register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Big Horn Peak, AZ

no permit
275 31 1
Guide 31 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Buckeye NW
4.2 of 5 by 14
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.16 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,399 feet
Elevation Gain 2,083 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,083 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.58
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
Collective Slideshow
15  2017-11-22 Jim_H
9  2016-12-29 Barrett
5  2016-12-15 JuanJaimeiii
4  2016-12-15 joebartels
15  2016-10-22 Jim_H
9  2016-10-22 gummo
29  2016-01-12 Jim_H
14  2015-03-30 gummo
Page 1,  2,  3
Associated Areas
list map done
Phoenix - Hassayampa BLM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  7:36am - 5:51pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Big Horn Mtns Ridgeline
Big Horn Mtns Ridgeline
7.2 mi away
10.0 mi
2,085 ft
Sugarloaf Mountain - Maricopa
10.1 mi away
Eagletail Peak
Eagletail Peak
10.5 mi away
10.9 mi
2,503 ft
Magnificent Natural Arch Loop
Magnificent Natural Arch Loop
10.5 mi away
15.3 mi
1,574 ft
Harquahala 4x4 Route
Harquahala 4x4 Route
11.4 mi away
10.2 mi
3,850 ft
Sunset Pass - Harquahala
Sunset Pass - Harquahala
12.3 mi away
12.5 mi
2,500 ft
Eagletail Mountains Wander
Eagletail Mountains Wander
12.8 mi away
10.0 mi
1,000 ft
Ben Avery Trail - Indian Spring Petroglyphs
Ben Avery Trail - Indian Spring Petroglyphs
12.8 mi away
6.7 mi
490 ft
Saddle Mountain - Tonopah
Saddle Mountain - Tonopah
12.9 mi away
2.9 mi
1,700 ft
South Saddle Mountain - Tonopah
13.0 mi away
3.3 mi
1,624 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Hooked on the wilderness
by chumley

Likely In-Season!
Big Horn Peak is the namesake peak in the Big Horn Mountains Wilderness 65 miles west of Phoenix. Gaining the summit requires a couple of hours of steep, off-trail climbing across dry, rocky, desert terrain.

This is an off-trail hike and should only be attempted by those comfortable with climbing desert peaks. This mountain range is very hot in summer and should only be attempted during cooler seasons. Typical desert obstacles exist ... thick cholla, loose scree, snakes, and some exposure. There is no shade and no water available anywhere on this route.

This route begins at the pedestrian-accessible bridge crossing the CAP canal (Granite Reef Aqueduct). Cross the bridge and follow the road to the right and then down off the raised canal bank. Proceed north along a fence line about 0.4 miles to the end of the fence. Turn east toward the mountain and loosely follow the fence line across the desert. Set your sights on the chimney at an old mining site and aim for it. This will be a landmark on your return as well. The chimney and mine site are at about 1 mile from the pedestrian bridge crossing of the CAP canal.

From the old mine site, proceed across the desert toward the southern ridge that climbs the peak. You want to stay to the right of the main drainage descending off the mountain. You will cross two large washes that drain the mountain before beginning the ascent (about 2.5 miles from the TH). Skip the smallest south peak and head up wherever you find the best route. There are some thick sections of brush, some steep sections to scramble, and some loose sections of footing. None of it is terribly difficult for a hiker accustomed to desert terrain.

Once at the top of the first climb, the route follows the ridge and there are occasional cairns marking the way. As you move north toward the peak, you will have to begin a more serious ascent. Staying too far right will leave you at the base of a cliff that you don't want to climb. Traversing too far left will put you in one of two drainages that are more difficult to negotiate. The best route is just to the left of the cliff band, but right of the main drainage the cliff ends at. There is a nice saguaro at the "corner" that is good to aim for.

Once at the "corner" marked by the saguaro, the best route turns sharply to the right and climbs up and puts you on top of the cliff after a steep, loose scramble. From here, the route turns back to the left and climbs straight up the fall line to a ridge on the right side below the peak.

From here, traverse on the ridge line over to the peak and make the final climb to the summit. The top is a class-3 scramble, but has minimal exposure due to the ridge/saddle that you come up from.

The top of Big Horn Peak provides 360-degree views over this remote area west of Phoenix.

Return by the same route back to your vehicle.

    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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, travel west on I-10 to Exit 81/Salome Road (62 miles from the I-17/I-10 "stack" interchange). Turn right onto Salome Road. After 0.5 miles, turn right onto the dirt road that parallels the irrigation canal on the east side. Follow this graded dirt road for about 3.5 miles until it reaches the CAP canal. Park next to the pedestrian bridge and begin your hike there.
    help comment issue

    end of page marker