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Blackjack Mtns Ridgeline Loop, AZ

no permit
79 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Globe NE
3.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,186 feet
Elevation Gain 665 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,963 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.12
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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25  2013-04-16 outdoor_lover
12  2013-04-16 Oregon_Hiker
42  2013-04-16 Grasshopper
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   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:21pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
.. Peak 4 = The Highlight for Views ..
by Grasshopper

Overview: North of Globe, AZ, within the Tonto National Forest bordering the Salt River Canyon Wilderness and the Salt River, this recommended lollypop loop provides great high views with the opportunity to summit The Blackjack Mountains highest peak at 4851 feet and to summit via its connecting ridge-line, three (3) additional secondary peak summits at 4646 ft, 4797 ft, and the most scenic for distant views Blackjack Mountains peak #4 at 4831 feet.

Warning: Due to this typical high desert vegetation and high desert terrain altitude area "lack of shade" with only seasonal creeks/drainage's water flow, discretion should be considered for chosen month of visitation - "early winter to early spring recommended". Also, this 7.3 mile loop hike includes 3.1 miles of hiking in and out via a serious degraded old 4WD ranching route (unsigned FR986) and 4.2 miles of typical desert terrain "off-trail".

Hike: This hike begins at the base of Black Mountain 4515 and proceeds for 1.0 mile to an old ranching corral area then continues down this degraded, unsigned 4WD route FR986 for a total of 1.2 miles before exiting this 4WD road west (a left turn) into a small wash drainage at waypoint coordinates 33.667201, -110.694877 . Following the posted and recommend downloaded "official" GPS Route, will summit the Blackjack Mountains highpoint peak at 4851 feet (with a summit register) at 2.2 miles in with first distant high views SW, West, NW, and North to Yankee Joe Canyon, Salt River Canyon Wilderness, Salt River, the scenic White Ledges, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, with distant views to the Sierra Ancha Wilderness (the Cherry Creek FR203 side).

Continuing along the main Blackjack Mountains Ridgeline and following the "official" GPS Route will arrive at scenic views Secondary Peak Summit #2 (4646 ft) at 3.1 miles in.. a nice location for a planned lunch break.

Continuing along this ridgeline route will arrive at minimal views Secondary Peak Summit #3 (4797 ft) at 3.5 miles into this loop hike.

Further along this ridgeline route passing over Peak 3/Peak 4 Saddle Area and continuing to Peak #4 via following the west to north ridge will provide the real highlight views of this loop hike at Secondary Peak Summit #4 (4831 ft). Much closer and more majestic near and distant views of all the previous mentioned named areas a-top Blackjack Mountains highpoint peak 4851 feet are now viewable along this west to north end ridge of final Peak #4.

Reversing the route over the highpoint for Secondary Peak Summit #4 to the Peak 3/Peak 4 Saddle Area at waypoint coordinates 33.681737, -110.700764 will be your loop route exit location SE for ~.83 miles to later intersect back with unsigned 4WD route FR986 at waypoint location 33.676008, -110.690752 . Please Note: This off-trail, mostly downhill, loose-rocky, with sometimes significant desert cactus vegetation route is the most difficult off-trail section of this entire 7.3 lollypop loop hike.

Water Sources: Seasonal Creek/Wash Drainages only

Camping: Possible - Not Popular

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2013-04-17 Grasshopper
    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
    Blackjack Mtns Ridgeline Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Beginning in November, 2012, to date.. after numerous successful day trips and a one week vehicle camping trip to hike in and around this interesting and scenic Salt River Canyon Wilderness area, it was time to checkout the "Blackjack Mountains" with its four(4) main peak viewing summits:

    My thanks to our Oregon Hiker- Larry for again driving and for putting together our preliminary GPS Planning Route and to our Outdoor Lover- Pam for joining us and for confirming that my requested planning route was probably not really needed for the hike in but I do believe would be a wise download to follow for the hike back out to complete this recommended lolly-pop loop ;) .

    I really enjoyed our day out together with all the numerous desert spring flowers and cactus in substantial bloom with the opportunity to summit four peaks along this Blackjack Mtns Ridgeline with their scenic near and distant views :D .

    Ref: My Picset Camera Settings-
    With my very limited understanding of camera settings, sometimes I experiment a little :o . Today (a sunny-blue sky day) with my older Canon G10 I decided to set my White Balance on the "cloudy" setting vs the "daylight" setting (which would normally be my setting for a day like today)..I did this just to see what would happen to my pics..; Also, I usually use the "P" mode which automatically sets the focal lengths and the shutter speeds and I normally select ISO speed at "AUTO"; Today, I decided to set ISO at 200 speed exclusively and to set focal length at f6.3 exclusively, thus only shutter speed was controlled automatically; I always use an exposure setting of -1/3 on my Canon G10 and also the same on my Canon S95;

    So, what happened differently with all my pics that I noticed-
    The White Balance change to the "cloudy" setting definitely gave most all my pics a yellow/tan tent-like color (a cooler color?) that I'm not sure I really like or not? All comments on my posted pics "pro & con" are welcomed.. Really! :) I can't decipher what if anything is significantly different (pro or con) with my pics regarding my change to ISO 200 and to f6.3 exclusively.. Any comments? :-k
    Blackjack Mtns Ridgeline Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Couldn't pass up a great invitation from two good friends to return to the Salt River Canyon Wilderness area. They wanted to take in some views...Sounded good to me... :D

    Picked up a Grasshopper and met up with a NW Transplantee and away we went...Larry insisted on driving... :o :sl:

    Nice Drive, good Conversation (I slept through all of the GPS stuff) and then we were Hiking!!! It was a beautiful day, but eventually the wind picked up and I had to put on a hat... :(

    Hiked up to the High Point in the Blackjack Mountains, soaked in some great views, signed the Register up there, got a group shot and we were on our way along the Ridgeline to the next point for more oohs and ahhhs...The Cacti was blooming their bristles off and there were lots of what looked like white Poppy looking flowers...Some of the Banana Yucca was going nuts too... :)

    Got to the next high point along the ridgeline, and after taking in the views again from a slightly different angle, we all found a comfortable rock and had lunch. After lunch, we continued along the ridgeline to the next high point. After a quick soak of the views from there, we quickly followed the edge up to the last high point, enjoying the views all along the way, including glimpses of the Salt River and Hess Canyon... :D Couldn't spot the Owl though... :sweat:

    The boys had planned on doing an out and back... :o I made the suggestion to them to do a Loop instead of doing the Roller Coaster ride again...They agreed rather quickly... :sweat: : app :

    Ran into some really cool Flora on this Hike, including a mini forest of Ocotillos. On the way down, we ran into a forest of a different kind...Prickly Pear...Wow! Route Finding became a little more of a challenge... :sweat: It was so thick in spots that there was no way to even attempt to tip toe through it...And then to add insult to injury, there were areas where it thinned out only to be "filled in" with Agave!... : rambo : We literally ran into a solid Prickly Pear/Agave Wall at one point...No picking your poison here, we managed to find a way around it... :sweat:

    Made it down, found the Road and hoofed it back to the vehicle...Hank treated to dinner at El Reys in Globe and then the day was done...

    Didn't encounter much Fauna on this Hike, with the exception of the White Tailed Deer that Hank flushed...(ya, I missed it Randal)...Lots of Lizards and lots of skittish Butterflies on the High Points of the Ridgeline.

    It was a great day with awesome friends. Thanks for the invite guys. Larry, thanks for driving and Hank, thanks for dinner!!! Looking forward to our next adventure.... :)

    Mostly Cacti Blooms, but also lots of White Poppy Looking Flowers.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: Hwy 60 east through Globe, AZ, then at the intersection of Hwy 60/Hwy70 on the east side of Globe, take Hwy 60 north for 16.3 miles; Turn left (NW) onto FR303-Haystack Butte Road and continue on FR303 for 4.6 miles; Turn left (west) onto upper FR645 and continue for a "total" of 6.3 miles to an unsigned and gated FR right turn (north); Continue north on this unsigned and high-clearance only FR986 for an additional .20 miles to the recommended "Park/TH Start" for this hike which is at the base of Black Mountain 4515. For viewing and download also see posted GPS Route- "Dive to Blackjack Mtns Ridgeline Loop";
    page created by Grasshopper on Apr 17 2013 7:38 pm
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