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Little Mount Ord, AZ

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Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson S
2.8 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,620 feet
Elevation Gain 494 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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10  2015-04-18
ORDer up
19  2012-12-07 outdoor_lover
3  2011-09-18
Mount Ord from Slate Creek TH
12  2010-11-07 dandrayan
13  2010-10-22 sventre
14  2008-10-04 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
like Gilligan to the Skipper
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Little Mount Ord, like its loftier neighbor Mount Ord, keeps watch over the Beeline Highway in the center of the Mazatzal Mountains. On this hike you will find wonderful views and an easy peak bag. The hike makes use of a deteriorated Forest Service road, #1688, and a short off trail stretch to bring you to the 6114 foot summit of Little Mount Ord. Although the 1688 road can be driven by a four wheel drive vehicle, doing so will likely remove a large amount of paint from your vehicle.

Hike: The hike begins at a small saddle along Forest Road #626, where Forest Road #1688 (signed) joins from the south. Begin hiking south along Forest Road #1688, which immediately passes an old cattle loading chute, and enters pine forest. At 0.1 miles is Colcord Spring, which consists of a concrete water trough above the road on the left. Just beyond the spring, the road crosses a moist drainage of sycamores and grapevines, then makes a hard right to wrap around a broad, brushy ridge, where Mount Ord and Little Mount Ord come into view. After steadily climbing through thick oak brush, the road reaches a saddle and campsite at 0.6 miles.

The hike now turns south to contour along the steep western slope of Mount Ord, and alternates between ponderosa filled gullies and open brush covered mountainside at the head of Kitty Joe Canyon. Extensive control burning in recent years has created an open forest with excellent views to the west.

At 1.6 miles, Forest Road #1688, which is more of an atv trail at this point, turns west onto the ridge connecting Mount Ord to Little Mount Ord, and arrives at a large saddle and turnaround at 1.8 miles. The rounded summit of Little Mount Ord rises on the north side of the saddle.

At the turnaround, leave the road behind and head northwest towards the summit, staying high on the brushy ridgeline. At 2.0 miles, the hike reaches Little Mount Ord's brush and juniper covered summit, where one can enjoy outstanding views of the Mazatzal Mountains, Sunflower, and the distant Phoenix valley.

Return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-10-18 PrestonSands
    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
    Little Mount Ord
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    Storm Chasing Weekend (or how the storms chased us):

    Our camping and hiking destination was Mount Ord, as weather forecasts looked better than other areas, with less storm activity. One downpour has cleared the summit of Ord as we arrive at Colcord Spring where I thought we'd camp. No flat spots for a tent to be found among the trees. I begin hiking up the Little Mount Ord road and get chased back to my truck by another storm cell's arrival. We continue driving up Mount Ord, thinking the storms will move on by the time we reach the summit. We are near the end of the road and electrical fury breaks out above, with heavy rain below. Scratch Mount Ord, it looks better up toward Peeley!

    We start driving up FR 201 like I've done dozens of times over the last 20 years, but my truck starts to slide off of the hill from slick mud near Pine Mountain. I very carefully back down 201a ways, turn my truck around on a rocky curve, and head for Payson instead. We end up camping in the pines south of Verde Glen off of the Control Road for the night.

    Sunday morning, we pull up at the Washington Park Trailhead, see the AZT-mobile, and chat with AZT section stewards. Unfortunately, we miss Shawn. Shauna and I hike up the newly re-routed Colonel Devin/AZT route through beautiful and very humid forest, passing old Elmer Pieper's vinca covered fish hatchery site along the way. This new section is shady, well constructed, and beautiful, as it follows the upper East Verde River. The new route rejoins the old power line road route and we continue up.

    Thunderstorms are starting to peek over the Rim, and we turn onto the Railroad Tunnel Trail. A nice new sign directs hikers to the tunnel spur. Rain begins to fall as we enter the historic tunnel of the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad, and we keep our visit brief. The rain soon stopped but the clouds grew more menacing. Two uncomfortably close lighting strikes on the slope above us in the last half mile make us both happy to reach the safety of my truck.

    With a thunderstorm making it unsafe to hike to the "spaceman petroglyphs", we opt to visit Shoofly Ruin instead before voyaging into Payson.

    The heaviest rain I've ever seen and more close lightning strikes make the drive out of Payson a bit intense. Globe ramps it up even more. Evil looking clouds greets us at Wheatfields along with torrential rain and spectacular lightning all around. A triple bolt hits both sides of the highway simultaneously as we roll toward downtown Globe. I stop to examine the Pinal Creek channel, which had flooded recently, while a deafening lightning bolt hits the radio tower across the street. We leave town and head for Winkelman at this point, stopping a few miles later to watch the summit of the Pinals boil in surly, steadily rumbling clouds.

    The thunderstorms we encountered this weekend were pretty intense, but very exciting. No Mazatzal camping this time, but a great trip nonetheless.
    Little Mount Ord
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    ORDer up
    Temps were in the 60's most of the day. When it got warmer, the winds picked up, keeping me cool.

    Up to Mt Ord from Slate Creek. Met three Birders up top. Gordon asked me to say Hi to Pam.

    Next, off trail on on a ridgeline I've noticed on my other trips up here. Evidently it caught Preston's attention also, as he'd written a hike description for it, Oak Spring Ridge. You get some different views of the area out there.

    The third destination for the day was Little Mount Ord. First time up this one. From FR 1688 to the top of this peak is only 150 feet of gain. No Peak register on this one, that I could find.

    Time to backtrack and make my way for the truck.

    The views on this hike are always pretty awesome.
    At 7100 feet plus, it's a good hike to escape the valley heat.
    Little Mount Ord
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    Last Hike of my Camping Trip. Thursday afternoon I dropped the Supermen at Nick's vehicle at the 201/25A Junction and then I went across the Highway and up to where I left my Camping Gear earlier that day. There's a nice little Camp Spot right across from where you start this Hike. The Sun was getting ready to set and there were some nice Clouds so I ventured up Mount Ord Road a little farther and set up a Tripod to test out the new Camera a bit more. It was a pretty Sunset.... :)

    Noticed some kind of Roofed Structure down below me, North of the Road, not sure what it is or what it's for. I don't recall any kind of Spur Road going off to it. There is some Ranching going on in the area, so maybe that's got something to do with it. My first pic is a pic of it, zoomed way in....

    Had a nice Campfire that night, got up the next morning, packed up and started up the Road to Mount Ord Junior...You follow an old Forest Road for 90% of this Hike, so I just continued walking up the Road until I hit the Saddle. There were some really nice Camp Sites along the way. I imagine Hunters take their ATV's in there and camp.

    From the Saddle, it was time to bushwack up the Hill to the Peak...This is when I realized I had made a pretty dumb mistake....I was in shorts.... :o :sweat: The Hill going up was covered in Manzanita and Scrub Oak... :sl: Luckily, enough curious Cows and Deer have wandered up there, leaving various 6" wide paths so I only got "light" AZ Pinstriping. Thanks to the local Fauna, I only donated a little bit of blood to the cause... :sweat:

    Made the top, took in the Hazy views through the mass of Manzanita, Scrub Oak and various other Flora. You get some nice views, but it's not a "sweeping" 360 degrees and it was a little difficult to move around the top due to the Brush. It was still worth the effort, probably more so on a clear day... :) "Picked" my way back down and hit the Road back to the Escape. Nice Hike, moderate climb, and all in all, another nice day to be out and about... :)
    Little Mount Ord
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    I parked at the MT.Ord exit and hiked up and over to the Slate Creek Th. A trail runner passed me on the way down to the TH.
    I went to peak and had lunch then headed down. On the way down I saw a smoke plume from the North :o . Two Tonto fire ranger trucks passed me going up. I then hiked over to Little Mt. Ord, but ran short due to time.
    The Tonto ranger trucks passed me (near the Beeline) again and I talked to them. They said the fire was at Pleasant Valley and it started at 4PM. It's already 100 acres. They also said that this has some interesting things going on with it.
    Little Mount Ord
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    how many times have i gone by the slate creek trailhead on the way to payson and beyond?
    have always thought mt. ord would be an excellent workout hike
    john invited me along today and then suggested that we throw in little mt. ord
    we both like to get a lot of mileage out of a drive, so it was on
    john made the good call to hit the little one first, after we reached the road at the five mile point
    this piece was a nice bonus to the day
    hiked on a 4wd road then bushwhacked to the peak
    that accomplished, we went back to the five mile point and headed up to the towers
    good road, some shade, nice going through pines and oaks
    at the top, we were invited to come up to the fire lookout, and chatted with rob for about 20 minutes
    the views from there were incredible!
    you could see all the major peaks of the mazatzals, three of four peaks, the bradshaws, roosevelt and bartlett lake, and an interesting perspective of punkin center
    this hike exceeded my expectations as i thought it might just be a good way to get some mileage and elevation
    felt pretty good, and the weather was cool enough
    pretty sure this was my longest hike ever, edging out a rim to rim several years ago
    thanks for the hike, john
    Little Mount Ord
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    With the threat of thunderstorms in the high country, we decided to do Mt. Ord.

    The three us started hiking at the Mt. Ord exit. We hiked over to the Slate Creek TH and took a break. Along the way we saw a hidden cabin lying about 5,000 feet.
    We then went to the peak and had lunch. We came down and I quickly went over to Little Mt. Ord and returned to the truck.

    The temps were chilly when we started out and it never got hot, just warm. We saw a bunch of trail runner coming down the road.
    Little Mount Ord
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    My friend Mike wanted to get ready for his upcoming rim to rim hike, so we choose to do Mt. Ord. I had to put my own twist on it as usual. We turned off at the Mt. Ord exit off of the bee-line and parked on the blacktop pullout. We hiked up on FR 626 to FR 27 and then hiked down to the Slate creek trailhead. It was pretty warm at the bottom. We had a small snack and then climbed up to the top. We made it to the top and the wind was blowing pretty strong. It was almost chilly in the wind. We had lunch behind the building to avoid the wind. On the way down we saw a three guys flying a kite and they had a huge fire going in the early afternoon. We returned back to FR 626 and saw a family having fun with target practice. I was happy that we weren't the targets! We reach the truck by 6:05. I would surprise my wife by being home before dark! This hike had its ups and downs. We started hiking at 4,500 feet and rose to 5,800 feet. Then we descended down to 3,200, only to climb back up to 7,100 feet. The temps ranged from very warm to almost chilly. The best thing about doing Ord this way is that the drive home is so much shorter that having to drive to 188 to turn around. It saves you a half hour in driving time.
    Little Mount Ord
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    I wanted to take my four year old son out hiking, so I decided on the Little MT Ord hike. Obviously we wouldn't go to the peak. The hike is on a forest road that's in OK condition and it has a little ups and downs. We parked at the beginning of FR1688. We walked to the turn off for the peak and my son wanted to keep going down the road. We went another 500 and the road steeply dropped and got slippery with skree. I decided this was the turn around point. I helped my son climb out of the skree. On the way back, I noticed an old sign post with no sign. it looked like an old forest service trail sign. It was about 5 feet from the road and there was an old trail there. It definitely was an old trail, I was able to see it go up towards the peak. I marked the GPS point at N33°54.595' W111°24.936' 6,020 feet. I'm not sure if there related or not, but there's a cairn about 50 feet down the road from this spot. I thanked my son for making me walk slow on this hike. If I was hiking my normal speed, I would have missed this potential new adventure. We got back to the car and my son wanted to go Jeeping, so I explored a little on some of the side roads. There was nothing that interesting, just some camping spots.
    Little Mount Ord
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    Little MT Ord is great hike if your short on time and when the temps are rising. I parked at the Mt Ord, exit off of the beeline and hiked on the road to FR 1688. FR 1688 looks like some maintenance was done on it. The brush and the trees were cut back. The road does need high clearance or 4x4. It has a couple of mud spots. I made it the Little Mt Ord peak and headed back to the main road. Then I then hiked to the FR 27 intersection and turned and went back to the car. when I started it was really windy and chilly. The weather didn't get warm until 11am. It was a great day for hiking.

    If I had more time I would have gone to the end of FR 1688 to see what's there (mine or cabin?). From looking at my maps it looks like when I do hit the end of FR 1688 and bushwhack up the mountain towards Eagle Peak I'll cross over Reno Pass road and can head towards some un-named Tonto forest trails. That will be another days adventure.
    Little Mount Ord
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    Having driven this nasty road several times in years past, I went to drive it again in June, but bottomed out and scratched up my truck in the first quarter mile. With the road going back to nature, I figured it might make a good hike.
    On the way to Prescott and with limited time, I thought I'd give this hike a try. Threatening skies and light rain greeted me at the start, and accompanied me all the way to the summit, when, surprise, the sun came out :) FR 1688 ended up being a great hike, and was much more enjoyable than driving it. This is one of the closest pine forest hikes to the East Valley.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, take state highway 87 north to the signed turnoff for Mt. Ord Road, about 0.5 miles north of mile post 222 (near Maricopa/Gila County line). Turn right, and follow Mt. Ord Road/Forest Road 626 for 2.9 miles to its junction with Forest Road 1688. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on Oct 18 2008 7:56 pm
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