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Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
2.9 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 4.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,923 feet
Elevation Gain 1,185 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,683 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.22
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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10  2019-04-20 DarthStiller
16  2019-04-12
Peak 3108 Ridgeline Plus
11  2019-02-17 Pickles
11  2018-10-21 jamminaz
7  2018-09-22 Tortoise_Hiker
16  2018-07-14 adilling
10  2017-12-18 Yoder
4  2017-09-13 gummo
Page 1,  2,  3
Author RickVincent
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 5
Photos 3,341
Trips 642 map ( 3,009 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → Any
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  6:10am - 6:32pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Brother of Pass
by RickVincent

A challenging off-trail ridge line adventure with good approach trails on both ends, completing the 4.8 mile loop

The ridge line portion of this hike is not oft traveled and covers rough rocky terrain. Travel with company or make sure someone knows where you will be hiking.

This is a true loop hike that starts and finishes at the Meridian TH. For this description, travel was counter-clockwise (Ridge line from south to north).

Start by taking the trail that heads north towards Bulldog Saddle. Within about 500 feet a trail splits off to the east. Follow this trail until its terminus at the south end of the mountain. The trail ending is obvious, and so are the heavily placed cairns which lead up towards the ridge line.

Once on the ridge line, the route requires boulder hopping, scrambling and a few downclimbs. Exposure is minimal. The terrain very much resembles that of the nearby Pass Mountain ridge line. After passing the highest point on the ridge, Peak 3108, there is just one more saddle and slight climb to the final peak at the north end of the ridge.

From here, look down to the west at Boulder Saddle. Follow a cairned route down the north end to the saddle. Pick up the Boulder Saddle trail and follow back to the trailhead.

There is a nice camp spot in an open meadow at a saddle below the south end of the ridgeline. A large fire ring already exists and the area is secluded with great views.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2013-12-27 RickVincent
    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
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This one turned out to be much more difficult than I originally planned. The down climb from the last peak, to the final saddle, was more challenging for me than down climb on Weaver's a few years back. I'll have to pay attention more to the route if I ever attempt this one again.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I did this hike as a combination of the Ridgeline 3108 Loop Hike and the Peak 3004 Loop Hike. We started from the Meridian Trailhead, went east for a around 1.5 miles on an easy-to-follow trail, and then began the ascent up to the Peak 3108 Ridgeline. On the easy-to-follow trail, we saw 6 deer, including a nice size buck who stood and stared at us for at least 10 minutes. As we began the ascent to the ridgeline, there were a number of cairns that guided the way for a while. Past that point, I used the gps track that I downloaded from HAZ. It was a lot of fun hiking the ridgeline, and it involved a good bit of rock climbing. The views are awesome on the ridgeline, particularly at the top of Peak 3108, Temptation Peak, and Peak 3125(Note that Tenny's book calls this one Peak 3113). We climbed up Temptation Peak on the south side, and it looked a bit iffy to descend down the north side, so we descended on the east side.

    When we descended down Peak 3125 down to Bulldog Saddle, instead of going south back to the trailhead, we picked up the Peak 3004 Loop hike by going north down to the valley below Peak 3004, looped around up to Pass Mountain Saddle, and then took the Pass Mountain trail to the south back to the trailhead.

    The Peak 3108 Ridgeline hike was cool and was a lot of fun. There was nothing special about the Peak 3004 Loop hike, but it did enable us to get in a couple of extra miles.

    I wonder why this is called the Peak 3108 Ridgeline? Peak 3108 is actually a bit off of the Ridgeline, and both Peak 3125 and Temptation Peak (3,195') are higher.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Met up with my friend Todd to knockout this ridge line loop. The approach towards the mountain is fairly flat and fast as you head due east. As we neared the mountain, we spooked a mule deer out of its hiding spot. I missed my usual turn up the mountain, but found another spot to climb up towards the ridge line. It was a little sketchier, but we made it, nonetheless. As we worked the ridge line, we came across a solo mule deer. Most likely the same one.

    This is a fun and challenging ridge line. If you like Pass Mountain ridge line, but prefer something that offers more scrambling and rock climbing, then you should get up on this ridge line that is East of Pass.

    After reaching the highest peak (Peak 3108) we continued towards the final peak which has a cairned route down to Bulldog Saddle. We hiked back to the Meridian TH from there.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    This is not a "trail" by even the most charitable definition. I came over from Usery on the Pass Mountain trail, cutting East through a deep wash at the point where Pass Mountain trail turned North. The trail heading East was a nice one, passing the Meridian trailhead and running up the side of a mountain from Ironwood Rd. Up on the hill a ways, the trail rounded a corner, and vanished.

    The first task was to bushwhack East to intercept the Ironwood Loop. This required traversing a steep and gnarly wash. Once on the Ironwood Loop (according to my GPS), I saw no sign of a trail other than some footprints and scattered horse poop. The first climb went straight up a very steep and loose ridge between two washes. The mapped trail appeared to go straight up and over the cliff at the top of the mountain, but I wasn't in the mood for that and instead went East, which required some careful footwork to traverse over a rather exposed drop. This alternate path delivered me to a saddle, and I found a relatively well-used trail that took me up to the top of the peak, where the largest and nicest hiker trash rock cairn I have ever encountered suggested in which direction the "trail" might be.

    From the cairn, there is a steep drop (according to the trail on the map) which must be negotiated in order to get below some cliffs to the Northwest. No trail, no markers, just bushwhacking down a ways and then going cross-slope. I traveled like this for about a mile, going in and out of deep drainages and basically following my instinct. According to the GPS I was following the "trail" pretty closely, but there was no evidence of this other than an occasional disturbed piece of ground, or a stick / pole somebody had propped up vertically to mark the trail.

    After a while of doing this I could see that because of the bushwhacking my progress was glacial. I had not brought enough water for the amount of time that it was going to take to complete the loop. I made the decision to bail on the Ironwood Loop and turned West at the first opportunity, about 1.5 miles past the big cairn. I scrambled up a very steep slope to the top of a ridgeline between two cliffs, hoping to arrive at a relatively gentle path down to the adjacent valley and a real trail. Somewhere along this scramble, I lost my GPS. Merry Christmas to anyone who finds it!

    Once I got to the top I could see a nice trail far below, and a steep, loose, cactusy scramble route down from the mountain. I made it down to the trail, which led eventually to the Meridian trailhead. Trying to find the cutoff back to the Pass Mountain trail down at the bottom was kind of confusing; I ended up hiking up a wash for a lot further than I expected before I found the steep trail out of the wash and on to Pass Mountain trail.

    The scenery was beautiful, and the country is remote and desolate. This area is rarely traveled and if you attempt it you are on your own. You need to be prepared, and confident with rough terrain navigation and travel. Once past the first peak, about two miles, it looks like the land smooths out a bit but it's a hard slog regardless. Take lots and lots of water, and a PLB if you have one.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Nice hike across the ridgeline. No trail to follow across the top so in hindsight we probably didn't take the best route at times but that is what makes it fun. This is a nice shorter, but challenging hike, and close in town, which fit todays criteria since I was on-call and needed to stay in cell reception range.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Tackled this Ridge line loop from south to north. My first trip through this route and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nice lead-in and lead-out trails, but once on top of the ridge line there are no trails, no cairns to mark the way. Although, the way to go is obvious...just stay high and follow the ridge line. Came across a herd of javelina before reaching the ridgeline. They seemed surprised, but weren't terribly concerned about my presence. The biggest one tried staring me down and snorting at me. I didn't scare that easily. Instead, I grabbed the cam and fired off a few pics. I saw no one along this route until I started my way down the trail at Boulder Saddle. I passed a couple who were on their way down from the saddle.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This hike turned out to be a blast. I followed the ridgeline North to Peak 3125.

    I love ridgelines. This had some scrambling, a little exposure, and some nice scenic views.

    Weather was perfect; partially cloudy.

    Lots of evidence of wildlife, but didn't see anything but a ground squirrel.

    I'd like to start from the end of Idaho road and take the ridgeline all the way to Forest Road 10, then take the road back.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Didn't do the full loop, but checked out the southern part. I set out to hike up to Peak 3125 again, but then changed my mind. I've been wanting to do this loop, but have been a little unsure since there isn't much information on it. I'd like to do it by staying on the ridgeline. So, I thought I would check out the southern part of the trail and see if I could make out whether it would be worth pursuing at a later time.

    From the Meridian trailhead, there is a pretty well trodden horse trail West. It dead ends just North of Ironwood drive. This was an ok trail, nothing exciting, but pretty pleasant. At the dead end of this, there are cairns heading North up the hill, the hill labeled 2538 on the topo. The top of the hill is as far as I got; the sun was setting. There were 6 fire rings on this hill, including 2 right next to each other :o .

    The ridgeline looks doable, and actually pretty fun, so I'll definitely try to come back.
    Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    I haven't got the foggiest clue where I was today. All I know is that I wasn't on the Trail that I intended to be on. At least I found my car where I left it......

    Edited 01/28/12 Peak 3004 Loop (aka, Haven't got a Clue Trail) Ok, thanks to a Fellow HAZer, I can now do a Real Triplog. :) My original trip was supposed to be the Pass Mountain Loop. :oops: I parked at the Meridian TH and got out of the car. Right in front of me it was evident that someone had peed in the Parking Lot. :yuck: I contemplated picking up the Toilet Paper and before I made up my mind, a truck pulled up right over the top of it. Solves that problem, I'm not going under the Truck to get it. :roll:

    I should have taken that as an indicator of how things would go...Get to the Tonto National Forest Information Board and see that there is nothing on it. :-k Oh well, I have the GPS Maps and Description, I should be OK. :whistle:

    Get about 100 ft on the Trail and it splits, one goes West and the other goes North. One of these Trails does not exist in the Maps that I have. :doh: I knew from looking at the GPS Maps that I was going to go North, so I take the North Trail. Very nice Trail for a little while, pass a Rock that has Pink and Green Paint on it. It says "Fish Rock". Nice, someone's labeled a Rock. I continue up towards a Saddle and the Trail is getting full of extremely loose rock and is becoming tough. But being the novice that I am and not knowing which Mountain was Pass Mountain, I still think that I'm on the right trail. I finally get to the Saddle and take a small break.

    A group of about 6 people were ahead of me and I could hear them somewhere to my right up or around the Mountain, so I pick up a Trail from the Saddle and start following it. It goes up a little and then proceeds to start wrapping around the Mountain towards the Northeast. After just a little bit, the Trail starts getting really obscure and the Mountainside is getting steeper with some loose scree. All of the sudden I find a Cairn, so I must still be on the Trail. I keep going, but it's just not working out and I finally lose any resemblance of a Trail altogether and can't keep traversing because of a large drainage. I can hear and see people, but they are back to the South of me and alot higher so I figure they are climbing to the Peak. By this time, I am more than halfway up the Peak myself, so I figured WTH, I'm not backtracking what I just did, so I go straight up. :D

    I get to the Peak after sliding down a few times, but then I followed some Hoofprints for awhile and that helped. It actually was much easier than Peak 5024 due to the lack of Boulders and Hoodoos. Made it to the Top and met a nice couple from Chicago who were visiting. As I'm looking around, I spot the Real Pass Mountain Trail one canyon over from where we are. Great. :roll: I was talking to the Chicago couple and the guy says, "yea, I found this Trail on some map and it goes north, then west, and hooks up to another Trail. This Trail is called Fish Rock Trail on my map, but I don't have the Map with me." Pretty bad when the Snowbirds have better information than I do... :oops:

    I can see "Fish Rock Trail" below as well and it continues North just like the guy said. I take the "easy" way down from the Peak. There is a Trail down. It is obscure in parts, but well marked with Cairns and a few tree ribbons. I pick up the Trail heading North and it is very defined at this point. Once it gets down to the bottom of the valley it takes a turn to the West and now I'm pretty sure that it will hook up with Pass Mountain. Even if it didn't, I knew I could bushwack West and get to my "intended" trail anyway. The Trail I'm on is now getting more indistinct as I am crossing a large, green expanse at the base of what I now know is Peak 3004. This area is very green with lots of grass, but the grass is still very short, so there really was no "bushwacking" to be done. But sometimes the Trail just disappeared anyway. However, someone took a ton of time and built a bunch of Cairns, because there had to be at least 50 or more across this expanse, all the way to where it hooks up with Pass Mountain Trail. I actually surprised myself and with the help of the Cairns, never got off Trail. 8)

    After crossing most of the expanse, the Trail turns Southwest and starts heading back up towards the Pass Mountain Saddle. It finally intersects with the Pass Mountain Trail about 200 feet below the Saddle. I finish going up to the Saddle and see a Trail going back toward the East along the edge of the Mountain itself. I had seen what I thought was a Cave from below, so I decide to check it out. The "Trail" goes about 300 ft to the "Cave" which was not even a Cave, it was a dud. I take a break here anyway and enjoy the sweeping views of the Valley and Ranges before me.

    I get back on Pass Mountain, not even having the energy or time to do the original hike planned, so I go south back towards the TH. Nice Trail! Not even close to being Rocky like the "Fish" Trail was and it was a very pleasant descent. Get back to the "Y" that I had encountered at the Beginning of the hike, smack myself in the head for not looking at the Map and Topo better before I started, then arrive at the Car. The Toilet Paper was gone.... :lol:

    Just a note about this hike. The Cairns on the North side of Peak 3004 are very easy to follow now. But once the grass gets longer, a third of them may be invisible in the grass. The Trail that I started to follow that took me along the side of the East Mountain is part of the Ironwood Loop Route, which is described on this site and also there is a posted GPS Route for it. But even with GPS, there really is no Trail over on that side and it's a little hazardous. The Trail that I started on is described on this site as the Bulldog Saddle Trail. Fish Rock Trail or Bulldog Saddle Trail? Take your pick I guess....

    It was a fun trip and the views from whatever Peak that was, were very cool. I waved at Jack over on Flatiron, but I think he was busy.... :lol: : app :

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Meridian Trailhead
    Meridian Trailhead is located at the north terminus of Meridian Road between Mesa and Apache Junction.

    US60 to Signal Butte. Take Signal Butte north to University. East (right) onto University to Meridian. North (left) onto Meridian to the terminus. There is a small TH.


    Exit 202 Loop at Brown Road and travel east on Brown Road for about 3.5 miles. From Brown Road (Lost Dutchman Rd), travel North on Meridian for two miles to the trailhead parking area at the end of the road.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 34.1mi - 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 119mi - 2hr 11mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 176mi - 2hr 56mins
    page created by RickVincent on Dec 27 2013 10:05 pm
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