|Guide||♦||2 Triplogs||Active Topic|
Follow the old road... I don't see any road!
Baker Mountain is located in the Aztec Peak Quadrangle in Gila County. With a rise of 208' and an elevation of 7588' its Arizona Peaks Rank is 4555. GPS coordinates: 33.84238 -110.93927
For those familiar with the area Baker Mountain is the long ridge between Workman Creek and Reynolds Creek.
The obvious ones... watch the weather and watch for bears. We saw plenty of scat and also met a hunter who encounters them frequently, but don't worry he said, they just run away.
I've found nothing specific in reference to all the old logging roads, but of course there is an ancient ruin site on the cliffs above Workman Creek Falls.
Since probably 90% of the slopes of Baker Mountain are cliffs, unless you are really into scaling cliffs there is but one completely non-technical route, albeit a long and winding one.
The trailhead is on Forest Road 487 where an old logging road used begin, about .3 mile past Workman Creek Falls (upstream).
Arizona Topo refers to is as 'Trail 151' which is likely an old northern continuation of Abbey's Way trail which passes through the Peterson Ranch meadow and up to Aztec Peak.
Parking is available in the open area along FR 487 next to the loose dirt slope. From there begin by taking a northeasterly heading, following along the and up the slope to the left of the small creek. Continue until you connect with the old logging road, which is a far cry from even looking like it was once a road. Think of an old road that hasn't been used in 50-75 years and you'll get the idea.
Whatever, if you aren't following the GPS route provided, you will be well-pressed at times to keep from losing it. Once you reach the 90° turn to the left (from NE to NW) it is quite easy to follow for the next quarter-mile.
After passing through a fence (the gate has been long-gone) it's time for another 90° left turn, but exactly where to turn is the issue. We would find there used to be a number of logging roads going will-nilly along the long oddly-shaped ridge, so it's quite easy to lose track of the 'correct' route, but don't worry, since there are very few sections of thick brush, as long as you are continuing in the right direction, any route you take is fine.
Besides, what's left of a road will die off about a half-mile from the summit. From there you may pick and choose your own route, as long as you continue in a northerly direction. The last bit of climbing toward the summit is an easy grade, the hardest part avoiding or climbing over dead-fall.
Unfortunately, since the summit is wide, flat and surrounded by pine trees, the view is not exactly awe-inspiring. But in my opinion, the peacefulness of the wind whispering through the pines is well worth the effort.
The official GPS route is edited to make use of what's left of the roads as much as possible.
The 'Scenic Spur' GPS route provides an optional side-trip. Either follow the faint logging road out, returning the same way, along our wandering route, or just follow your whim. And remember, whatever route you take is correct, as long as you find your way back, that is.
While their may be the odd small pools here and there, they are not to be relied upon.
The small creek adjacent to the trailhead appears to have constant flow (complete with gauging station) and of course Workman Creek is very close.
There are a few dispersed camping sites within a quarter-mile just off Forest Road 487 along with many more sites a mile or two farther up the road to Aztec Peak.
No camping at the Day Use sites along Workman Creek or the Abbey's Way Trail 151 trailhead.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.