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Cerro Colorado, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,667 feet
Accumulated Gain 668 feet
Avg Time Round Trip .5-1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.54
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Peak
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
51  2016-09-24
Glyph Mountain
Author AZHiker456
author avatar Guides 28
Routes 197
Photos 7,418
Trips 184 map ( 1,713 miles )
Age 40 Female Gender
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:20am - 7:33pm
1 Alternative

Little Peak with a Big History
by AZHiker456

Just like the nearby Sardina Peak, the legends of lost treasure, [once again, silver bullion], surrounding the vicinity of Cerro Colorado isn’t exactly on the same scale as the Legend of the Lost Dutchman; however, it might just explain why the little 4,207’ ‘molehill’ got the name ‘Cerro Colorado’, despite the fact that the two main ridgelines forming the Cerro Colorado Mountains just to the Northeast are filled with peaks that tower over little Cerro Colorado. Assuming the GPS coordinates listed here are accurate, then the summit of Cerro Colorado would sit just under 1 mile, ‘as-the-crow-flies’ from the old ghost town, Cerro Colorado; and it would also make this peak the highest point within a 1 mile radius of this ghost town. For a brief overview of the area’s history, along with a summary of the tale of the Cerro Colorado Treasure, I’ll defer to Wikipedia. For hike details, read on.

Hike: While this is a very short, ‘leg-stretcher’ type of hike if done by itself, [ranging from about 1.25 to 3.20 miles depending on your chosen route], the tons of nearby peaks, mines, and dirt roads in the area make this little peak a perfect add-on to a longer adventure. The peak looks approachable from most angles; and, [although I did not dash up the steeper, SE-facing slope, (which is the shortest option relative to where most will probably choose to park)], it looked totally doable. Since I did this peak during snake season, I opted to contour the base via a dirt road and than bank upwards at whatever point looked less overgrown. While I can only speak for the part of the mountain I ascended/descended, the ‘brush-factor’, [which was very mild], did not appear to change much, [at least on the sides of the peak I was able to see]. Speaking of brush, while I’d consider it very mild for an off-trail hike, I’d definitely still recommend pants. There is some thorny, catclaw-like vegetation that was not sharp enough to get through my pants but will definitely put scratches on bare skin. As for footing, I would consider it to be ‘very good to excellent’ for an off-trail hike: good griping dirt / rocks; nothing too loose or steep…

…unfortunately, being an easy bushwhack comes with a price: the summit is littered with cans and broken glass bottles; almost as if Cerro Colorado were the local mountain to drink / going partying on. At least the locals and/or whoever’s been leaving the trash confined most of it to several rock cairns that have been built on top; but it was still sad to see. I peaked around briefly for a register and didn’t find one, but not wanting to get cut on buried glass, I didn’t put much effort into it and instead focused on the spectacular 360 degree views. The immediate views were of course the Cerro Colorado Mountains directly to the NE, and then further off were the Santa Ritas to the East, the Tumacacoris to the South, and the Baboquivaris to the NW, to name a few of more well know ranges.

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2016-09-24 AZHiker456
    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
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    FLG: I-17 South to I-10 East toward Tucson to I-19 South [then see TUS below]
    PHX: I-10 East toward Tucson to I-19 South [then see TUS below]
    TUS: I-19 South to Exit 48 [for Arivaca Road]; go West [right] off the exit, then turn North [right] onto West Frontage Road; then, [within about 1/10 of a mile], turn left onto Arivaca Road. At this point it would be a good idea to start you’re odometer if you’re not using a GPS app like Route Scout! Go 14 miles on Arivaca Road and then turn right onto an unmarked dirt road. I drove 0.30 miles down this unmarked dirt road and parked in a small *pullout on the left. However, the dirt road is in **good condition and it’s possible to drive further in if you wish.
    *CAUTION: While the pullout I've described above is an ideal spot to park in terms of location relative to the hike, there is a small amount of broken glass that cannot be seen in advance, due to the tall grass. Initially I was not going to even mention this [cuz let's face it, sometimes we pull in to a parking space at the supermarket, etc. only to notice we've driven over a small amount of glass]... but my tire pressure indicator light came on mid-way home and the next morning I woke up to a completely flat tire. Take it or leave for what it's worth.
    **Good if you have an HCV or more ground clearance, that is. If you’re in a car / low clearance vehicle, then park where you feel comfortable; even if you park right at the start of the unnamed dirt road & Arivaca Road, it adds only 0.30 miles one-way.
    page created by AZHiker456 on Sep 24 2016 7:56 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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