Sun Devil Peak (6903') is one of the high summits of the northeastern most ridgeline of the Bradshaw Mountain Range. This range is easily seen from Highway 69 starting from Poland Juction (MP 275) and looping around all the way over to just before Cost Co (MP 293). These mountains are bounded by Diamond Valley and Prescott Valley on the north; Dewey-Humboldt to east; Mayer to the southeast; Breezy Pines & Poland Road to the south; and the Walker valley/Lynx Lake to the west.
Aerial view of its mountain top instantly reminds you of a slightly slanted pitchfork. The east-west summit ridge has a single main southridge while on its north flanks protrudes three fork ridges. Their is no trail to the summit. The opportunities to summit are endless and really depend on your liking. There are two main drainages (in between the three north forks) which are predominately tabled granite with seasonal water flows. The northeast fork ridgeline is the closest to line to the trailhead. T Vegetation in the area is predominately chaparral; manzanita; pine trees and an occasional alligator junipine, all of which are very old. The geology of the area is mainly pre-cambrian granite.
BONUS excursion: A plane crash of an F-84 Thunderjet (the pilot ejected safely) from 1957. The military removed most of the wreckage, but not all of it. The wreckage is situated on the left flanks of the middle fork ridgeline of Sun Devil Peak (6903'). Crash site GPS: 34°31'12.00"N, 112°20'5.01" (elevation is 6973').
The Charcoal Gulch Trail is used predominately by off road motor cycles; quads and horseback. The area is also heavily used by hunters.
Trailhead is from the Prescott National Forest's "proposed" Newtown Trailhead. Currently the Trailhead is a small parking lot which is at the end of Newtown Road. This is the official trailhead for Charcoal Gulch Trail #9419. From the TH gate there is a quad trail and just south of the road is a foot path. This foot path later connects onto the quad trail. From the TH continue west on Charcoal Gulch Trail #9419 for just under 1 mile when it goes down into "Green Gulch" the major east flowing drainage for the area. From here you have options; 1) you can stay on Charcoal Gulch trail due south for another half mile and connect to the northeast fork ridgeline and go "off trail" from there or 2) meander south-southwest onto another trail for about 1/2 mile (1.47 miles from TH; elevation 5325') which places you directly in front of the east fork rideline. From this location, if the plan is to visit the plane wreckage, stay on the drainage which goes west, then southwest, the south. You will exit the drainage and bank left at 2.26 miles from TH (6326'). Wreckage will be found as you traverse south and southeast up the ridgeline.
UPDATE: 9/8/2016 The proposed Newtown Trailhead is officially called the Green Gulch Trailhead. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday September 10, 2016 at 1PM. Full article.
Turnaround often, the views as you climb just keep getting better and better. First you see Prescott Valley & Dewey. Upper ridges provide views to the unnamed 6548 which constantly lets you know he's there (the nearest northern peak). Further up is Diamond Valley and Glassford Hill. As you approach summit you get to see Granite Mountain, Prescott, Willow Lake and Mayer. When you get to summit, views to the Walker Valley, Spruce Mountain and Mount Union summit towers. The mountain immediately south is unnamed 6962'.
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.
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.