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Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA, AZ

no permit
51 11 1
Guide 11 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Quartzsite S
4 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.43 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,835 feet
Elevation Gain 1,883 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,981 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.34
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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15  2018-03-10
Signal TeN EWe
23  2017-03-25
Signal Peak 4877 - KOFA
10  2016-12-10
Signal and Ten Ewe
7  2016-12-10
Signal and Ten Ewe
8  2016-12-10
Signal and Ten Ewe
23  2016-12-10
Signal and Ten Ewe
6  2016-11-27
Signal Peak 4877 - KOFA
22  2016-04-09
Signal Ten Ewe
Page 1,  2
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 667
Photos 13,162
Trips 1,416 map ( 10,534 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge USFWS
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → Any
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:20am - 6:41pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Ewe gotta see these vewes!
by chumley

Ten Ewe Mountain is the second highest peak in the Kofa Mountains, just over half a mile east of the high point, Signal Peak. While Signal gets some regular visitation, Ten Ewe receives very little. Summiting Ten Ewe can be done on its own, but I'd recommend visiting Signal on the same trip since much of the hike follows the same route.

The start of this hike should begin by following the directions for Signal Peak. It's easiest to follow that route for 1.25 miles to 33.35997 -114.075536. At this point you should leave the obvious route heading to Signal peak and head left toward Ten Ewe. Cross the drainage and head upstream about 200 yards and turn left again following a slabby drainage to the obvious saddle above you.

Proceed up the ridge toward the canyon dropping off Ten Ewe. You'll want to stay left of the top of the rocky ridge and head for the small pinnacle with a small "cave" at it's base. From the pinnacle, traverse across the drainage to the chute which climbs to the northeast. The drainage is a bit overgrown and there's a narrow squeeze at the top that requires an easy class 3 move or two.

At the top of the chute, turn right and make a couple of zig zags to get up the various levels of rock until you arrive at the base of a small scree slope. Climb the slope and the peak will come into view. Gaining the peak will require choosing the best class 3 route, but several options exist. Enjoy the views of Summit Peak, Old Smokey, and Squaw before heading down.

On the return trip, you may be tempted to cut the corner and descend the drainage at the bottom of the chute. This route is certainly possible, but it is overgrown and includes a couple of short, easy down climbs over large boulders. This route is more easily negotiated on the descent than on the way up. I still think it's easier and faster to avoid this drainage even though it would cut the mileage a little bit.

One additional note for the more adventurous hiker. An alternate route from the base of the pinnacle parallels the chute. (Blue route in this photo). Instead of traversing the drainage and climbing the chute (yellow route), you can ascend the drainage directly toward the mountain until it dead ends and then turn left. This route features 2-3 short climbs that might approach class-4. But it's more entertaining than the chute!

Enjoy this rarely visited gem in the rugged Kofas!

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.

2016-04-19 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
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Signal TeN EWe
    I had an in town commitment that required me to choose a short hike. This pair is always a winner.

    My plan was to explore a potential NEW ascent route of Ten Ewe from the "ramp" that climbs the southwest face. I'd read online somewhere that somebody had gone that way before and I'd never really considered it. The satellite photo makes it look like you could drive your Jeep up it if you had good enough tires. But photos can be deceiving.

    Approaching it, I was pretty leery as the slope looked very narrow and steeply angled to the very exposed abyss below. Once there though, I was able to find a reasonably safe route with minimal light climbing and not much brush. This approach is much more scenic than the chute on the north side and I'd recommend this route be part of a lasso loop to the peak for anybody hitting this one in the future.

    I also established that traveling between Ten Ewe and Summit Peak would be possible, which might make for a fun day sometime.

    The weather was a treat. It rained all day, and I enjoyed seeing this range under a cloud of gray and rain. Three times the rain came down heavy enough that I ducked into a cave for a few minutes to wait it out. It didn't seem cold, but it was only 55 at my truck when I finished, so it might have been in the upper 40s up top. There was a nice breeze to go along with the stinging drizzle.

    Of course, it makes no sense to be that close to a county high point and not actually hit it, so I made sure to bag Signal Peak too. 😉

    A fantastic day all around!
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I drove out Friday and camped to give myself more time for this hike, and that was a smart choice given how long the drive takes. I probably could have made it all the way to the TH, but meeting a vehicle going down wash I opted to back up and park in a side spot to let them pass. I then decided that since I might be able to hike as fast as I could drive, and there were some large boulder in the next stretch, I would just park and walk. I was 1.5 miles from the TH according to Todd's mileage in the directions, and my car odometer. After the next section it was really smooth, but I liked the walk. Lots of poppies, too.

    Maybe I was tired, or who knows what, but I was surprised that walking down wash I somehow chose the wrong two-track, which seemed impossible, but I ended up going a mile down wash from my car (per my odometer driving out) before I realized I was way past my parking area. I turned back, and found my car easier going up canyon. This error, when added to Ten Ewe's additional stats gives me 5 miles more and 600 additional feet. Except that brush in the wash hid my car, I couldn't believe I did that.

    The hike is pretty enjoyable with a well worn trail right now, all the way to the summit of Signal. Clearly, the county high point status must draw them out. No one seems to do Ten Ewe, as that was rougher and there was no obvious trail. I made a nice large cairn in the gully below the tight squeeze. Views were not as good as last time on Castle Dome, low level haze from the breeze may have been to blame. It was cooler or cold, too. Only in the mid-70s in the canyon, so colder on top. Unlike on CD, there was a stiff breeze, too.

    This hike feels far different than Castle Dome. I felt like I was in the western Superstitions, but with fewer people. The canyon live oaks in the upper canyon add a feel that is not western desert, in mind. Also, I saw a lot of people camping out here, some ATVers in the canyon, and 2 people coming down from the summit. The massif is really impressive coming in from the north, and it photographs well. However, I think Todd's group hikes account for the greater number of logs for this hike, compared to Castle Dome.

    So far, given my December trip, my last trip, and this one, I confirmed that I like the KofA best when hotter, as in the low 90s. Fewer people, and more pleasant for me.

    Poppies and lupines, and lots of colors with no crowds!
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Signal and Ten Ewe
    Chumley organized this trip and I was along for the ride. This is my first visit to the KOFA Mountains and I was impressed. The mountains rise up similar to the western Supes over Apache Junction. They are stunning as you drive into the mountains. The first few miles of road are in excellent condition but the road deteriorates as you drive back. High clearance is a must.

    We parked at the unsigned trailhead and the six of us started the hike in. The first mile is easy going as you walk up the wash and then start gaining elevation. The climb gets steep and loose as you progress and the summit comes into view from one of the saddles. We continued on and topped out on the summit and enjoyed the views.

    From there we dropped down a bit and then headed over for Ten Ewe. Chumley, LP & JJ opted for a challenging route while Tortoise, Dave1 and myself climbed up a chute with a squeeze near the top. Once above the squeeze it’s pretty much straight up although we zigzagged back and forth to avoid any exposure. All of us topped out and enjoyed the views. I headed down first and worked my way back down the route I came up. It was nice taking my time as I retraced my route down. All of us regrouped at a saddle below the chute and then blew down the mountain.

    Once back at the vehicles we took a break and then drove over to our next hike of the day in Palm Canyon. I really enjoyed the Signal Peak hike. It’s very straightforward and good fun. Ten Ewe was another fun adventure and I’m glad we spent the time hitting that summit too! Thanks Chumley for organizing and driving!
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Signal and Ten Ewe
    I had told Denny I would take him up Signal Peak in the Kofas as he pursues the AZ county highpoints. This is prime season to be in the Kofa, and I hadn't been since spring so it was nice to get back. We recruited Dave and three Johns to joins us on the day. Good thing everybody has a workable nickname. Specifying JJ9LP is much easier than everybody responding to "John" :)

    We were at the trailhead in about 2:55, including a 15-minute morning breakfast stop, and on the trail by 9. We could have left a couple hours later since for some reason we made it a point of trying to keep up with JJ. :app:

    County highpoint reached by 10:15. Spotted a lone ewe on a prominent point on our way to the southern viewpoint before heading over to Ten Ewe. JJLP and I took the upper chute and I was relieved to find it wasn't as much of a challenge as last time when I turned back and took the lower chute. I really like the high route better, but you have to get past a short climb where your best holds are very loose rocks. The slope up after that is fun.

    After a short break at the summit we headed back down. It's steep, and we were back at the TH in no time. This is one of those hikes I can do a couple of times a season. It was great to hike with Denny for the first time in a long while ... and everybody else too I guess. :)
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    @Tortoise_Hiker motivated me to catch up on my county high point's list with his recent summit of Harquahala, so I headed the same direction, but a little further west to Yuma County and the Kofas.

    I knew Chumley had an affinity for this area, but I had always remained a little skeptical at how much I would enjoy the area. From the start this skepticism proved to be unwarranted, as it did not take long to fall in love with this quaint desert range and its craggy terrain. Someone thought it was a good idea to have a family reunion at the trailhead, so I had to park a few hundred feet up the road past the TH. I also had to delay my start time by 20 minutes because my phone had came unplugged on the bumpy road and sucked my battery dry with google maps running and frequent checks of route scout on the way in. Normally, I would have just left, but I had all of my routes on the cell for this hike. No worries though, once it hit 50% I was gone and I decided that instead of using RS to track, I would use my regular GPS sans downloaded route and screen shots of description, or quick route previews in RS if needed.

    After finally getting to start, Signal Peak ended up going a little quicker than I thought. Chums wrote a good description and the route to the peak resembled more of a trail than an off trail route in many spots. I ended up only needing to check the route a few times on my phone and did not use much of my cell battery on the way up,so I decided to make it a double and added in Ten Ewe on the way down. I had downloaded the route the night before and thought it would be a good option if Signal went well.

    Ten Ewe ended up being the highlight of the day/hike for me. Ten Ewe takes a little more scrambling and there are a couple of class three spots, but the peak offers a better view in my opinion and cooler summit in general. The route is also more fun in comparison to the steep, loose trail to Signal. After taking in the views from Ten Ewe, I headed back down the way I came and was back on the established trail shortly after. From there, its just a quick, knee jarring jaunt to the wash and road.

    A great first visit to the Kofas, I am already pining for another trip!
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Signal Ten Ewe
    Another great trip to Signal and Ten Ewe. Not much to say more than I've said before. I really think Ten Ewe is the gem here, but both are worthwhile and should really be done together.

    As anybody who has read my posts before might know, I like weather. Not the babe on TV in front of the green screen, but actual stuff that happens in the atmosphere. After a few months of nothing happening, I wanted to take advantage of this rare opportunity and go somewhere cool. I figured the Kofas would provide a good chance to see clouds and rain in a spectacular setting. We hoped for a little more color at sunset, but stuff like this is hit or miss!

    It was great to visit here in April and enjoy cool temperatures in the 50s and 60s. A very rare treat indeed! I thought my visit a few weeks ago would be the last until fall. Now I wonder if there's a chance for one more? Maybe if there's some weather...
    Ten Ewe Mountain - KOFA
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    We hiked this after bagging Signal. It can be done separately if you prefer, and I posted a separate triplog for Signal, despite hiking both together. Stats posted are for the hike from the south peak on Signal to Ten Ewe summit and back to the TH. It took 95 minutes to get 1.25 miles from Summit to Ten Ewe, and 1:45 to get 1.5 miles down.

    From the TH to Ten Ewe and back excluding Summit would be about 1.5 miles each way with an AEG of 2,014.

    After summiting Signal Peak, Bob and I decided to head toward Ten Ewe. Research showed that others have done it, but it wasn't totally clear what the best route was. From Signal the potential routes looked a bit daunting. I brought binoculars, and from the summit of Signal, I was unable to determine a route that would even be potentially possible. This peak is well guarded on all sides by dozens of feet (and in some cases, hundreds of feet) of vertical cliff faces.

    As we descended from Signal toward a saddle above the Signal route we got a bit of a better idea of what was ahead. There's a drainage on the northwest slope of the mountain that has a couple of accessible chutes leading up to a ridge that has easy access to the peak. The lower chute is full of overgrown brush and tops out well below the summit, while the upper chute is steeper, features a couple of climbs, but no brush, and tops out much closer to the peak.

    We opted for the upper, rocky chute. It was a fun scramble, I'd say it pushes class-4. So much so, that I was happy there was an alternate choice to descend. At the top of the chute, the hike to the summit is easy. Bob swore he saw three ewes (not ten), but when I arrived, there was nothing but sheep pellets, which is pretty much a standard thing in these mountains.

    On the way down we decided to descend the lower, overgrown chute, which was mostly uneventful. I would recommend this route for the ascent for anybody who prefers an easier route. There are a couple of shelves above the chute that you need to hike around or climb to get higher and access the peak, but no big deal.

    From the bottom of the chutes, we descended in the drainage straight down toward the Signal route and met it at the overgrown mesquite "tunnel" which is 1-mile from the trailhead. The hike down from there was easy and uneventful.

    Nice hike, and great to bag a peak that so few others visit!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Quartzsite drive south on US 95 for 19 miles to Palm Canyon Road. (From Yuma it's about 50 miles north on US 95). Follow Palm Canyon Road 3.3 miles to the entrance kiosk for the Kofa NWR. Turn left onto Queen Canyon Road and follow it 7.4 miles to the mouth of Ten Ewe Canyon, which is unmarked.
    page created by BobP on Apr 19 2016 6:43 pm
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