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Sunset Pass - Harquahala, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  1 of 5 
no permit
16 1 0
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 12.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,965 feet
Elevation Gain 1,900 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,500 feet
Avg Time One Way 10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.83
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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12  2013-03-07 kingsnake
4  2013-03-07 gummo
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 95
Routes 223
Photos 9,023
Trips 712 map ( 6,511 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 7 AM
Sun  5:45am - 7:33pm
0 Alternative

Hey Rocky, watch me pull some rocks out of my hat!
by kingsnake

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Sunset Pass is the 3884-foot pass between, to the west, Harquahala Mountain (5681 feet) and the Hill 5026 ridgeline, to the east. One would think that something labelled "pass" would have some sort of wagon-friendly, or at least horse-friendly, route for the hardy pioneer types to travel through in days gone past. If so, one would be wildly optimistic. Yes, there are 3+ mile jeep trails at either end, but the middle six miles are a whole different ball of burro poo.

South Half
Brown's Canyon Saddle, travels a similar route, five miles east, also with the middle third being wash / off-trail. However, the washes in Brown's are much more scenic, whereas here in Sunset they are just plain hard work. You are faced with a choice of beating across cactus and prickler-choked wash-crossed hillsides, or laboriously step-watching up rock-strewn Sunset Canyon itself. Long sleeves and pants, preferably of heavier material, recommended. Also, stiff shoes to negate effects of ankle-rolling. Otherwise, you will bleed. Guaranteed. Also, a week ago in Brown's there was lots of pools; this week in Sunset there was no water of any sort. As Sunset is much harder work than Brown's, bring extra water, even in cooler months. Then, having beaten your way up Sunset Canyon, you are faced with the south wall of Sunset Pass: 700 feet in .6 miles. Not high, but steep, and after exhausting yourself on the way there.

North Half
TBD. The wash-walking is shorter and not as steep: If approached from the north, about 1000 AEG in 1.6 miles. This might be a better approach, but Gummo and I did not make it this far, so cannot say for sure.

Check out the Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2013-03-09 kingsnake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    North on I-17. West on Carefree Hwy. North on Hwy 60 to Wickenburg, continuing west on Hwy 60 to Aguila. South on Eagle Eye Rd, 15.5 miles, just past second Tiger Wash crossing, to FR 9303.
    page created by kingsnake on Mar 09 2013 7:53 pm
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