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Turret Peak, AZ

Guide 5 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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no permit
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,680 feet
Elevation Gain 1,358 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,733 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 16.67
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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43  2020-04-07 FLYING_FLIVER
24  2014-11-29
Rugged Mesa - Turret Peak - Bishop Creek Loop
23  2014-11-29
Rugged Mesa - Turret Peak - Bishop Creek Loop
25  2012-10-25 Hansenaz
5  2012-02-16 Hansenaz
18  2008-12-08 nobert15
Author nobert15
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 3
Photos 1,459
Trips 42 map ( 434 miles )
Age 37 Male Gender
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:17am - 7:43pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Climb to the top of historic Turret Peak
by nobert15

The Battle of Turret Peak in south-central Arizona was one of the pivotal fights that broke the Apaches and Yavapais' backs in their efforts to resist white encroachment into their lands. Fought on March 27, 1873, the battle of Turret Peak formed part of Gen. George Crook's Tonto Basin campaign to force the Apaches and Yavapais to submit to reservations. Capt. George Randall, leading a small force including Apache scouts, surprised a rancheria ensconced near the crest of Turret Peak. The battle at Turret Peak proved to the Indians that there was no sanctuary from the soldiers. Two weeks later, most of the Apaches and Yavapais surrendered to Crook at Camp Verde, Arizona.

From your parking spot, head east up Bishop Creek. Following the creek is reasonably easy-going as you walk under large sycamores, junipers, and the occasional ponderosa pine that wasn't burned in the Cave Creek Complex Fire. Many places would be suitable for an easy backpacking trip. You will cross an extension of FR44 two more times on your way up Bishop Creek, and although it's possible to drive up to the final road crossing and start your hike there, the road is relatively rough, and you'll have some new custom AZ pin striping on your truck.

At 2.5 miles turn right, headed east, at an unnamed wash with a lone cottonwood standing about 100 feet upstream, coordinates N34'14.947 W111'52.822. You should see Turret Peak straight ahead behind the cottonwood. Follow this wash up until you hit a Y intersection. Keep left and follow as far as you can. When you come to another Y intersection, it's up to you to get to the top of the peak. I went left and bushwhacked my way up to the southern portion of the peak. There is no defined trail, so pick what line looks best. Near the summit, there is a final bit of easy rock climbing to gain the top.

Once on top, you'll be on the southern portion of the peak, where the summit cairn resides. You'll be separated from the larger northern portion by a large rock outcropping. You can hug the west-facing side of the rock outcropping to make your way to the north portion of the peak. Enjoy the views and remember the summit's history, where at least two dozen Indians were killed, and the Native American resistance in Arizona effectively ended.

From the top, you can either go back the way you came or take the center slope of the peak down, directly below the rock outcropping, back to Bishop Creek. I found taking the wash much easier, but coming down the center of the peak gave some different views, and you get to see a section of Bishop Creek that wasn't so severely damaged in the fire. Either way, once down, one could make a long day hike and follow Bishop Creek up to Pine Mountain or return down the creek to their car.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-12-08 nobert15
    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
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From Phoenix: Drive north on I-17 to the Bloody Basin exit. Head east on a well maintained dirt road through the Agua Fria National Monument and into the Tonto National Forest. Turn left at the second turn off for FR44, marked FR44A on most maps. The road gets much rougher here, and you'll need your 4x4.

    Park where the road meets Bishop Creek at the bottom of a large hill.
    page created by nobert15 on Dec 07 2008 9:00 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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