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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Mount Ord from Bushnell Tanks TH, AZ

no permit
4 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
2 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 20.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,971 feet
Elevation Gain 3,136 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,448 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 42.64
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2010-12-20 gummo
Author topohiker
author avatar Guides 13
Routes 112
Photos 4,377
Trips 1,731 map ( 27,689 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
0 Alternative
Meteorology Nearby
The other other route to Mt .Ord
by topohiker

Likely In-Season!
I first got the idea to find another route up Mt.Ord when I hike Slate Creek up to Mt.Ord. When I looked at the google earth maps, I noticed another road going down from Mt.Ord to Pumpkin Center. I wanted to go explore this other option. I studied my DeLorme maps and noticed that service road 22 from the Bushnell Tanks exit intersected this Pumpkin Center road. I made a couple of waypoint on my PC to guide me along the maze of spur roads and trails. The plan was to take FS 22 to FS 524 to an un-named trail that intersected the Pumpkin Center road. Then go past Eagle Peak and climb up Mt.Ord. I calculated the mileage to be about 8 ~ 9 miles one way.

We started off good. The forest road are now closed to vehicles. The FS signs said this was a 4x4 route back in the day. FS 22 was flat for a bit and it headed south, then it swung to east and Ord. came into view. Then we hit the FS 524 intersection. Now the road started to climb. We climbed pretty good for a while. Then we hit a gate. There was semi-fresh tire marks on the road. I figured with the Bushnell Tanks road /exit being closed, that someone came in from the Pumpkin Center way. FS 524 turned into a trail / nasty 4x4 road. Mt. Ord was closer and closer. The trail / road ended by this collapsed mine. We looked around and concluded that the road ended. We backtracked to see where we missed the Pumpkin Center road. We couldn't find it. My GPS showed that we were on top of it, but I couldn't find it. We decided to bushwhack higher to get a better view of the area. We climbed a couple of hundred feet, but all I saw was a wall of rocks with a metal pipe sticking out from the middle. We thought this might have been a cairn of some kind, but it lead nowhere. We then just bushwhacked straight up to Eagle Peak. It was brutal climb, there was brush everywhere. We got to the Eagle Peak and view was great. We could see the 4 peaks, Superstition and the Maztzal Mountains all within 180 degrees.

We seen a road come in from the east, but it disappeared behind a ridgeline. We did not see any road near Eagle Peak or below Mt.Ord. Now we were about 600 ~700 below the towers. We climbed on a couple of ridgelines and rock piles to summit Mt.Ord. We finally made it! The last 100 feet looked like an old road was there, but it petered out beyond the 100 feet. One the top, I looked around for a second road. I did see a another road by the ranger's cabin. It looked very well maintained. Maybe this was the pumpkin center road. At the top we hit the 9 mile point. We decided not to go back the way we came in. It was too steep to climb down. We took the FS 27 to FS 626. Then we saw a spur road going the direction of the beeline. We took that spur until it ended, then we headed towards a fence line. The fence line was pretty open and it followed the beeline. We cross under the beeline a couple of times, took a some other service roads and then wound up walking on the beeline back to the Bushnell tanks exit. This was a fun adventure, even though my legs are cut to shreds :)

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This is a moderately difficult hike.

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.

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2009-05-06 topohiker
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Mount Ord from Bushnell Tanks TH
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    With the cooler weather in Phoenix, I decided to hike somewhere closer to home. I wanted to further explore the Bushnell Tanks / MT Ord area to find the elusive alternate route to the peak of MT Ord. I started off on FR 22 and then branched off on FR524. Along the way I went past a watermelon patch. I found some wild Arizona watermelons! Either way would have taken me to the backside of MT Ord. I took the route than I knew (FR 524) I climbed a bit and saw an old trail/road across a gully about 1/2 mile out. None of my maps showed this road and the terrain was very open with very little vegetation, so I did an easy bushwhack over and found an old mine shaft. The road ended there. I noticed on my GPS that FR 22/trail was another .6 mile bushwhack from where I was, so I gave it a go. This bushwhack was a bit more harder. Cat's claw made it's appearance. I made it to the road and it was an OK hike to the back side of MT Ord. Along the way I passed another road at the Reno pass. This road I called it "Reno Pass" road. It looked very well defined, but it went away from MT Ord. I would come back and hike this later. By this point, I was back on FR 524 and saw a very well maintained road in the distance. This well defined road wound up being FR 524. I found out that FR 524 go down to 188, right by Pumpkin Center. The road was grated to an electrical pull box. This must be the power that feeds the towers on top of Mt.Ord. I could see an old cut going straight up the mountain side. That must have been the buried power cables. I was dropping elevation and gained heat, so I turned around and headed back to the Reno pass road.

    The Reno Pass road was very well defined and climbed to 5,000 feet. One thing that was interesting was that the Reno Pass road was almost exactly on top of the county border according to my GPS. All of a sudden, Reno Pass road disappeared. I walked about 100 more and to my surprise I found a cairn! Then another and another. After about 4 cairns, I was at an overlook looking down on Pumpkin Center. Through out the day it was raining off and on. The rain stopped and the sun came out so, I had lunch. I looked around a bit, but I couldn't find any other cairns or trails.

    I started to head back. I hit the intersection of FR 524 & FR 22/trail and decided to try to take FR22/trail back to the other intersection to make it loop. Well this didn't pan out at all. The road's been abandoned for such a long time that nature's taking it. After about 2 miles, the road turned into a trail and this trail was so overgrown, that I had to rely on my GPS 100% of way back. Also at this point it started pouring rain. So I had to deal with fields of cat's claw, rain and trying to keep on trail that was not there. I was soaked and all cut up by the time the 'trail' turned back into a road. I won't take that FR22/trail ever again.

    Even with the stress of not being able to se a trail and getting all cut up, it still was a fun hike and I'm getting to know the area a little better.
    Mount Ord from Bushnell Tanks TH
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was a challenging hike. Out of the 20 miles, about 7~8 of them were bushwhacking. I'm going to do some more research and see if I can figure where the road from Pumpkin center goes to. I would like to be able to hike from the Bushnell Tanks over to MT. Ord all on trails and roads. The hike started out a bit warm, but at 7,000 feet, the temps turned a bit coolish. We did see a coyote or a fox skeleton on the hike. We saw no other people for the entire day. The Bushnell tanks area is a cool area to go check things out.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, take the beeline to just past Sunflower and turn on the Bushnell tanks exit. PARK IN FRONT OF THE GATE.
    page created by topohiker on May 05 2009 11:53 pm
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