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Gavilan Peak, AZ

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Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.82 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,955 feet
Elevation Gain 750 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.57
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2019-04-21
Gavilan & Daisy
8  2019-04-21
Gavilan & Daisy
6  2018-06-23 HighFinance
6  2016-06-05 sbkelley
7  2016-04-26 MountainMatt
19  2013-12-30 chumley
8  2011-05-07 martinz
12  2009-07-22 desert_boonie
Page 1,  2
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:16am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
See it like a hawk
by chumley

This peak and its surrounding area are located entirely on private property. Numerous parcels of land are owned by a variety of entities. While hiking use is evident, and there are few posted "no tresspassing" signs and no fences or gates, there are some places where individual landowners have made an effort to restrict access. You should always seek permission prior to crossing private property, and should obey all posted signs. Current land ownership and contact information can be found by contacting the Maricopa County Assessors Office (as of this writing, available at

This prominent peak is visible from I-17 when passing through New River. Gaining this peak requires very steep off-trail scrambling featuring loose scree, ample cholla cactus and some short class-3 climbs (with class-4 possible depending on route taken).

According to Will C. Barnes, Arizona Place Names, Gavilan Peak was named in the 1880s after a skirmish between the US Cavalry and Tonto Apaches who had a stronghold on the peak. A homestead was established at the base of the mountain by Charles Mullen, Sr. and the Indians became aggressive in hopes of defending their claim on the water in nearby New River. The Cavalry ended up defeating the Indians after cornering them in a canyon on the peak. It's name was established at about this time and means "hawk" in Apache, or "sparrow hawk" in Spanish.

Access to the peak can be attained from virtually any direction, though some are more arduous than others. The most popular route climbs the west ridge, though climbing the southeast slope is also possible. The best routes involve climbing because the solid rock offers firmer footing than the loose rock and scree in the drainages, and there are fewer cholla on the rock faces. Most areas of climbing feature easy, non-technical routes, but there are areas of exposure that could result in serious injury or worse in the event of a fall. Only hikers comfortable with off-trail scrambling on exposed peaks should attempt this.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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.

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

2013-12-30 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
    Gavilan Peak
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    While discussing sedentary significant others over the healthful Trois Bieres et Frites at the Winchester on Sunday night, Claire and I decided we should lead by example and actually do something about it.

    Unfortunately, I've been fighting some holitaint illness from my recent travels, and didn't know if I'd have the energy to hike. Luckily, when I woke up in the morning, I felt good enough, and headed out with a pack full of sore throat lozenges, spray, decongestant, dayquil, and a few other pick-me-ups... just in case.

    I know these hikes are on a couple of people's wish lists so I sent a text or two, but didn't bother with 1-800, since he was already suffering from a New Year's Day hangover. Or something.

    Word to anybody attempting this route from the west. There are numerous Private Property signs. Looks like this particular access point is well regulated by the property owner here.

    So once we figured out where to start from, we headed up the ridgeline. It was steep and fun. Temps were perfect. Fun climbing near the top. We ended up heading down the southeast ridge, which led steadily toward the south. It was slower going down. Once the grade moderated we swung around back toward the truck, trying to stay a reasonable distance from the homes that surround the mountain. No gunshots were fired.

    After a visit with Daisy next door, we headed for a delicious celebration at the Crown & Anchor. A good day all around!
    Gavilan Peak
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    Met up with my friend in Anthem and did the west ridge of Gavilan. You can do this and find some 3rd, 4th, and even some short 5th class if you try. The rock on the west ridge is better than the southwest ridge that comes up and joins the west ridge about 2/3 of the way up. It is much more stable and the holds are good. Lots of fun, and a real nice day. His dog, Havoc, got into an area of dead Jumping Cholla and got them all over his paws, butt, and belly. We had to spend about 30 minutes pulling them out. Amazingly, right after he wanted to play fetch.
    Gavilan Peak
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    Did this hike with my little brother this morning. It's a fun and local hike. I attempted to do this a few weeks ago and failed because I tried to approach the peak from another location. This time I went through New River to the foot of the peak off of 27th. We spent about 30 minutes on top soaking in the view and my brother wanted to carve his name on a rock with the hundreds of other names. It was interesting to see names dated from long ago. The oldest I found was 1935 and 1948. The 30 minutes we spent on top of the peak is not included on the time to complete the hike.
    Gavilan Peak
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    I attempted to get to the base of Gavilan Peak from the main trialhead for the Daisy Mountain hike this morning. The trailhead is off the corner of Navigation Way and North Livingstone Way. There is a dirt road that appears to go to Gavilan Peak. The dirt road dead ends at the top of the hill after a 1.36 hike. I did consider bushwacking my own route but there were several residential homes in my pathway and did not want to trespass or get attacked by dogs or worse the homeowners. Next time I'll take the route which is through New River where you can park at the base of the peak.
    Gavilan Peak
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    Well after driving by this peak several times the last few years I just had to get this one off the list. Finally the day came where that would happen and it was today, a pre birthday hike as I call it as I grow older tomorrow. Talked with Pete on Monday and we set the hike up for today around 6pm. We were hoping no storms would blow through and the sun would not be too bad, well we got both. A storm was coming from the west which blocked the sun and never amounted to anything near by so it actually made it the best time to do the hike. We set out from the West side of the peak between lots 3 & 4 off of 35th Ave. We went up a short way and then traversed to the south side to go up a route between the peaks we spotted from the I-17. Shortly into the traverse on the south side Pete yelled out in pain. I looked up thinking the worse (Snake Bite) and got to him to see he got a nice chunk of cactus in his hamstring area. After a few minutes of him not moving I made the decision to pull these darn things out. Of course the one time I do not bring my multi-tool. I got 2 rocks to protect my hands and pressed down on the darn things which put up a good fight to not come out. After some good crying and 15 minutes later Pete was ready to roll. We found our spot to head up and made it up in a fast pace. Good loose gravel on the way up to the small ridge on the west side of the mountain and then the final push to the peak was an actual climb where we were surprised the peak was solid. We got to the summit in under an hour where swarms of ants filled the ground, couldn't stay still for too long or else your feet would start to be covered. We enjoyed the views from the top and headed down the North side of the mountain to complete a nice loop as you could call it. Made it down in a great quick pace and back to the Jeep where we felt kind of not satisfied as we thought we should have done more. Oh well, we got a good long hike coming soon. Glad to have finally knocked this short but sweet peak of the list. Good times as always Pete.
    Gavilan Peak
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    Went up the south west ridge. It was a fun scramble with a number of sections that were beyond my comfort zone. I probably would have felt better with a rope, and if the rock hadn't been so rotted. Most of this peak is just falling apart. The jagged rock is pretty good to climb on.
    Gavilan Peak
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    After passing this impressive peak for the past 30 years I finally decided to take the time and summit it. After driving around it, I found the closest approach on the North East side. Basically you take New River Rd. to 27th Ave. and head south for .7 miles. There is a turn off that you can park at.

    For anyone who wants scree climbing practice, this is it. It is very steep and you do the traditional two steps up and one step slide back. It is a bit unnerving, but nothing too scary. If you want, you can go up via the light brush and bushwack to the right of the scree chute, but the scree chute is much more fun. Total time to get up to the summit was 1 hour.

    Permit $$
    information is in description

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Starting point depends on route selected and your permitted access to private property. Exit i-17 on New River Road (exit 232), about 7.5 miles north of AZ-74/Carefree Highway. Head east 200 yards to the frontage road and travel south 1 mile to Jenny Lin Road. Follow Jenny Lin east, then north to access the west side of the mountain, or continue east until it turns into 27th Avenue to access the east side of the mountain. All roads are dirt.
    page created by driftwood on Dec 30 2013 9:27 pm
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