and had been for some time. So at least for now, that's one neighbor that won't be calling the cops!

    I was a little short on time, so I decided to skip the north peak altogether and headed up 2233 right away. I chose a route to the east of my previous ascent and really enjoyed it. It was much more difficult and featured several good climbing moves along the way.

    Next, I climbed the big outcrop rock in the saddle between 2233 and Mummy peak which was also all sorts of fun!

    On the east ridge, I chose more challenging routes again, and did plenty of climbing. This mountain really provides terrain for fun if you want to get your hands and feet working together! A red-tailed hawk put on an air show for me and I spent a good 10 minutes just enjoying watching him soar above and around me.

    At the end of the ridge, I had a bite to eat, and ducked behind the ridge as some homeowners arrived and drove past me and into their garage. There were lots of lizards running around today, and it made me a bit leery of the potential for snakes. It was over 80, and that is usually when I begin to get extra cautious -- and this hike features enough blind hand holds and grassy steps that snake potential is definitely a concern.

    From the peak I wanted to check out the access to Cheney Drive so instead of returning the way I had come, I descended the northwest ridge. Wow! This section was an absolute blast! It was very challenging and I think I would have loved climbing up this route. The rock in the mountain runs in a northeast-southwest pattern and the route takes you directly perpendicular to the "grain" of the mountain. So there are neat downclimbs and natural switchbacks.

    In one chute I was happy to notice a swarm of bees around a hole in the base of the rock. A very obvious and very large active nest! This was in a tight little spot and I had no desire to pass it since I would be closer than I preferred. Getting around below it required a sketchy downclimb, so I backtracked a bit and passed around the hive from above before continuing down the ridge.

    I checked the map and stayed on the public perserve land until reaching the end of Cheney Road. There are signs all along the road indicating private property, no trespassing, etc. and for the most part they are accurate. However, at the end of the road and up the mountain from there, it's part of the public preserve. When the signs were placed, that land may very well have been private but it's not anymore. If you go this way however, do your own research, don't take my word for it. I am comfortable with the land ownership, but the signs are clear and numerous, so you better be comfortable with it too, because it wouldn't surprise me at all if you had to argue this one with authorities.

    This neighborhood is great, and there are lots of people out and about. I passed dozens of people out walking, running, and biking. But I'm sure they don't want tons of cars parked everywhere and people hiking all over their back yards, so a little tact and politeness probably goes a long way.

    But it was another awesome day on the Mummy!
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I saw Todd's Mummy Load triplog and knew this was a hike I had to do! I've looked at Mummy Mountain for over ten years and always wondered how it was to hike. Today was the day.

    I started from the resort and quickly headed through the village and onto the hiking trail. I followed that for a short bit and easily found the route up to Mummy Mountain summit. The going was slow and the terrain is covered in loose rock. I made slow and steady progress. After some work I reached the summit and then decided to hike the north arm first. My going was slow in patches. Your constantly going up and down hill. You cannot rush on this hike. After considerable work I reached the north end and took a break. I was really tired at this point. I ate some food and this gave me a good boost of energy.

    My return to the main summit was fairly quick. Again there's lots of elevation change. This hike is tough! I then turned on the east arm and made my way. The east arm is much easier and I made faster progress. There are several tricky sections but there is a way. All the route finding and down climbing was a lot fun! After a bit I reached the end of the east arm. You come fairly close to private property but I went out of my way to stay clear.

    From there I returned to the main summit. As I neared the summit I discovered I was out of water. Luckily I only had a half mile to go and was back at the jeep in no time.

    This is one hell of a hike! It's just about all off trail and your constantly working your butt off to progress. Avoid this hike if you don't like off trail hiking and lots of scrambling. Also, hike this in the winter before snake season. There are lots of overhangs and lots of tall grass that will be a snake haven in the summer.
    Mummy Lode
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Can't figure out why I'd never done this! So many times I've looked over to Mummy from the summit of Camelback and wondered what it would be like.

    With a busy work week, I was in the office all day Saturday, and again on Sunday. After a couple of hours I realized it just wasn't happening anymore and I needed a mental break. Not wanting to spend too much time away, and having already missed the various planned trips to the Supes, I decided to skip the monotony and crowds of Squaw, Cholla, and Somo. I did a little research, and decided to see if I could access this rarely visited little gem right in the middle of it all.

    After looking up all the property owners on the Maricopa County tax assessor's website and speaking to each of them individually to gain permission, I headed for the Camelback Inn. I shared a few laughs with the sweet girl at the concierge desk in the lobby before getting a parking permit and heading up to the trailhead.*

    I was surprised that Camelback Inn had an established hiking trail at all, but it certainly made it less suspicious looking for me to be heading out in hiking gear with a backpack.

    The day didn't really turn fun until I descended peak 2233 where the scrambling was more fun. And I realized how far away the northern end of the ridge was. Climbing up 1936 was a blast. From 1807, the view back was a bit daunting. I didn't realize how far I had gone, nor how much lower the end of the ridge was. Nonetheless, back I went toward the summit.

    I was beginning to tire, especially after the steep ascent up the north slope of 2233, and contemplating skipping the east ridge. Back at the summit however, I decided to go for it, knowing that it would add almost 3 miles to my journey.

    Boy am I glad I did! This ridgeline was super fun! There are three sketchy sections that were really fun to navigate. The whole ridge is very narrow and new things were found around every corner. Occasionally some of the homes were a little close. There was one with a very nice bathroom with a huge window looking up the mountain from a jacuzzi tub. Luckily (unluckily?) for me, there bubbles in the bath this afternoon!

    Not knowing where the ridge should properly end, I accidentally went farther than I had intended, and suddenly found myself standing next to a large saguaro ... on the roof of a home! Yup, the ridgeline runs right over a house built into the side of the mountain. I quickly retreated, not wishing to violate anybody's personal privacy.

    The hike back up to the summit was equally fun, though I was getting really tired. I tried different routes up the three fun spots but otherwise just admired the views and solitude right in the middle of town!

    The descent down Mummy to the trailhead was a pain in the butt. The scree makes for very slow going, and I fell once and now have a very sore and bruised palm. At least I didn't land on a cactus! The mountain is not particularly overgrown, and has only scattered flora, but my bare legs got torn up pretty good, primarily from plowing through small palo verde. There's not much catclaw or cholla.

    When I got back I guessed my AEG to be over 3000, but the GPS track came out at just over 4! After syncing it on the HAZ route manager topo, it said 4200! Wow. That's why I felt the way I did! There were a LOT of ups and downs, and I guess they really add up over 7 miles!

    I'll definitely be doing this again. Fun fun fun!! :y:

    *Parts of this paragraph may or may not have occurred exactly as I remembered it.

    Permit $$
    information is in description

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take the main entrance to the Camelback Inn on Lincoln Drive (5200 East) in Paradise Valley. Turn left at the main entrance/hotel registration circle following signs for the spa.

    Turn right at the first stop sign and proceed uphill for 1/4 mile or so to the next stop sign. Turn left here (there's a pool on your left). Continue up to the end of the road at the fake western village of Mummy Mountain, and park in the adjacent lot. **NOTE** Camelback Inn is a private resort. Parking in their lot without permission is not recommended. Do so at your own risk.
    page created by chumley on Feb 12 2013 11:10 am
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