for free!

Glassford Summit Trail, AZ

Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.3 of 5 
no permit
137 10 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,158 feet
Elevation Gain 946 feet
Accumulated Gain 946 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.13
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
8  2017-07-14 Peter_Medal
4  2017-02-10 friendofThunderg
2  2017-02-09 friendofThunderg
16  2016-05-26 LansfordHastings
61  2016-02-12 Peter_Medal
46  2016-02-12 AZHiker456
Author Peter_Medal
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 122
Photos 1,345
Trips 83 map ( 486 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Prescott, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Winter
Sun  6:12am - 6:36pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Dont Forget to Hit the Cave
by Peter_Medal

remove free decal offer
May 2016 Note
There is now an official designated trail. The following was written before the trail was complete.

On your way to Prescott, driving on Highway 69 through Prescott Valley, you pass a grassy hill with a car dealership, a hotel, and condos carved into the lower southwest flanks. The hill looks like a little hill, no prominence, just boring. On the contrary, it is big and massive. Its south face melts quickly during snow season. Its north face stays white, almost an exact line. The hill does not even look very high. On the contrary, its elevation gain is actually almost as high as Squaw Peak in Phoenix.

Glassford Hill (GH), elevation 6178' was once an active volcano between 10 and 14 million years ago. Today, it stands as an extinct volcano. GH separates Prescott & Prescott Valley and overlooks the width and breadth of Prescott Valley. Like the SF peaks...GH is a "ring" or horseshoe-shaped, sitting on its side head facing west, tips facing east. Inside the hill is what we are calling the "nub" or inner peak (6104'). The north ridgeline outer ring starts from the east (5989' USGS summit) and curves SW to the GH summit; then loops around to the southeast onto its south ridgeline curving SE (6125' USGS summit).

Archeological evidence of early man goes back as far as 800 A.D. Ancient Indian villages were settled around Glassford Hill in 1400. The U.S. Cavalry established Fort Whipple 5 miles away. Colonel William A. Glassford traveled the area in the 1880s and helped build a system of 7 heliograph stations to monitor the movements of Apache Indians, U.S. military troops, and civilians. GH was a part of that early communications system, using signal mirrors to communicate with other army units in the war against the Apaches.

FEB 2016: The Town of Prescott Valley is in process of carving out the road like switchbacks to the saddle between the south ridgeline summit and the GH summit south ridgeline. It reminds me of the paved road to the summit of North Mountain in Phoenix. This area will soon be a city-run "preserve" with roads and biking trails. The road terminates at the south ridgeline summit. We noted a series of survey flag stakes for the future "GH Trail". Researching current activity, I was only able to find a town council approval of the proposed development of making GH a city preserve park (August 2015). However, graders and backhoes diligently worked on the switchbacks, so the Town is going full throttle on development for the future city "preserve" and trail.

Until then, as it is today, there is a smallish parking area in front of the bridge with a locked gate (to vehicles) but permissible for pedestrian access. This bridge is located west of the intersection of Antelope Lane and North Castle Drive in Prescott Valley, AZ. West of the bridge, there is a road that is under construction.

THE HIKE: Follow this road about 0.53 miles to a fenced-off water tank. For the non-off road or not off-trail hiker, you can take the road that is under construction which terminates on the summit of the south ridgeline). West past the fenced water tank, make a bee-line straight line towards the drainage. The ascent after the drainage is 0.94 miles from the TH. Suppose you look up for a sole green tree that's your line up to the nub. The word from many locals is GH is a snake haven. The grassy topography is probably not an ideal hike for spring, summer, or fall if you're afraid of rattlesnakes. The inner climb is not much of a bushwhack, open and spacy chaparral, and sturdy volcanic rock. Pass the lone green tree, bank slight left, and onto a rock climb boulder hoppers playground. A HAZ guest register is situated on the nub summit.

Not quite there, from the nub, you continue west down then up to the GH summit. The official high point (6178') is on a rock pile with a "monument sign" posted on it, located within a fenced compound or cell/radio towers and lots of solar panels. There is no public access. West of the fenced compound offers some fantastic views of Prescott, Willow Lake, Watson Lake, Granite Mountain, The Dells, and Thumb Butte. To the south: Sun Devil Peak, Walker, Spruce Mountain & Mount Union summit towers, and Mount Tritle.

If you look up due south 0.89 miles from TH, you can see the cave opening as you approach the nub ascent. Getting to the cave from the GH summit, loop around to the South ridgeline. There is a road leading to its summit that is under construction. The cave will be on the north side of the south ridgeline about 1/2 mile SE. Cave GPS: 34.58926, -112.37404 Cave elevation is 5917'

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.

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

2016-02-13 Peter_Medal
    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Highway 69; Take the Prescott East Highway north 1.13 miles to East Antelope Lane. At Antelope Lane, go left/west two blocks to North Castle Drive. At this intersection, immediately west is a bridge leading to the road under construction with a small parking area by the power pole before the bridge.
    page created by Peter_Medal on Feb 13 2016 9:25 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker