|Guide||♦||1 Triplog||0 Topics|
Peak 6865 stands between Ventana and Esperero Canyons in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. Decent views from the top and interesting things to see on approach.
Nothing to be found online about this peak. No cairns seen along the way or register/pile on top. I left some footprints and packed out party balloon wreckage.
Start at Ventana Canyon trailhead and follow the trail to the popular Maiden Pools area. As you near the pools, notice a canyon on the right that feeds into Ventana Canyon at the base of the falls under Maiden Pools. The first part of the off-trail route generally follows the left edge of that canyon to get to the top of a large waterfall at 5500 ft. Off-trail begins by crossing Ventana Canyon at Maiden Pools and getting up the hill on the other side. Follow the hilltop and then curve to the northeast to negotiate catclaw patches as you make your way to the edge of the approach canyon. It's best to do this when grasses are dormant. At about 5350 ft. you will see a waterfall on the other side. The first goal is to get on top of those falls by continuing up to and around a large rock formation I call "The Plank". East of The Plank is an expansive slickrock/waterfall area that is well worth a visit on its own. Be sure to look down the falls.
From the slickrock area it's about a half mile and average 45% grade to the summit of 6865. Take your time and make each step solid while enjoying the pines, madrones, and rock formations. Stay on the ridge spine that my track follows, especially on the way down where the forest obscures the way and its easy to veer off into trouble. At the top are two summit towers easily scrambled and the south tower is a bit lower but has incredible views that include where you parked. Peak 6237, another peak that is not on any peak list, is to the southeast. Rattlesnake peak is 212 ft. lower and to the east, Cathedral peak to the north. Peak 7395 dominates the view to the northwest with summit spires of Window peak just down and to the right. Kimball, Peak 6810/Gorp, and Peak 5783 to the west. It's great that even so close to Tucson there are still places to explore.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
This is a moderately difficult hike.