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Coyote Peak - Coyote Mountains, AZ

no permit
194 13 0
Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson SW
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,995 feet
Elevation Gain 3,500 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8-10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 31.3
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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8  2018-12-16 chumley
38  2017-02-04 Pivo
9  2017-02-04 LindaAnn
14  2017-02-04 chumley
17  2017-02-04 GrottoGirl
9  2017-01-03 GeeEss
24  2015-02-21 vagabondjeff
27  2013-02-17 rwstorm
Page 1,  2
Author vagabondjeff
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 12
Photos 26
Trips 1 map ( 10 miles )
Age 62 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → 7 AM
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
severely overgrown
by vagabondjeff

Overview: This is a hike to the highpoint of the Coyote Mountains. While technically the peak is not named, I've labeled it Coyote Peak in that it might make it easier for people to search for. It is an extremely rigorous and difficult hike. While the distance and elevation gain are not necessarily difficult, the route finding and overgrowth on the "trail" are.

Warning: Be prepared for cactus, cat's claw, shin daggers, spanish bayonet, scrub oak, and more; particularly after attaining the ridge line. I highly recommend long pants, sleeves, and even gaiters.

History: Supposedly, the trail that you will eventually hike on was built by a local rancher some decades ago. He had it built for his wife to ride her horse to the summit of the Coyote Mountains. It does to the the top but is severely overgrown in places and seems to just disappear in others. Often times it's only visible by a few rocks that seem to be in too straight of a line. In many steep places as it moves along near the top of the ridge line, it makes tight little switchbacks. It is amazing the amount of work that was put into building it.

Hike: The initial part of the hike getting to the ridge line is pretty straight forward although you will definitely lose and re-find the trail many times as it weaves it's way up the mountain side. After attaining the ridge line it moves back and forth across the ridge line and around many of the sub-peaks along the way. Before you start the last steep climb to the summit ridge, it moves well off the ridge to the southeast before a sharp right turn where you should stay in the gully along a wall of rocks. On our ascent we moved too far to the west and encountered steep treacherous terrain. Once near the summit ridge you will encounter lots of scrub oak growing across the trail.

Water Sources: I don't believe there is any reliable water source.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2015-02-26 vagabondjeff
    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
    Coyote Peak - Coyote Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I had this on my list but was too lazy to put something together, so I mentioned it to Belinda and she took the bait. :) A few hours later there was a date planned, group invited, maps, routes, driving directions, and gear-checklist all ready to go! :y: Turned out to be a fun day with a great group. It was good to meet Scott, get a real hike with Amy, and to hike with everybody else again too.

    This is an awesome old trail! Thanks to "hiking-legend Randy Webber" for putting this on my radar. :) The extensive trail construction is truly remarkable, even after countless years of neglect and natural decay. If the story is true that this trail was built by a rancher just so his wife could ride her horse to the summit, I would have liked to meet her! She must have been a helluva lady! :D

    Since this hike is a bit challenging to follow in places here's a detailed recap:
    0.0 / 3000 - Start on old road
    1.6 / 3600 - Turn left to leave road and begin old single track
    2.6 / 4800 - The trail cut disappears on the slope below the ridge
    2.7 / 4900 - Reach the ridge. Pick up the trail again on the right side of the fence.
    3.75 / 5750 - Trail levels out and meanders through some grasses and cat claw crossing a level ridge descending slightly to a saddle
    3.9 / 5675 - From the lowest point on the ridge, this is another spot where the route mostly disappears. Descend directly south down the drainage from the saddle dropping nearly 100 feet before beginning the more westward traverse across the slope.
    4.1 / 5600 - The trail cut returns and becomes easy to follow on the traverse
    4.35 / 5600 - The trail traverses around the next ridge, dropping into a small basin. Here again, the trail cut is difficult to follow. It heads up the steep gully beginning first to the left, but quickly moving to the right side and staying up against the large boulders on the right.
    4.5 / 5800 - Trail cut switchbacks become evident again halfway up the gully.
    4.7 / 6050 - Just below the saddle at the top of the gully the trail cuts left and begins to head up toward the peak to the left. This area is tough to follow but the track takes you around the top of the peak on the shaded north side, counterintuitively dropping 20-30 feet at one point.
    4.8 / 6200 - Reach an opening and level area west of the rocky peak. Continue west 0.1 miles to the edge of the cliff.
    4.9 / 6200 - Head north as trail switchbacks up the slope through some dense shin daggers.
    5.1 / 6400 - Reach the ridge and veer left. The trail cut stays on the north side below the boulders and rocky ridge.
    5.25 / 6450 - Turn left toward the edge of the ridge and follow the more open terrain the final few hundred feet to the peak.
    5.4 / 6529 - Summit block!
    Coyote Peak - Coyote Mountains
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I completed a hike to the ridge line yesterday to check out the flora in the area, and wanted to post this triplog in an effort to encourage others to do the same. There is absolutely no way for me to complete a hike to the summit as a day hike, and I suspect I am not alone on that score. So don't be put off by prior descriptions of this area, just come on down! Easy drive is manageable for passenger cars. And the hike up to the ridge line is a far cry from the horror described by those megahikers who went all the way to the summit. That said, route finding is a tricky business, because the trail is badly overgrown in spots, mostly by tall grass. The area is pristine, rarely visited, and our hike to the ridge line at 5300' was a fine workout and very rewarding, with absolutely magnificent views. Hats off to you folks who went further, but I am quite pleased with the manageable hike I was able to complete, and encourage other more mortal hikers like myself to do the same!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From I-19 in Tucson take exit 99 for Ajo Way. Proceed westbound for about 25 miles until you come to Hayhook Ranch Road. Turn left on Hayhook Rd and follow this good dirt road for about 5 miles as it makes a series of (2) 90 degree turns. Turn right on Dill's Best Road and follow this for about 3 miles to the end of the road. There is ample room here for several vehicles. No permit or fees are necessary.
    page created by vagabondjeff on Feb 26 2015 2:22 pm
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